It's About Dogs

Book review by
Susan Fitzgerald, Common Sense Media
It's About Dogs Book Poster Image
A true gift for dog lovers -- children and adults.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Violence & Scariness

One poem in particular portrays a dog at the pound. Another touches on cruelty to animals.


What parents need to know

Parents need to know that kids will enjoy the poems about mischievous, wise, kind and mysterious canines.

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What's the story?

This book is a true gift for dog lovers; children and adults. Anyone who has experienced a dog's unconditional love will recognize the varied personalities off these giving creatures. The watercolor paintings leap off the page with tail-wagging energy and big-eyed emotion.

Forty-three poems about forty-three dogs. Dog owners are likely to find their breed, from beagles to Saint Bernards, from bulldogs to mutts. The topics include visiting rest homes, begging for food, fetching the ball, dreaming of glory days, and being an adoptive (dog) mother to kittens. Ted Rand's personality-filled illustrations accompany the words.

Is it any good?

Tony Johnston peppers her book with canine quotes from Franz Kafka and William Shakespeare, which dog lovers will enjoy. The author takes readers on a journey from the first dog of the caveman, introduces us to Henry VIII's dogs, tells the story of Mr. Lincoln's doctor's dog, and reveals the long road taken by a dog seeking the holy manger.

From the image of a caveman-days dog lurking near a fire to an adorable pet hiding under a tablecloth, Ted Rand captures the power of the moment in his exuberant watercolor paintings. The Christmas dachshund with his bright red bow and the picture of a dog being an adoptive mother of kittens warms the heart.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about their favorite dog breeds. Which dogs in this book do you enjoy? Kids can also try writing their own canine-inspired poetry.

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