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My Big Dog (A Golden Classic) Paperback – June 9, 2009


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My Big Dog (A Golden Classic) + Help Me, Mr. Mutt!: Expert Answers for Dogs with People Problems + The Little Red Pen
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Series: A Golden Classic
  • Paperback: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Dragonfly Books; Reprint edition (June 9, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375851038
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375851032
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 8 x 0.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,567 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The arrival of a big-hearted, dopey golden retriever puppy disrupts a reigning cat's domain in sister collaborators Stevens (Tops & Bottoms) and Crummel's irresistible tale told from the feline's point of view. Merl, a crotchety brown-and-white cat with a pink play mouse dangling from its mouth, likes things Merl's way: "Inside my house, my pur-r-r-r-fect house, everything is mine! My dish. My sofa. My chair...." The cat is not amused when the new puppy bounds up with her "sloppy, drooly tongue" and tries to make friends. But it gets worse: the dog just keeps getting bigger (shown adorably full-grown in the centerfold with a "Violet" name tag), so the cat sets off in search of a new home until Violet comes along to retrieve Merl. Stevens's busy, close-up pastel drawings underscore Merl's firm position by frequently depicting the cat solo, simply looking out at the viewer. Stevens effectively uses these one-page portraits to convey the cat's internal life through its whiskered disgruntled expressions, uneven ears and lifeless toy mouse, while depicting Merl's interaction with Violet in successive energetic spot drawings. The few times humans are in evidence, they appear in black-and-white photographs that Stevens overlays atop her drawings. The authors' chronicle of the puppy's slow victory over Merl's disaffections works to great comic effect. Ages 3-7.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2-A disgruntled feline tells his story. Everything in the house belongs to Merl until an intruder arrives-an annoying puppy that licks him and follows him around. When the golden retriever grows up, the cat hits the road, convinced that they can never be friends. Several people try to adopt Merl but nothing works out to his satisfaction. One lady dresses him up with bows and ribbons and a ridiculous striped jacket. Forlorn, he's rescued by the dog and taken home. Maybe they can be friends after all. Merl's first-person narrative is to the point; however, as the action progresses, the cat's deadpan, smugly superior voice begins to border on the pathetic. Instead of staying on the top of his game, he becomes a pawn through his own stubborn behavior; while his dress-up get-up may look funny, it only serves to highlight his fall from grace. Once back home, the cat declares himself the ruler but it's really the dog that wins children's hearts. Initially the scruffy, unkempt, free-flowing pastels are humorous and energizing. In the few scenes with people, the humans are pictured in photographic gray, creating an intriguing and visually arresting juxtaposition to the splashy, colorful animal world. However, as Merl continues to mope about on the pages, readers' interest and sympathy begin to wane. What starts out as funny and original becomes overused. Merl might tell readers he's "a very special cat," but it's hard to know why.
Martha Topol, Traverse Area District Library, Traverse City, MI
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
5 star
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See all 24 customer reviews
The story and the pictures are charming.
mark twain
The story is wonderful and a joy to share with your familly and friends.
K. Fitzsimmons
The kids love the book, even though it's not for the reading age.
Trevor M.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 20, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I LOVE this book! I read it a couple of times in stores and laughed every time. I picked it up because of the cute Golden Retriever on the cover. (I have a dog like that) But it was the hilarious story telling from a cat's point of view that really made me laugh. I finally gave in and bought my very own copy to read to My Big Dog.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 2, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This is my favorite book in the whole, entire world! I really like the writing, it is easy to read and it has the cutest dog but the cat is kinda greedy!! That's ok, I still love this wonderful and beautifully written book! I can't imagine anyone, not even a cat like Herl (the very special cat) wanting to get rid of a cute dog like Violet! My mom thinks it's embarrasing that a fifth grader like me loves this book! But I really do!! Your biggest fan, Meredith
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Trevor M. on December 16, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I use this book with my middle school students to show VOICE in writing(from Six Traits Writing). It's a great model for personification also. The kids love the book, even though it's not for the reading age.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on April 15, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Our class thought this book was funny! We laughed when the cat, Merl, got dressed up as a girl. Our favorite part was when the kids played tug-of-war with Merl. You have to buy this book! It is excellent!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on September 15, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Our class thought this book was funny. We liked the part when the dog licked the cat. The pictures were very colorful and they had a lot of detail. Merl and the dog were hilarious! This book is Pur-r-r-rfect!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 10, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This book is very well illustrated and written. It is the story of a spoiled cat that runs away because its owners bring a new puppy in to the house... We read a lot of children's books,and while this may never become a classic; it is well priced and well presented, which is more than I can say for many of the childrens books we now own.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 14, 2000
Format: Hardcover
When a Golden Labrador puppy moves into the household, Med thecat sees his peaceful life turned upside down in Janet Stevens andSusan Crummel's My Big Dog, a wonderfully illustrated preschool storybook showcasing the artistry of Janet Stevens. This is a delightful, "read aloud" addition to any personal, day care center, preschool or community library children's books collection.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Anne-Marie G VINE VOICE on May 31, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Awesome book! Only thing that I didn't really like so much were the grey people (they seemed to be photographs) that were inserted with the animals) Merl certainly is a very special cat, and I can't think of a reason why any child wouldn't love this book. I'm especially fond of Merl's pink mouse toy.

That aside, the writing is great and the illustration (Aside from the grey people) fit the mood of the whole thing fanatsticly. The 'i'm so irritated' cat face is just perfectly captured.
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