I'm Not Missing (Hardcover)

I'm Not Missing By Kashelle Gourley, Skylar Hogan (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Kashelle Gourley, Skylar Hogan (Illustrator)
Not in stock at Boswell. Available to order.


The dog days are over when one pup breaks free from his home to become an independent, Lone Wolf!

Humans don't realize the stresses of pet life.
Working hard to meet every command.
Trying to be a good boy, the best boy.
It's exhausting . . . humiliating, even!

"a read-aloud story fun for all." -Shelf Awareness

"younger [readers] will certainly be reminded of their own gleeful temporary breaks for freedom." -Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

"Simpatico collaborators Gourley and Hogan (Poe and Lars) match deadpan, world-weary narration with images of finely tuned comic misery." -Publishers Weekly

Sick of the pressures of pet life (the costumes, the treat-withholding, and the dreaded cone of shame), one dog escapes to fulfill his true Lone Wolf destiny. But then he sees his owner (um, ex-owner) with a new dog and feels unexpectedly jealous. All he wanted was a little space to poop in peace, not for his ex-owner to forget him entirely! Is it too late to go back, or is he stuck in the doghouse forever?

Find out in this hilarious picture book by the author/illustrator team that brought you Poe and Lars!

About the Author

Kashelle Gourley distinctly remembers discovering the magic of books as a little girl in a Northern California library. It opened up another level of imagination, joy, and wonder that she hopes to share with others through her own writing. After moving from coast to coast and overseas to Paris, you can now find her adventuring with her husband and three children out in the great Midwest.

Skylar Hogan is an illustrator and storyteller who also works on animation projects and card illustration, including a popular holiday card for Papyrus/Target. He lives in Nebraska.

Praise For…

Touting the end of having to earn treats with silly tricks, wear cutesy outfits, and endure diets and infringements on personal space ("How would you like someone watching you poop? EVERY. SINGLE. TIME!"), not to mention the cone of shame, a runaway indoor dog righteously trumpets its newfound freedom: "LIVIN' THE DREAM!" But maybe it's not all a walk in the park, what with rainstorms, scary raccoons, and the lack of ear scratches? Plus, a glimpse of the former owner with . . . another dog (A false alarm, as it turns out she's only walking it for someone else. But still.) leads to a reconsideration and a joyful reunion. "What?" says the prodigal pooch, dozing off on a warm lap. "I'm still a lone wolf. Besides, relationships are all about compromise." Hogan's brightly colored suburban scenes show the chubby mutt first as a puppy in a young girl's arms, later watching as she (teenaged, or possibly older) looks sadly at the "lost dog" sign she's posted, then contentedly sharing a sofa at the end fill in the background story nicely. The tone and elevated vocabulary, as well as the art, may speak to older, even adult readers, but younger ones will certainly be reminded of their own gleeful temporary breaks for freedom as toddlers.

A lovable mutt leaves pet life behind him in this colorful, pun-filled and jocular picture book by Poe and Lars author/illustrator team Kashelle Gourley and Skylar Hogan.
"It was RUFF" being an indoor dog, so the dog narrator of I'm Not Missing left home. Now a "lone wolf," he no longer needs to roll over for treats, wear the cone of shame, watch his diet or go to the bathroom with zero privacy ("How would you like someone watching you poop? EVERY. SINGLE. TIME!"). When he sees his human with a different dog, he tries to play it cool until he remembers what he loved about pet life. But he might be too far in the doghouse to go back.
Gourley balances playful humor with touching moments, packing this tiny story with big emotions: the "exhausting" work of being a good boy, the excitement of having no rules, the sting of jealousy when someone else gets special treatment. These juxtapositions of angry, happy and sad are made stark with Hogan's contrasting bright and dark palettes, facilitating opportunities to discuss these feelings with younger readers. Big laughs, however, will be most frequent with Hogan's bright and cheery art depicting the grumpy narrator in several silly costumes, doing his business and trying to scratch himself while wearing the cone of shame. Adult-directed jokes (a blur censoring the dog's body when he removes his collar) and puns ("I loved my dog bod") make this a read-aloud story fun for all.
— Shelf Awareness

The "I'm" in the title belongs to this book's protagonist, a canine narrator who appears on a "Missing" poster and initially addresses readers disguised with mustaches worthy of Hercule Poirot. Wearing an expression of perpetual side-eye, the dog details a recent voluntary flight from home and his new life as a "LONE WOLF": "Trying to be a good boy, the best boy. It's exhausting... humiliating, even!" Readers will quickly surmise, however, that though the hound didn't love being forced to perform for treats at home or poop in public, this circumstance is really a case of "be careful what you wish for"-especially when the figure spots his former owner, a tan-skinned youth, walking another pooch. All is eventually cleared up, with the dog last seen snuggled on that owner's lap, reminding readers that "relationships are all about compromise." Simpatico collaborators Gourley and Hogan (Poe and Lars) match deadpan, world-weary narration with images of finely tuned comic misery and disdain in this volume--particularly a series of illustrations depicting the many costumes the dog has had to endure.
— Publishers Weekly

Product Details
ISBN: 9781499812640
ISBN-10: 1499812647
Publisher: little bee books
Publication Date: May 17th, 2022
Pages: 40
Language: English