No Roses for Harry! is part of a series of books featuring the “white dog with black spots”. It was published in 1958 and I think my (taped & well-worn) copy of this charming tale was printed then.
Harry receives a gift from Grandma: a green sweater with yellow roses. He doesn’t like it much and tries to lose in a department store, to no avail. despite his cleverness trying to disguise the sweater in the spots he leaves it.Then a bird unravels a loose thread and takes Harry’s sweater to build a nest. When Grandma comes to visit, Harry doesn’t have his sweater! But Harry’s story has a happy ending – of course. Zion’s story is delightful.
What is it about Margaret Bloy Graham’s drawings? In this book, they’re line drawings with two colors- in this case, the green & yellow that are in the sweater. But what a use of those two colors! A house with windows with curtains and plants, clothes on the line, a toy truck, the sun, the trees, the other dogs, all in green & yellow. But the pictures are far from boring; they are full of detail while seeming simple.
I love reading about Harry’s antics and looking at the house & town that Graham brings to life. Maybe I can’t be objective about Harry so I’ll only give this 4 stars. But then I’ll add another half for the sheer nostalgia. 4½ stars
Written by: Gene Zion
Illustrated by: Margaret Bloy Graham
Published by: Harper & Row, NY 1958
No Roses For Harry!