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Dog Heaven Hardcover – September 1, 1995


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Dog Heaven + For Every Dog an Angel + I'll Always Love You
Price for all three: $26.49

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Lexile Measure: 820L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Blue Sky Press; Library Binding edition (September 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0590417010
  • ISBN-13: 978-0590417013
  • Product Dimensions: 12.3 x 8.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (445 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,110 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Newbery winner Rylant, who debuted as an illustrator with her Everyday board books (1993), offers paintings and text in tribute to "Dog Heaven." Here there are fields to run in, soft beds (made of clouds turned inside out) and "angel children," because "God knows that dogs love children more than anything else in the world." Rylant's childlike acrylic paintings-similar though less practiced than the work of Lucy Cousins-are filled with checkerboard steps, yellow daisies and pink stars. Whether she is aiming for whimsy, albeit self-consciously, or striving to present a genuinely comforting view of heaven is not entirely clear. God, for example, stands like an organ grinder at a biscuit machine, wearing a purple hat and sporting a white mustache. "God has a sense of humor," Rylant tells us, "so He makes His biscuits in funny shapes... kitty-cat biscuits and squirrel biscuits," and "every angel who passes by has a biscuit for a dog" because "every dog becomes a good dog in Dog Heaven." Many will think Rylant's vision appropriately warm and fuzzy; others will consider her on thin ice, psychologically and theologically. Dead animals invisibly return to earth "for a little visit," a development likely to unsettle young mourners; told that dogs in Dog Heaven will be "at the door" when "old friends show up," many children are going to worry about how those old friends got there. All ages.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2?Curl up with Rover and take a journey to Dog Heaven, where there are endless fields for running; clear lakes filled with teasing, honking ducks; and loving angel children playing everywhere. There are tasty biscuits shaped like cats and fluffy cloud beds for sleeping, memory trips back to favorite spots and people, and cozy homes with petting hands. Rylant uses simple, comfortable language and an abundance of careful detail to create a place of warmth and happiness. Dressed in colorful clothing and sporting an orange scarf, God is friendly and accessible; he looks after "His dogs," making sure the biscuits are appetizing and the dreams are serene. With their simple shapes and bold lines, the bright acrylic paintings have a childlike appeal. Brush strokes add texture and depth, while unusual color combinations?glowing mixes of oranges, purples, and greens?contribute to the peaceful mood. Canines become part of the landscape; tumbling hills and rounded surfaces reflect the rapid motion of exuberant pooches running breathlessly across endless fields, while pawprints shine brightly beside nighttime stars and decorate the sides of mountains. The reassuring story might comfort a child after the loss of a pet, but this pleasant, imaginary paradise will have a broader appeal to all animal lovers.?Joy Fleishhacker, New York Public Library
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Cynthia Rylant is the author of numerous distinguished novels and picture books for young readers. In addition to her beginning-reader series: Henry and Mudge, Poppleton, and Mr. Putter and Tabby, as well as her Cobble Street Cousins early-chapter series, she is also the author of the Newbery Medal-winning Missing May, the Newbery Honor Book A Fine White Dust, and two Caldecott Honor-winning picture books.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
5 star
410
4 star
24
3 star
7
2 star
0
1 star
4
See all 445 customer reviews
Beautifully written and illustrated.
Kathryn Matthews
This is a nice book to explain to or comfort children when they have lost a pet dog.
Mary C. Diblasi
Again I cried as I read this sweet book.
grace m. kisner

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

161 of 162 people found the following review helpful By K. Bennett on June 11, 2000
Format: Hardcover
If you've ever cried over the death of a pet, you need this book. Cynthia Rylant offers comfort for any grieving pet owner, no matter what his age.
"When dogs go to heaven, they don't need wings because God knows that dogs love running best." From that simple beginning, this book paints a picture of a place filled with canine joys. There are good-natured geese to bark at, angel children to play with, and dog biscuits to munch. Even strays have wonderful homes and lots of love in dog heaven.
It's been over twenty years since I lost my first and favorite dog, and I identified with this book as if the loss had been yesterday. I can't think of a better way to say farewell to a good and faithful friend than to share this book as a memorial.
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77 of 79 people found the following review helpful By Nancy on March 30, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I am middle-age, and recently lost my beloved companion of 12 years, a golden retriever mix. I look through this book at some point everyday - it lightens my heavy heart at such a difficult and sad time - it is a children's book, but I recommend it to anyone at any age who has lost a beloved pet - the drawings are precious - and it makes me feel good to look at the book and hope and believe and picture my kind and gentle spirit Maeve in 'dog heaven', whole, young and healthy again, running and playing in the beautiful sunshine, and I love to read the part where they come back to check on us and make sure that we are ok - or check out a favorite spot in their yard. Somehow this comforts me - and can even bring a smile to my face for a moment, replacing the many, many tears.
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76 of 80 people found the following review helpful By mahikahn on December 26, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My husband and I recently lost our 14 1/2 year old Husky. She was our baby and we've been shattered. A dear cousin gave this book to me and it has provided so much comfort. It may have been written with children in mind but it provides peace to all adults. This book helped us so much that I've ordered it for a friend of mine who just lost her dog. This will help anyone coping with the loss of a beloved canine family member.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 22, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Cynthia Rylant writes an amazing book that helps people of all ages with the loss of a beloved dog. I gave this book to my 78 year old grandmother who was having a difficult time dealing with the loss of 2 dogs in 3 months. She found parts of it comforting, especially the part about the dogs occasionally returning to their backyards to check-up on their owners. I have read this to children who have lost a dog, and given it to friends. Everyone feels that although it is difficult to read while grieving, something in the text refers to their dog alone. Cynthia Rylant wrote it with their dog in mind.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By V. Smith on July 14, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book should help any very young child who has lost or is about to lose a pet. Actually it might be a good idea to read while while the pet is still healthy--parents, too!
Although there is a lot of imagination (as to how God runs this heaven, dogs sleeping on clouds, etc) in this it is done so well it makes us all feel good.I would like to take exception to that one professional reviewer's opinion re 'faulty theology' that pets might visit here from the other side because they don't have an afterlife. If she thinks that animals don't continue after death she might consult her Bible, which says something quite different. They do. And some do, indeed, 'visit' with their people (a book I recommend below goes into this in detail). Dog Heaven presents this in such a way that will not frighten children at all. It will make them hopeful.
Perhaps Cynthia Rylant had this experience, or knows someone who had. Although I take the position that people and their pets alike (as well as animals in general) will share the same Heaven, I can see no harm in a dog or cat heaven premise for young children. Parents can always say the child can visit, or that the animals can come and live in 'people heaven' if they wish to.
I would also at this time like to recommend two books:
The first is an absolutely heartwarming book, FOR EVERY DOG AN ANGEL; we learn that at birth a puppy's angel comes to stay with it throughout its life. When it is lucky enough to bond with its "forever person" the angel feels great joy. When it is time the "forever dog" passes over its angel that becomes its "angel bridge" to the other side.
Read more ›
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 25, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This book was recommended to me by a friend who's a dog trainer. She said I couldn't read it without having tears in my eyes. This is quite true. This and Ms. Rylant's CAT HEAVEN are wonderful books that we keep available on a "borrow" basis for clients with young children who have lost a beloved pet. All have thanked us for making these books available, and report that they have been helpful to children dealing with the loss in a way that allows them to feel that their pet is in a happy place, and maybe even still "watching over" its "family" . The text and illustrations are excellent for the ages of the children this book is intended for. Many of the parents state that it made them feel better just to read it to a child. My 8 year old daughter read it to my 6 year old son after two of our own elderly dogs passed on last summer. I highly recommend it for children under 10 and their families, for its upbeat, colorful approach to acknowledging the concept of a "doggy afterlife".
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