Ernie Castellano, fast-talking wheeler-dealer kid, has come up with his greatest idea yet: pet funerals! With his pals Dusty (an artist in coffins) and Swimming Pool (one of the world's great criers, an asset to any funeral she attends), Ernie creates a thriving business-and manages to land himself in more hot water than he has ever dreamed possible.High-spirited, hilarious, and unexpectedly touching, The Beloved Dearly is a sparkling debut for a major new voice in books for young readers.More
Budding entrepreneur Ernie is full of ideas on how to make money, but it seems like his schemes produce more trouble than cash. This time, it's different, though, because Ernie has a new business that is a guaranteed hit: pet funerals. With his friends Dusty (who decorates the coffins), Tony (the gravedigger), and Swimming Pool (one of the most professional criers Ernie has ever met), Ernie's business quickly takes a life of its own. But can Ernie handle this much success? Narrator Doug Cooney performs with good humor and sensibility, and a cast of fine young actors allows the characters' high-spirited personalities to come through. Ernie is especially vivid, and listeners will enjoy his self-confidence and bravado.
"This highly stylized novel is something kids won't have seen before, with characters who seem to have jumped out of a Damon Runyon story." (Booklist)
"Witty, clever, yet touching, this first novel has certain kid appeal." (School Library Journal)
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