How Smudge Came


32 pages
ISBN 0-88995-143-8
DDC jC813'.54





Illustrations by Ron Lightburn
Reviewed by Leigh Dodds

Leigh Dodds is an elementary-school teacher in North Bay, Ontario.


One rainy day Cindy finds a puppy and decides to give it a home. Cindy
is developmentally challenged, though, and the home in which she lives
does not allow dogs. Thus no sooner is Smudge the puppy discovered, then
Cindy is forced to give him up. Cindy works as a cleaning woman at a
hospice and has been befriended by several of the people who live there.
It is though her friendships at the hospice that Smudge and Cindy become

Ron Lightburn’s illustrations are beautiful and thoughtful, but they
are not enough to lighten this dark and depressing story. While
Cindy’s reunion with Smudge supplies a degree of positive closure, the
knowledge that Cindy must return to a home where she is clearly unhappy
undercuts any pleasure the reader might feel at the end of the story.
Not recommended.


Gregory, Nan., “How Smudge Came,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 13, 2024,