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Dominic Paperback – October 2, 2007

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Editorial Reviews Review

Dominic is a one-of-a-kind dog. One day this exuberant, restless, freedom-loving fellow decides there isn't enough going on in his neighborhood to satisfy his need for adventure. And off he goes, with an assortment of hats (rakish, dashing, solemn, and martial), his precious piccolo, and a few other things, leaving a note on his door:
Dear Friends, I am leaving rather in a hurry to see more of the world, so I have no time to say goodbye to you individually. I embrace you all and sniff you with love. I don't know when I'll be back. But back I will be. Dominic.
On the road, this curious canine is lighthearted, open to every option, all senses aquiver. It's not long before he encounters a prophetic witch-alligator, (who had "many more teeth than necessary for any ordinary dental purpose"); a catfish who gives him a long, sharp spear that will make him invincible in serious combat; and even the infamous Doomsday Gang, "who robbed, ravaged, cheated, attacked innocent creatures at large and travelers especially, and did all sorts of damaging mischief." Dominic remains undaunted throughout, for "challenges were his delight. Whatever life offered was, this way or that, a test of one's skills, one's faculties; and he enjoyed proving equal to these tests."

As he continues his journey, we find Dominic to be considerate, compassionate, generous, and philosophical. As he ponders the nature of death, the nature of wealth, the role of art in our lives, the nature of good and evil, and the yearning for true love, readers are left with a feeling that life is basically good, and even splendid:

"What a wonderful world!" thought Dominic. "How perfect!" Had it been up to him when things were first made, he wouldn't have made them a whit different. Every leaf was in its proper place. Pebbles, stones, flowers, all were just as they ought to be. Water ran where it should run. They sky was properly blue. All sounds were in tune. Everything had its appropriate smell.
Kids will adore the magical, comical, action-packed adventures of this remarkable dog, and readers of any age will come away from William Steig's Dominic somehow changed. An ALA Notable Book. (Ages 8 and older, and a wonderful read-aloud for younger children) --Karin Snelson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 3-5-By William Steig. Dominic, an out-going mutt, sets out on a journey and encounters evil villains, friendly strangers, and a companion for life.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 900L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Square Fish; Reprint edition (October 2, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312371446
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312371449
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.4 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #72,206 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

William Steig (1907-2003) published his first children's book, Roland the Minstrel Pig, in 1968, and received the Caldecott Medal for Sylvester and the Magic Pebble (978-1416902065) in 1970. His works also include The Amazing Bone, a Caldecott Honor Book, and Abel's Island and Doctor De Soto, both Newbery Honor Books. His most recent books published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux are Shrek! (released by DreamWorks as a major motion picture) and Wizzil, illustrated by Quentin Blake. School Library Journal named Shrek! a Best Book of 1990 and said of it, "Steig's inimitable wit and artistic dash have never been sharper or more expertly blended."

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By J.M.Phelps on January 13, 2000
Format: Paperback
I was given this book by my brother almost 25 years ago, and I still consider it the best children's book I've ever read. In fact, I still pull it out from time to time and read it when I need a lift. I love the fact that Steig respects children enough to use sophisticated language and themes. This book has always made me feel smart and brave--just like Dominic himself! He is a wonderful hero and role model for boys and girls alike. It's a joy to read that so many others have also been touched by its magic. And the illustrations (by Steig) are incredibly evocative--they really draw one into Dominic's adventures AND his emotions. It doens't get any better than Dominic for bright, curious kids.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By William Timothy Lukeman TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 15, 2000
Format: Paperback
William Steig's tale (or tail) of an adventurous, great-hearted dog exploring the world with zest and delight is NOT just for children -- although children lucky enough to read it will carry it with them into adulthood, as shown by previous reviews. I first read it in my late 30's, and I knew at once that it had as much depth, wisdom, and beauty as any adult book -- more than most, in fact. You'll come away from it filled with its joy for life. Very highly recommended!
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Oddsfish VINE VOICE on December 19, 2000
Format: Paperback
Dominic is one of the greatest works by one of the two greatest children's authors (I consider Lloyd Alexander the other). Dominic is a great character and it is marvelous to read of his picaresque adventures. The novel also has a lot of depth in it.
The novel follows Dominic who is a dog. He begins to feel restless one day and sets out on the road for adventure. Dominic constantly uses his many talents and wits during the trip. In his adventures Dominic finds treasure, a little love, the horrid Doomesday Gang, and, eventually, himself.
William Steig always conveys a clear message in his novels. He writes about how to love life and everything about life. He writes great pathetic falacies (descriptions of nature). He writes of love for fellow beings. Steig also addresses important facets of life. My favorite part of Dominic is when Dominic has to deal with the death of a friend. Steig writes:
"He (Dominic) had to cry. Life was suddenly too sad. And yet it was beautiful. The beauty was dimmed when the sadness welled up. And the beauty would be there again when the sadness went. So the beauty and the sadness belonged together somehow, though they were not the same at all."
Steig's prose is always as marvelous and as meaningful. Few novelists of any genre have had the success that Steig has in Dominic. All children and many adults should read this book. (Also, read Steig's Abel's Island and The Real Thief.)
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 20, 1997
Format: Paperback
I read this when I was eight years old. I am now 22 and I still think that Dominic is one of the best books that anyone could ever read. It got me excited about reading and I haven't stopped since. This simple tale of a dog leaving home for adventures throughout the world has opened the world up for me. It taught me that there is more to life than what I see around me and that even walking to the end of the block can be an adventure. Dominic the character is a hero to me, and the book (which I still find myself reading from time to time) is still one of my favorites.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Scritin on July 13, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is one of the most amazing books I have ever encountered. William Steig creates a world to lose yourself in with evil foxes, charming geese, complex characters galore, and of course, our favorite dog of all time, Dominic himself. Perhaps the best part about Dominic is its sense of the mystery and wonder of life, of the importance of making good choices and the opportunities offered by taking the path less traveled. I absolutely fell in love with this book- it's a tale of wonder, excitement, chases, escapes, and doing the right thing. Dominic truly has a "heart of gold with nerves of steel," and he is so noble and young and brave and truthful that you wish you could leap right into the pages and help him out whenever the Doomsday Gang tries another attack. It's a truly amazing and touching read- I still get choked up when I read it sometimes.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on May 29, 2002
Format: School & Library Binding
Dominic by William Steig
Reviewed by Julia
At first I thought Dominic was going to be a boring book about a dog. I also thought it was going to be sad. I thought that because on the cover it looked like a dog that had lost his way. However, when I read the first page about Dominic, the lead character, who wants to have fun and adventure, I thought this would be exciting to read. Every animal that Dominic meets along the way has a problem. The Doomsday Gang is the villains who try to ruin everyone's fun. While there are many main characters, the most important ones are Dominic, Barney Swain, and Bartholomew Badger. The first animal Dominic meets, the Alligator Witch, is a fortune teller who gives him a spear that will help him along the way. Next, Dominic meets Bartholomew Badger, a pig, who is rich, old, and ill. Dominic makes friends and takes care of him. Bartholomew Badger gives him all his riches when he dies. Dominic isn't sure if he wants all those riches since the Doomsday G ang keeps trying to steal them. Barney Swain has the biggest problem of them all. He is robbed by the Doomsday Gang of the money he was going to use for his wedding. Dominic gives him some of the riches and they become good friends. Dominic helps so many animals that don't have what he has. He was a one "dog" community service volunteer.
I love this book not only because it is exciting and has adventure, but also it is about friendship. My favorite part of the book is the ending. I won't tell everyone what happens but: Matilda Fox (who is a goose!) will never forget how brave Dominic is. Mwana Bhomba, the magician and elephant, can't remember how he got here from Africa. The way Dominic helps him is really funny. Anyone who likes animals and comedy should definitely read this book. As people can tell, these animals act like silly people. The author has a great imagination. This book is sad and a little scary but this is a great summer camp book.
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