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Meet the Dogs of Bedlam Farm Hardcover – April 26, 2011

5 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

In a sort of picture-book version of his adult book A Dog Year (2002), Katz introduces the four dogs who now share life with him on a farm in upstate New York. Through simple text and bright photographs, the four pooches are described, one at a time. Rose, a border collie, herds sheep, and photos depict her staring down the flock even through heavy snow. Izzy was abandoned early in life but now is a therapy animal who visits the sick. Frieda, the rottweiler German shepherd mix, is a bit scary and guards the farm. The question asked at the end of each chapter is the same: But what is Lenore's job? The answer's clear, but Katz spells it out: the black Lab, who looks for disgusting things to eat and mud to roll in, is in charge of keeping the other dogs happy by loving them. And that may be the greatest work of all. This is the love letter people wishes they could write to their own pets, and it makes a point well worth reiterating: in a family, all members are equally valuable. Grades K-2. --Daniel Kraus

Review

“Katz's photographs depicting the dogs' vastly different personalities are great fun for dog lovers and a fine lesson for dog fearers. Lenore, it turns out, makes sure everyone is happy.” ―The New York Times Book Review

“This photographic essay aims at the heart of dog group dynamics on Jon Katz's Farm. A highly specific, not preachy, charmer.” ―The Chicago Tribune

“The book introduces Rose, Izzy, Frieda and Lenore, dogs that live on Bedlam Farm. It talks about the jobs that each dog is in charge of and about life on the farm. The pictures are all photographs taken by Katz. They lovingly show the dogs working and playing in each season of the year.” ―McClatchy-Tribune news

Meet the Dogs of Bedlam Farm by Jon Katz is a beautifully photographed and clever story.” ―The Examiner.com

“This is the love letter people wish they could write to their own pets, and it makes a point well worth reiterating: in a family, all members are equally valuable.” ―Booklist

“The large, full-color photographs are totally engaging and capture the animals' distinct personalities. . . . The writing is crisp and clear, and the stories (each dog gets its own turn) are sweet and filled with gentle humor. This gorgeous, heartwarming book, great for quiet reading and storytimes alike, stands out from the pack.” ―School Library Journal, STARRED

“In Katz's first book for children, illustrated with lively photos, the author explains how the four dogs (which have been the subject of several bestselling titles for adults) that live on his farm in upstate New York have distinct roles and responsibilities. . . . dog-loving readers will value the attention paid to their individual contributions.” ―Publishers Weekly

“The simple, informative story is illustrated with high-quality photographs of the dogs in action, using a wide variety of shots and settings that add visual interest. Young dog lovers will enjoy this, particularly those who own border collies or black labs.” ―Kirkus Reviews

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 600L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR); First Edition edition (April 26, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805092196
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805092196
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 0.4 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #225,578 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Bedlam Farm in upstate New York is where I live, write and tend my animals - four dogs, two donkeys, two barn cats. The rambling old farmhouse was built in 1862; it's surrounded by pastures, streams and wooded hillsides, plus four barns and a milkhouse in various stages of disrepair.

I write books- memoirs, novels, short story collections, and beginning in 2011, children's books. I am also a photographer.

In my former life, before I grew preoccupied with sheepherding and moving manure around. I wanted to change my life and write more about the experience of living with and understanding animals.
I write novels and nonfiction books (I've written 20 books), along with columns and articles for Rolling Stone, Wired, the New York Times, and the website HotWired.
Coming to the farm turned out to be a Joseph Campbell style "Hero's Journey." I went off into some dark places, got divorced, struggled to face myself, and found someone to share my life.

My wife Maria Wulf is an artist, who specializes in fiber art. She works in the Studio Barn across the road from the farmhouse. Earlier this year, I thought briefly of selling Bedlam Farm. After getting married, we decided to stay here. My daughter Emma, a sportswriter living in Brooklyn, has written her own book about New York baseball. I publish a blog I love dearly - www.bedlafarm.com. My photos appear there daily. My dogs are Izzy, Lenore, Frieda and Rose, the working dog who helps me run the farm.

My writing life began with a novel - "Sign Off" - an unwittingly prescient story about the jarring changes in work and security.

This year - 2010 - I am returning to fiction. I've written a novel, "Rose In A Storm," about a border collie stranded on a farm in upstate New York during a terrible storm. I wrote this book in conjunction with some animal behaviorists who helped me enter the mind of a dog, and hopefully, be faithful to that. My first children's book "Meet The Dogs Of Bedlam Farm," will be published by Henry Holt next year. I have just finished a short story collection to be published next year by Villard/Random House.
In recent years, photography has become central to me as well as writing. I have been fortunate enough to have several gallery showings of my work, and also sell my photos as notecards through the Redux Gallery in Dorset, Vt.

I am also working on a book about animal grieving. Hopefully, it will be useful.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I just saw this in a book store yesterday and was drawn immediately to it by the title alone.

As soon as I started reading through it, I knew it was something special and that I'd buy it.

The photography and words are warm and loving, and it makes me long to own a place like Bedlam Farm filled with four-footed friends like this.

It's a real winner.

Just great work Jon.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've read ALL Jon Katz' books... he's got a way with words! This is his first children's books, and it's about (of course) his dogs!!! (and the farm)... The pictures (he took them all himself) are awesome, the presentation is beautiful and the story is heartwarming! All good!!!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a very sweet book. The interesting photography captures the different personalities of the four dogs, and the simple text fits the subject well. It was the wonderful surprise ending of this book, however, that put lumps in our throats and regrets that it had to be returned to the library. I've since bought copies for ourselves and others, including my sensitive almost-11-year-old daughter, who specifically asked for this simple children's picture book for Christmas.

What a poignant and encouraging message!
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Format: Hardcover
This book is superb. Children will love it, yet it is also a perfect gift for anyone who has known and loved dogs in their life. It reads like poetry, introducing each dog with his/her own unique personality. A strong narrative voice drives the story forward, as the reader grows curious to learn the "job" of the only dog who seems to not be working at all. It is a magical lesson about the spirit of dogs, and also about the value of love, friendship, and caring -- a lesson which applies to humans as well! Gorgeous pictures, many of which reminded me of a "late" beloved border collie, who also had a loving heart. The story is made even more special by the fact that it is true. When I got to the last page, I had to blink back tears, because it is so insightful and touching. I haven't read any of Katz's other books, for adults, but I will look into them now.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Any dog lover who would like to live on a farm in upstate New York please raise your hands and BUY this book!

This is an excellent book for young children to teach them about love, friendship, and family.
Katz is a very talented and sensitive writer and photographer!

I paid $6 for this book on Amazon which is a bargain for a book that brings such joy!

P.S. You don't need to love dogs to enjoy this book but it helps!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have read everything Jon Katz has written and I was delighted to see that he expanded into children's books. I especially loved the photographs of the dogs and the farm I've read so much about. I bought two copies of the book to give to two children for their birthdays and their parents loved the book as well.
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Format: Hardcover
A wonderful story of four dogs, two of which were rescues. They each have an obvious job, except Lenore. What is her job? In the end we find out she has the most important job of all.

Wonderfully photographed and charmingly written. A fantastic book for everyone.
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I have read Katz's books and loved them so was excited about his venture into writing children's books about his farm. My great grandsons loved it! Waiting for more!
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