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Circle Dogs Hardcover – September 17, 1998


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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Ah, essence of dog. You wouldn't want to bottle it, but Kevin Henkes, creator of Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse and illustrator Dan Yaccarino have transformed the concept into an exquisite read-aloud book for dog-loving preschoolers. We meet the two circle dogs, who live in a big, square house, early in the morning when they first wake up. They proceed to roust everyone, distribute good-morning kisses, run in the yard, and dig circle holes. "Circle dogs like circle snacks--crunch, crunch, crunch--right from your hand. They like to play. / They like to roll. / They like to eat. / And then they like to sleep and sleep and sleep and sleep." Yaccarino, creator of Zoom, Zoom, Zoom, I'm Off to the Moon, An Octopus Followed Me Home, and Good Night, Mr. Night, shines in this 1950s-style, boldly graphic, shape-saturated tribute to the dachshund, or as Henkes sees it, "everydog." Preschoolers will revel in the supreme dogginess of it all--the circling, snapping, sniffing, gulping, smacking, and face-licking--and adults will be charmed by how artfully and elegantly Henkes and Yaccarino capture the canine je ne sais quoi in this fresh, original bedtime book. Arf! (Click to see a sample spread. Text © 1998 by Kevin Henkes. Illustrations © 1998 by Dan Yaccarino. With permission of Greenwillow Books.) (Ages 2 to 5) --Karin Snelson

From Publishers Weekly

Henkes, who spoke to an elementary-age audience in Owen and Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse, here gets down to basics with this lively description of a day in the life of two dachshunds. The tube-shaped dogs?one rust-orange with black ears, the other vice versa (both have blue noses and collars)?form circles while they are resting. At dawn, they uncurl and greet a mother, father, little girl and baby boy ("clink-clank,... clink./ Hear their tags?/ Mrooon, mro-o-o-o-on./ They stretch and stretch and moan and yawn"). The story follows a morning-to-evening sequence of mealtimes, playtimes and naptimes, and comes full-circle, as it were, with the dogs bedded down for the night. Henkes infuses even this simplest of texts with humor: at breakfast, "Papa drops his toast./ Oops! Where did it go?/ The circle dogs know." He balances full sentences with fragments, and punctuates the story with the everyday sounds of barking, crunching and doorbell-ringing. Yaccarino's (Goodnight, Mr. Night) opaque, geometric graphics and limited gouache palette complement the concise statements. Squares and rectangles form window views inside and outside the house, and hem in the fluid shapes of the dogs and people. Author and artist judiciously repeat imagery and phrases ("Mama calls them pooches. 'Those pooches!' says Mama"); and the diversity of words and sentence structures ensure a book that runs circles around the usual primer. Ages 2-up.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwillow Books; 1st edition (September 17, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688154468
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688154462
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.2 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,137,588 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kevin Henkes is the author and illustrator of close to fifty critically acclaimed and award-winning picture books, beginning readers, and novels. He received the Caldecott Medal for Kitten's First Full Moon in 2005. Kevin Henkes is also the creator of a number of picture books featuring his mouse characters, including the #1 New York Times bestsellers Lilly's Big Day and Wemberly Worried, the Caldecott Honor Book Owen, and the beloved Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse. His most recent mouse character, Penny, was introduced in Penny and Her Song (2012); her story continued in Penny and Her Doll and Penny and Her Marble (a Geisel Honor Book). Bruce Handy, in a New York Times Book Review piece about A Good Day, wrote, "It should be said: Kevin Henkes is a genius." Kevin Henkes received two Newbery Honors for novels--one for his newest novel for young readers, The Year of Billy Miller, and the other for Olive's Ocean. Also among his fiction for older readers are the novels Junonia, Bird Lake Moon, The Birthday Room, and Sun & Spoon. He lives with his family in Madison, Wisconsin. You can visit him online at www.kevinhenkes.com.

Customer Reviews

A must for weenie dog lovers and their kids.
J. Colley
I am planning to buy copies for my friends' kids as good little gifts!!!
Marathon Runner
We started reading this book to our daughter around a year or18 months.
Sarah

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 16, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Our three-year-old, who's a big fan of Margaret Wise Brown, absolutely loves the sounds and rhythms of this story, and wants it read again and again. She now recites it word for word. The illustrations by Dan Yaccarino give this book a really different feel from Henkes's books about mice but that's okay. In fact, the change magnifies the strength of his writing for small children. Like Margaret Wise Brown, he really understands their world view. A great book!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 28, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I saw that an earlier reviewer criticized the illustrations in this book as "overly simplistic" and lacking in cleverness. I had to write in myself, because I believe Circle Dogs is one of the most perfectly illustrated children's books in years. The pictures are simple, to be sure, but absolutely brilliant! It takes tremendous artistic sophistication to conjure up a whole world with a few simple shapes and colors. Yaccarino's illustrations draw you into a child's-eye miracle world of shapes and sounds, yaps and slurps and whirlwind motion. And toddlers are utterly entranced. I'm buying another copy to give as a gift right now!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By liz976 on June 5, 2003
Format: Hardcover
My girl just turned 4 and is very artistic/graphic, and she just thinks this book is terrific (even though it says babies to preschool). I agree with the other reviewer, the plot is rather, um... lacking or bizarre (ie. it's never going to be one of my favorites). But she likes the pictures and the conceptualization of it, so I think that's the point. Now she goes around town and see's large O's and says "circle dogs!"
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Colley on March 29, 2008
Format: Paperback
For those of you who didn't "get" this book, you must not own dachshunds. I bought this for my nephews--we're a dachshund family--and I think it's adorable. It truly reflects a day in a doxie house. My doxie is sleeping like a circle dog as I write this review! A must for weenie dog lovers and their kids.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. Johnson on June 8, 2006
Format: Hardcover
We have been reading the circle dogs since my son was 1 and it is his most favorite book! He can actually recite particular pages and can do all of the little sounds that go with it. I think it's a great first book and plan on giving it as a first b'day present to several of my friends children.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Marathon Runner on November 30, 2004
Format: Paperback
I love this book! My son loves the book! It is clever, fun to read, great illustrations! I am planning to buy copies for my friends' kids as good little gifts!!!
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