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Mister Dog: The Dog Who Belonged to Himself (A Little Golden Book) Hardcover – May 13, 2003


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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Once upon a time there was a funny dog named Crispin?s Crispian. He was named Crispin?s Crispian because he belonged to himself.So begins the story of a dog who runs bang into a little boy, who also belongs to himself. This quirky, breathtakingly illustrated story is one of Margaret Wise Brown?s best.

About the Author

Garth Williams was a prolific illustrator of Golden Books. His illustrations have brought to life Charlotte’s Web, Mister Dog, Home for a Bunny, Stuart Little, and many other children’s classics.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Hardcover: 24 pages
  • Publisher: Western Publishing Company, Inc.; English Language edition (May 13, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307103366
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307103369
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 0.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,143 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Margaret Wise Brown wrote hundreds of books and stories during her life, but she is best known for Goodnight Moon and Runaway Bunny. Even though she died over 45 years ago, her books still sell very well. Margaret loved animals. Most of her books have animals as characters in the story. She liked to write books that had a rhythm to them. Sometimes she would put a hard word into the story or poem. She thought this made children think harder when they are reading. She wrote all the time. There are many scraps of paper where she quickly wrote down a story idea or a poem. She said she dreamed stories and then had to write them down in the morning before she forgot them. She tried to write the way children wanted to hear a story, which often isn't the same way an adult would tell a story. She also taught illustrators to draw the way a child saw things. One time she gave two puppies to someone who was going to draw a book with that kind of dog. The illustrator painted many pictures one day and then fell asleep. When he woke up, the papers he painted on were bare. The puppies had licked all the paint off the paper. Margaret died after surgery for a bursting appendix while in France. She had many friends who still miss her. They say she was a creative genius who made a room come to life with her excitement. Margaret saw herself as something else - a writer of songs and nonsense.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 22, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I first read this book to my son when he was about 5. He loved the illustrations and laughed like crazy at the pictures of the dogs with their tongues lolling out of their mouths. We continued to read this book for many years. Now my son is 22 and he really does belong to himself. I asked him recently if he had patterned his life on the ideas in Mister Dog. He didn't even have to think before he confirmed what I always knew. This book's emphasis on self reliance and love for another is just that powerful. A must!!!
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By J. A. Geary on April 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Mr. Dog" (the original title of this book) is one of my favorite books of all time, read to me as a child (1950's) and read to my own children. Written by Margaret Wise Brown (who herself had a dog named Crispin's Crispian), and illustrated by the great Garth Williams, Crispin's Crispian (the dog who belonged to himself) is an independent, kindly, grown-up pooch who walks (mainly) on his hind two legs with a cane, wears an old bathrobe and slippers, eats bread and milk for breakfast and likes strawberries. He lives in a two-story dog-house surrounded by a white picket fence, dogwood trees and dog-tooth violets, with a kitchen, dining room and bedroom upstairs. (I assume he lets himself out when he "needs to see a dog about a man"). A kindly soul, he befriends and "adopts" a "boy's little boy" who (before the days of child welfare police) also belongs to himself. The boy and Crispin's Crispian bond, eat a home-cooked dinner together and fall asleep in their own little beds and "dream their own dreams." It's the story of a perfect day, innocent friendship and love at first sight.

As for the critics of this book: Give me a break! Do you live in a yurt? So what if he smokes a pipe? He doesn't wear pants, either. Furthermore, dogs eat MEAT, not tofu. Mr. Dog also likes raw eggs. And the Boy's Little Boy balanced his meal with a "bright green vegetable" and even gave some to Crispin's Crispian to put in his bone soup. I'm sure Mr. Dog's bread was whole grain and his milk was skim, and he probably purchased the strawberries he so liked from his local organic farmer's market. Moreover, he bought his bone from his local butcher (not Winn Dixie) and took it home in a brown paper bag (not plastic).
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By mk smith on May 22, 2003
Format: Hardcover
My two-year old daughter--an avid "reader"--cannot get enough of this book. It's the first book that she's ever asked for over and over again on a continuous loop.
In a nutshell, Mister Dog (aka Crispin's Crispian)--who belongs to no one--befriends a little boy who belongs to no one and they decide to live together in the dog's 2-story doghouse. Don't even try to reason the story, but at [$$$] you can't go wrong. And besides, what's not to like about a pipe-smoking, straw hat wearing dog?
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Paula's Books on November 4, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I knew this would be a good book, when I saw it was written by Margaret Wise Brown. It proved to be true. I immediately fell in love with Crispin's Crispian, and his little home and life. The illustrations are charming. The story tugs at your heart upon seeing a little boy all by himself, fishing.... But you have to read the rest to see what happens. Don't go into this story with too much of an analytical mindset. It is just a wonderful children's story, that will be read again and again.

It would make a wonderful bed time story, as it is happy and magical in a way. It definitely has an old fashioned sweetness that I just love. I am just thrilled that Golden Books have decided to release some of their old classics. I was starting to worry their for some time, when I had a hard time finding Golden Books like these in the stores. I loved it, and would highly recommend it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By K. Rogers on July 1, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This book has been one of my favorites for years, so I was delighted that Golden re-released it this spring. (I've located abridged versions in anthologies, but here the story is intact.) This dog "who belongs to himself" and "dreams his own dreams" won my heart at an early age and stuck with me. Crispin's Crispian is both self-reliant and connected to others -- a terrific combination. Like his work in other books (including "Charlotte's Web," the Little House titles, and "Ride A Purple Pelican"), Garth Williams' illustrations are outstanding.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By G. Durk on December 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A heartwarming tale of a wonderful dog (Crispin's Crispian) and how he befriends a sweet little boy. The age old story of boy and dog told to us Margaret Wise Brown style, who makes these two characters quite engaging. Brought to life with the beautiful illustrations of Garth Williams this little story becomes a page turner compelling the curious to find out how the dog and little boy live, how they meet and what they do with their time once they find each other and become friends. Children will love this book for years to come!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bones Crosby on February 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
One of my favorite stories from childhood, I got this for my nephew for Christmas. Written by the author of 'Good Night Moon', it tells the story of a dog who belonged to himself and the boy who came to live with him.

The drawings are warm, the story fun, and will appeal to younger children.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Patterson on November 2, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This was my favorite Golden Book from my children's large Golden Book collection. It is the title I chose for my first grandchild's first Golden Book. I like the illustrations and Mr. Dog's statements about being a "conservative" and liking things just a certain way crack me up!
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