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I am trying to create a children's story that explains how a dog is lost and can't find its way back home. After around 6 pages, the dog is found and rescued. I want to insert a "flashback" type of feeling, without a flashback. I was thinking something along the lines of,

Surprisingly, while Max was lost, his owner set up fliers to look for him!

I don't know if this is suitable for a child to understand though. If you have other ideas for me to express this "flashback" in a casual way, please let me know!

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Split Screen:

It's a children's book. Have a page with the dog wandering lost on one side, the owner posting the LOST DOG posters in the other. The dog can have interesting little adventures on one side while the owner is panicking on the other.

I've never met a dog who is "lost" that seemed all that upset about it unless it was lost for a really long time. In fact, they generally are unwilling to come home until they are tired and hungry.

If the messaging is for the dog to be happy to be found, then by all means portray the dog however you like. But the basic 'split screen' concept works either way.

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  • Most dogs I've seen who are 'lost' are distressed, even if they have only been out of their 'home' for a few minutes. They may be excited but that doesn't mean they aren't upset. Having said that, I like your idea for the book. May 26 at 20:48
  • How do you see this working in books that aren't picture books, exactly?
    – Weckar E.
    Jun 6 at 2:06
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    @Weckar E. For this answer, I pretty much assume a picture book, or a book with pictures in it, if the story is around six pages. I've never seen a children's book of 6 or less pages that wasn't illustrated. If not, then it probably wouldn't be the accepted answer. But it could still be done with two separate parallel columns of text with gaps to allow for differences in timeline.
    – DWKraus
    Jun 6 at 5:03
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+100

It sounds like your story is from the point-of-view of the dog. Maybe the dog is lost and wandering around the neighborhood when he sees the fliers everywhere, and connects the dots to something he saw in the past.

Or maybe your story could be in two points-of-view, although that might be difficult to edit in depending on how far you're into the story. One POV could be the owner and the other could be the dog. In one chapter, the owner's POV, he could be putting up the signs and walk away miserably, missing his dog. Then in the next chapter it's the dog's POV and he passes by them and realizes he needs to return to his owner.

I hope this is helpful!

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How about you let the dog wander around and in the pictures there are always (more or less hidden) hints that the owner is looking for him. But the dog doesn't see them (maybe the flyers are just too high on the tree, or in a newspaper, or the owner is looking for him in the background). The children then see them and would perhaps like to tell the dog ("Why don't you look behind, dog. The owner is there."), but no chance. The dog is having his adventure all the while.

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Maybe the person who finds and rescues the dog is holding one of the flyers. Upon recognizing himself in the photo, the dog imagines his owner desperately passing out flyers.

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