I’m My Own Dog by David Ezra Stein

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Today we celebrate National Dress Up Your Pet Day. But not my dog Lancelot. Like many Bernese Mountain Dogs, he possesses an incredible sense of dignity. The only item he has ever allowed added to be added to his already regal appearance is a jingle-bell collar at Christmas. For all who are thinking about dressing […]

Animals, Dogs, Humor
Featured on January 14

Rain Reign by Ann Martin


December has been designated Read a New Book Month, and today I want to talk about my favorite new book of 2014, Ann M. Martin’s Rain Reign. For some time Ann Martin has qualified as one of the heroines of the 20-something crowd I teach in various graduate programs. Always, when I ask my students […]

Animals, Autism, Dogs, Special Needs
Featured on December 22

Road Trip by Gary Paulsen and Jim Paulsen


February has been designated Responsible Pet Owners Month. The book of the day, Jim Paulsen and Gary Paulsen’s Road Trip, has been dedicated to “everyone who’s ever loved and been loved by a really good dog.” It was pressed into my hands recently by Carol Stoltz of Porter Square Books in Cambridge, Massachusetts, when I […]

Animals, Dogs
Featured on February 11

Homer by Elisha Cooper

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November has been designated Adopt a Senior Pet Month. Most families want to find a puppy or kitten when they chose a pet, but there are so many benefits in bringing a more mature animal into the house. My own senior pet, a Bernese mountain dog named Lady, turns twelve this month. Two years ago […]

Animals, Dogs, Family
Featured on November 6

Bone Dog by Eric Rohmann

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Tonight we celebrate All Hallows Eve, or Halloween, a time of carved pumpkins, parties, or door-to-door canvassing in costume for treats. In my childhood the latter activity was quite casual, and costumes often consisted only of sheets with eye holes. But in more recent years Halloween costumes have become elaborate, often prepared with great care. […]

Animals, Dogs, Halloween, Holidays
Featured on October 31

Carl Goes Shopping by Alexander Day

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In October 1992, the board book edition of a title that had already gained a devoted following of picture book fans appeared, Alexandra Day’s Carl Goes Shopping. Often publishers eager for titles for the very young frequently republish material in board books that have originally appeared as standard picture books. For the Carl books, wordless […]

Animals, Dogs
Featured on October 20

The Sailor Dog by Margaret Wise Brown
Illustrated by Garth Williams


On October 1, 1942, a brave new experiment in publishing was launched as collaboration between Simon & Schuster and Western Printing and Lithograph Company. The project was described as “a new series of 25 cent books for children,” with an initial print run of 600,000 copies each. Carried in independent bookstores, these volumes also made […]

Animals, Dogs, Sailing, Sports
Featured on October 1

Art Dog by Thacher Hurd


For National Dog Week, which began yesterday, I’d like to look at a highly original and amusing protagonist, Thacher Hurd’s Art Dog.  In terms of children’s book, Thacher Hurd has lived a charmed life. He was the son of not only one, but two, great children’s book creators—writer Edith Thacher Hurd and artist Clement Hurd, […]

Animals, Art, Dogs
Featured on September 23

Go, Dog. Go! by P. D. Eastman


The heroes of our book of the day do not even have names. But the canines in P. D. Eastman’s Go, Dog. Go!, an offering for National Dog Week, which takes place the last week of September, are some of the fastest, and funniest, dogs to appear in a children’s book. After the success of […]

Animals, Dogs, Humor
Featured on September 20

Where’s Spot? by Eric Hill

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September has been designated World Animal Remembrance Month—and today I’m going to talk about one of the dogs most loved by the preschool set, Eric Hill’s Spot. It is hard to believe that this pooch has only been around for thirty-one years. The ongoing saga of Spot began not with Spot himself, but his mother […]

Animals, Dogs
Featured on September 16

Dog Heaven by Cynthia Rylant


September is World Animal Remembrance Month, and yesterday marked National Pet Memorial Day. One of life’s most heart-wrenching experiences, both for children and adults, is without question the death of a beloved pet. So I’d like to take today to remember and honor a very special dog. I wasn’t able to have a dog until […]

Animals, Death, Dogs
Featured on September 12

Pinkerton, Behave! by Steven Kellogg


September has been designated World Animal Remembrance Month. So since I like to think about dogs, I’m going to feature some famous dog protagonists who deserve to be remembered: Spot, Art Dog, the unnamed heroes of Go, Dog. Go! and Steven Kellogg’s irrepressible Pinkerton. Possibly September should just be designated Steven Kellogg appreciation month. Steven […]

Animals, Dogs, Humor
Featured on September 3

Sally Goes to the Beach by Stephen Huneck


August has been designated National Beach Month and during this time people are encouraged to make one more trip to their local beach and enjoy the scenery and warm weather before it vanishes. As a landlocked child in Indiana, I envied people their ocean beaches—although we did have beautiful sand dunes bordering Lake Michigan. If […]

Animals, Asian American, Dogs, Family, Multicultural, Seasons, Summer
Featured on August 21

Dog and Bear by Laura Vaccaro Seeger


Since 1935, the first Sunday in August has been celebrated as Friendship Day. The organizers of the event often quote Albert Camus on the subject: “Don’t walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don’t walk behind me, I may not lead. Walk beside me and be my friend.” Some of our most long-lasting […]

Animals, Dogs, Friendship, Toys
Featured on August 7

The Schwa Was Here by Neal Shusterman

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Get out your party clothes! Today those in the know celebrate National Paper Clip Day. The modern version of this lowly but extremely useful object was patented on November 9, 1899 by William D. Middlebrook of Waterbury, Connecticut. But during World War II the paper clip became the symbol of national unity in Norway. Forbidden […]

Animals, Award Winning, Blindness, Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, Dogs, Humor, School, Special Needs
Featured on May 29

The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford


In April, we celebrate Pets Are Wonderful Month. For all pet owners the concept is self-explanatory. My furred wonder Lance takes a morning snooze near my desk as I write and generally participate in every activity of my life. Fifty years ago, in 1961, a book appeared that celebrates the bond between humans and their […]

Animals, Cats, Dogs
Featured on April 25

Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo


April has been set aside as “Dog Appreciation Month.” My own dogs serve as my writing muse. Just now Lancelot, eating with relish, makes small pig noises. He encourages me to write with gusto. The bond between child and dog remains one of the universal experiences of childhood, as does the longing for a dog if […]

Animals, Award Winning, Dogs, Newbery
Featured on April 17

My Dog May Be a Genius by Jack Prelutsky
Illustrated by James Stevenson


April marks National Poetry Month and on April 18 we celebrate National Poem in Your Pocket Day, a day much beloved by school children and poetry enthusiasts. The idea behind the event is quite simple: select a poem that you love and carry it with you today to share with classmates, coworkers, family, and friends. Activities […]

Animals, Dogs, Humor
Featured on April 14

Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary


All 95th birthdays are special, but today marks this important milestone for one of America’s most beloved writers for children, Beverly Cleary. When Cleary’s characters are listed—Henry Huggins, Ramona Quimby, Ribsy, Ralph S. Mouse—they remind people of childhood favorites, even friends. Born in McMinnville, Oregon, on April 12, 1916, Beverly Alice Bunn lived for a […]

Animals, Dogs, Family, Humor, School
Featured on April 12

Love That Dog by Sharon Creech


April has been designated Poetry Month by the  Academy of American Poets. If I could make any single volume the book of the month, I would choose Sharon Creech’s Love That Dog, published by the Newbery-Award winner author in 2001. In a small volume of one hundred pages, Sharon uses free verse to celebrate poetry and the […]

Animals, Dogs, School
Featured on April 7

Henry and Mudge by Cynthia Rylant
Illustrated by Suçie Stevenson

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April 1 marks a lot of holidays. It begins Laugh at Work Week and International Pooper Scooper Week and has been designated Reading is Funny Day and National Fun Day.  April has been set aside to celebrate National Humor, Pets Are Wonderful (PAW), and Dog Appreciation. When I saw all of these events, I had […]

Animals, Dogs, Family, Seasons
Featured on April 1

How to Steal a Dog by Barbara O’Connor

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Today I’d like to acknowledge two holidays. March has been designated Ethical Awareness Month, and today is National She’s Funny That Way Day, a time for people to list the five ways that the women in their lives make them laugh. When I thought about a funny, engaging character who faces an ethical dilemma, Georgina […]

Animals, Award Winning, Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, Dogs, Family
Featured on March 31

Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner


Today the Iditarod, “the last great race on earth,” begins in Anchorage, Alaska. Dog teams and humans will travel 1,150 miles through Alaskan wilderness to Nome. Some families and classes like to encourage children to pick a team and follow it throughout the month, writing about its journey. And for a story to introduce dog […]

Adventure, Animals, Dogs, Multicultural, Native American, Seasons, Sports, Winter
Featured on March 5

A Dog’s Way Home by Bobbie Pyron


Today, of course, we celebrate Valentine’s Day. Today also marks the beginning of the Westminster Dog Show, a time when the top dogs arrive in New York to compete for the crown. My first Valentines on this day always go to my dogs. Some people say that the dog/human connection is one of unconditional love. […]

Animals, Dogs
Featured on February 14

Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion
Illustrated by Margaret Bloy Graham

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Today for children’s authors and artists week, I’d like to honor a nonagenarian who published her first children’s book sixty years ago, Margaret Bloy Graham. Born in Canada, Margaret moved to New York in the 1940s to work as a commercial illustrator. During that time she became good friends with two other U.S. immigrants, Hans […]

Animals, Bedtime, Dogs, Humor
Featured on February 5

Martha Speaks by Susan Meddaugh

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January is appropriately named National Soup Month. Inevitably, when the weather turns chilly, I gravitate toward warm soup, a fire, and a good book. Susan Meddaugh began her career as a graphic designer in the children’s book department of Houghton Mifflin. She worked with James Marshall, Bill Peet, Bernie Waber, and David Macaulay, among others, […]

Animals, Dogs, Humor
Featured on January 24

Letters From a Desperate Dog by Eileen Christelow


January 8  through 14 is designated Universal Letter Writing week, celebrating the art of writing and receiving a hand-written letter. Certainly in the age of computers, letter writing on paper has suffered in popularity. Even the protagonist of our book of the day, Emma, uses the keyboard to send off her letter. Possibly Emma can be […]

Animals, Dogs, Humor
Featured on January 13

The Call of the Wild by Jack London
Illustrated by Wendell Minor


On January 12, 1876, Jack London was born in San Francisco, California. But the event that shaped London’s life occurred in 1896 when he was twenty. Three men who were fishing for salmon – Shookum Jim, Dawson Charlie, and George Carmack—found gold in Rabbit Creek, a small tributary of the Klondike River in Alaska. Because […]

Adventure, Animals, Dogs, Gold Rush, History, Survival
Featured on January 12

Diamond Willow by Helen Frost


Today marks Alaska’s statehood day, when in 1959 Alaska became the forty-ninth state in the Union. Of the myriad books for children that have been set in Alaska, my favorite, Diamond Willow by Helen Frost, appeared recently in 2008. Frost lived and taught for three years in a small Athabascan community in interior Alaska. Many […]

Adventure, Animals, Dogs, Multicultural, Native American, Religion/Spirituality, Survival
Featured on January 3

Marc Simont
Illustrated by Marc Simont


Today we celebrate the ninety-fifth birthday of an incredible artist, Marc Simont, who in seven decades has illustrated more than one hundred books for children. Born in Paris to parents from the Catalonian region of Spain, Simont lived in France, Spain, and the United States during his childhood. Very much like Jean Fritz, our other […]

Animals, Award Winning, Caldecott, Dogs
Featured on November 23

Hachiko Waits by Leslea Newman

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On November 10, 1923, the eighth puppy in a litter of Akita Inu dogs was born on a farm near Odate, Japan. He would become one of the most famous dogs in the world. Although Akitas are naturally smart and loyal, Hachi, which means eight, would come to exemplify just how devoted a member of […]

Animals, Dogs, True Story
Featured on November 10

Daily children’s book recommendations and events from Anita Silvey.

Discover the stories behind the children’s book classics . . .

The new books on their way to becoming classics . . .

And events from the world of children’s books—and the world at large.