No Roses for Harry! Book Poster Image

No Roses for Harry!



Everyone comes out a winner in delightful story.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Harry tries to lose a handmade gift.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the depictions of dogs, cats, birds, and insects, not to mention Harry himself, are a delight for both children and grown-ups. Harry goes to great lengths to try to "lose" an unwanted gift.

User reviews

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's the story?

Who hasn't received a well-intentioned but totally inappropriate gift? Harry determines to lose the embarrassing rose-patterned dog sweater from Grandma, but his efforts are constantly thwarted, until he receives help from a loose stitch and a nesting bird. Marvelous illustrations keep kids giggling at fashion victim Harry even as they sympathize with his plight.


Is it any good?


Children approaching the peer-group and fashion-consciousness mode of preschool and first grade readily respond to this story, which safely and humorously displaces some of their concerns onto Harry. The old-fashioned style of the book (first published in 1958) doesn't seem to be a problem, and, for many grown-up readers, it's a bonus. Nostalgia-prone adults will love Graham's small town, where people dress up to go shopping and every little store has its resident pet.

Margaret Graham's deft rendering of Harry's features -- ears, eyes, tail, and posture -- eloquently convey Harry's dejection and shame when he finds himself mocked by his canine peers. Likewise, as his family searches fruitlessly for the missing sweater, Harry assumes a look of combined innocence and craftiness.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about embarrassment. Have you ever felt silly about wearing something? Why? What did you do?

Book details

Author:Gene Zion
Illustrator:Margaret Bloy Graham
Genre:For Beginning Readers
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:HarperCollins Children's Books
Publication date:October 6, 1976
Number of pages:32

This review of No Roses for Harry! was written by

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


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

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

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Top advice and articles

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

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