My Dog Toby

Book review by
Sally Snyder, Common Sense Media
My Dog Toby Book Poster Image
Simple writing and a humorous, believable story.

Parents say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Kids say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The girl's brother comments several times that Toby is dumb but recants.

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that there's nothing of concern here. Cartoon art nicely captures Toby's moods and abilities.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's the story?

Sit! Beg? Roll over! Toby is a great dog, but he can't seem to learn any tricks. Toby's mistress tries various commands, but Toby doesn't seem to understand. Patience and persistence eventually bring success in this humorous and true-to-life story. Cartoonlike illustrations perfectly convey the girl's occasional exasperation and Toby's doggy responses.


Is it any good?

Child-pet relationships are explored in this simple, gratifying story. A joyous Toby bounds through the pages, bewildered by the girl's commands but still happy-go-lucky and eager to please. Parents and children will enjoy Toby's enthusiasm and the girl's confidence in her dog. The book is also a good choice for new readers just past the beginning stage; many will be able to read this book themselves, especially after going through it once with a parent.

Watercolor-and-ink paintings perfectly portray the exuberant and loving Toby. The brown-and-white basset hound's expressions will ring true with dog owners. The illustration of the girl and Toby celebrating his success touchingly conveys their mutual joy and love.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the patience and persistence needed to learn -- and teach -- new things. Is it more satisfying to learn something new if you have to work hard at it first? Why or why not?

Book details

Top advice and articles

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate