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Harry the Dirty Dog Paperback – January 24, 2006

4.7 out of 5 stars 242 customer reviews
Book 1 of 4 in the Harry the Dirty Dog Series

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"Harry was a white dog with black spots who liked everything, except getting a bath." Taking matters into his own paws, he buries his family's scrubbing brush in the backyard and runs away from home before they can wrangle him into the tub. Harry gets dirty playing in the street, dirtier at the railroad, and dirtier still playing tag with the other dogs. When sliding down the coal chute, he actually changes from a white dog with black spots to a black dog with white spots! Of course, by the time he gets home he is completely unrecognizable to his family--even when he does all his clever flip-flopping tricks. In a stroke of doggy genius, he unearths the bath brush, begs for a bath, and the rest is history. Youngsters will completely relate to the urge to rebel, the thrill of getting dirty, and, finally, the reassurance of family. Gene Zion and Margaret Bloy Graham's Harry the Dirty Dog, first published in 1956 and now rereleased with splashes of color added by the artist herself, is one of those picture books that children never forget. (Ages 3 to 8) --Karin Snelson --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

This summer, old and new favorites get a second run. Originally published in 1956, Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion, illus. by Margaret Bloy Graham, chronicles the messy adventures of a runaway canine and his transformation "from a white dog with black spots to a black dog with white spots." Despite his showboating, his family doesn't recognize him until he's scrubbed clean. In this reissued edition, Graham has added splashes of color to some of her original pictures. Ages 3-8.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: AD700L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (January 24, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006443009X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0064430098
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 7.8 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (242 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,493 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I am an elementary school librarian in WV and each year I always anticipate the reading of Harry the Dirty Dog and the other Harry books to my students. They are always captivated with the stories of Harry and sit enthralled as I read to them. Often students request a reread of the Harry books throughout the school year. The Harry books become some of the most frequently checked out books after the children have heard the stories. We are hooked on Harry the Dirty Dog!! :)
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Format: School & Library Binding
I love the Harry the Dirty Dog series! A great story for kids and adults who like to read a good children's book.
Harry is an adorable white dog with black spots (as is repeated throughout all of the Harry books)... and he's always getting dirty. His entire family loves him and he loves them right back. Even when he's dirty, Harry is still family... which makes a great parable for parents explaining to their children that while they may not be happy when their kids mess up, they are still loved nonetheless.
The illustrations of this happy dog frolicking around are absolutely precious. The story is endearing and I have my copy sitting on my coffee table.
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Format: Board book Verified Purchase
This is a book that will grow along with my son. Some of the story line is difficult to understand, but my son gets the basic concept. Right now, he loves to point out all of the different elements on each page: a train! a car! a boy! As he ages, the book will begin to take on more meaning.

The book is about a dog who does not want to take a bath, so instead he runs out the door and finds mischief while playing around in town. He starts to get hungry and lonely and finds his way back home, but the family doesn't recognize him because he's so dirty. He used to be a white dog with black spots, but now he's a black dog with white spots.

This is a classic children's book and one that I'm so glad we have in our home library. It's really a must. The size is just right and the book is quite sturdy for the adventurous toddler grip.

We even found the companion DVD and I'm amazed at how the animation only enhances the story, not over powers it. It's animation style is a direct link to the book. We love it!

Harry the Dirty Dog... and More Playful Puppy Stories (Scholastic Storybook Treasures)
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Format: Paperback
I adored this book as a child and I still have my original copy of "Harry the Dirty Dog" packed away in my parents' attic. Not only did I empathize with Harry because as I child I hated baths as much as Harry does, but I also knew that even when I was at my filthiest, way down deep inside, I was still loved.
I have a very dirty dog at home who is in desperate need of a "fur cut". He reminds me of Harry because he's completely unrecognizable. However, no matter how furry he gets, we'll still love him, just like Harry's owners love him!
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Format: Library Binding
Browsing through the internet, I found Harry the Dirty Dog. Harry was my favorite book as a child. I am 35 years old now, and I have rarely read anything that makes you feel this good. Harry is a great Dog. He made me feel loved, and I still like the way he hid his scrub brush under his favorite pillow. I still remember in vivid detail, the pictures of when he slid down the cole shoot and changed from a white dog with black spots to a black dog with white spots. I still love Harry. In fact, I'll stop by the local book store on my way home and buy my niece a new copy. ( Believe it or not, I have Harry the Dirty Dog packed with the rest of my old College Text Books ). I still love you Harry.
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Format: Hardcover
Harry the Dirty Dog is the quintessential children's book for young readers. With its eye- appealing illustrations and simple text, it is the perfect transition from guided reading to independent reading. A delightful trip back to the 50's (sans the conservative vibe and racial/ misogynistic stereotypes of the time), Harry the Dirty Dog is the story of a little dog who is so opposed to getting a bath that he takes matters into his own hands... Er, paws? Harry buries his scrubbing brush in the back yard and takes off from home. While he has a day full of fun adventures, Harry not only gets himself dirtier, but also realizes that while he doesn't like taking a bath, there are many things about his family that he misses.
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By M. Eccles on September 10, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is one of many children's books that was listed on my Kindergartener's must read list for school. We read it every night at bedtime. He thinks Harry is very clever!
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Format: Hardcover
The book being reviewed there is the original Harry the Dirty Dog which was published in 1956. There is a newer edition available, one that was published in 2006 where the illustrations have been enhanced with more color that the 1956 edition. I personally like this older edition, but I suppose that is a simple matter of taste.

Gene Zion wrote the book and his first wife Margaret Bloy Graham, a Caldecott Honor winner, did the illustrations. This was a wonderful collaboration and one of many these two talented individuals turned out over the years.

It should also be noted that this book spawned several others featuring Harry the Dog and these books have been the favorites of many over the years. (See below)

"Harry was a white dog with black spots who liked everything...except baths."

Now harry is a rather bright dog, as most dogs are, and one day, when he was getting a bit dirty, and realizes that his owners are preparing the dreaded bath! Oh no! Harry will do just about anything to get out of a bath so he steals the scrub brush, buries it in the backyard and takes off.

All day, Harry has an adventure followed by more adventures; dog tag with other dogs, playing in the street and at the railroad yard, and eventually even takes a slide down a coal chute. The key here is that as the day progresses Harry get dirtier and dirtier! As a matter of fact, rather than being a white dog with black spots, he is now a rather black dog with white spots...sort of. Harry is filthy.

Upon his return home he finds that his little escapade has changed his appearance so much that his own beloved family does not even recognize him. What to do, what to do? He performs all of his very clever flip-flop tricks to no avail.
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