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

4.7 out of 5 stars 135 customer reviews

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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 (135 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,293 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a very favorite book of my youngest child. It's been read, reread, and read again. We went through a phase of reading it 2-3 times before nap and bedtime every day. One interesting thing is that I discovered an older copy and realized that this newer version is missing several pages. The older book makes a little more sense. Doesn't matter a bit to my 3 year old!
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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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this for my niece for her 4th birthday since she is a dog fan. She really likes the book! She often wants me to read it when I visit her. My mom (who my niece lives with) isn't a huge fan of the story. She thinks it is kind of weird, but I think it is cute. I do think the story is a little meandering, but I don't really think that's a big deal for a children's book. It tells the story of what Mister Dog does day to day. I didn't grow up with this book so it doesn't really have any sentimental draw for me, although I know it does for many. The story is definitely quirky, but I think it is sweet and simple. The illustrations are lovely, and I like the vintage feel of the book. I'd recommend this for anyone who is looking for a sweet, if maybe a little off beat, children's book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book popped up for some reason here on Amazon. I thought the picture on the cover was funny and ordered it purely for that reason. Reading the book, it's pretty basic. Then again, what did I expect. It's a cute, quick, story that'd be great for kids before bed. The illustrations are pretty standard for the time it was originally published (1950s). A dog smoking a pipe sure wouldn't fly in kids books these days. It's nice to see that A Little Golden Book has brought back some of these loved old favorites to be enjoyed by a future generation.

At the price and the content of this book, it's a great purchase. I'm sure I'll be reading it to my nephew thats on the way in the coming years.
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