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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
Planet Of The Dogs
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on October 15, 2013
Although I know this intended as a book for children, it drew me right in anyway because I enjoy stories about anthropomorphized animals. This book was well-written with a light touch. It wasn't so simplistic that it was irritating for an adult, but was simple enough for a child. All in all, it was just a lovely, sweet story.
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on February 5, 2007
Is this intended for we wayward adults who've strayed so distant from nature in the guise of a "young peoples" work of fiction? Since the time when the Dogs first arrived have we failed to listen with our hearts in order to understand them? Are Bob and Stella two souls who see and hear equally what lays upon the open road?. Was I truly raised by Wolf's in Michigan and therefore a not so distant relation? Well? Yes, Yes, Yes & Absolutely Yes! And so dear reader, why is this joyous & universal wonder not in every school library (at least the schools. Please!) across the blue planet? lastly when does the feature length animated film go into production to be directed by Sir Robert McCarty?
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on November 20, 2014
Even though this is a childrens book, I, as an adult, enjoyed it very much. If only there really was a Planet of the Dogs!!
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on October 27, 2014
Very cute story.
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on November 4, 2010
Planet of the Dogs by Robert J. McCarty is a delightful book for children with some drawings included. It is a tale that takes place long before any dogs were on the earth. Because of greed on the Earth, the Stone City Warriors were getting ready to attack Green Valley and take what didn't belong to them. The dogs had a meeting and decided to help the people on Earth remember how to love again by sending dogs down to show them how. Only children can hear what the dogs say. No one had seen or heard a dog before but they quickly found out they are wonderful creatures. They made people smile, helped the sick feel better, helped herd the sheep and protect the farms from intruders, run off bears and rescue children from drowning. I liked how the Planet of the Dogs sent lots of dogs to Earth so that every family who wanted one could have one.

Our dog, Abby, gives this book 4 paws up! She loved how the dogs came to the rescue and many found new homes on Earth with families of their own. She also liked how the dogs all worked together and barked and wagged their approval of the rescue plan.

I think this book would make children want a dog of their own. The author does a fantastic job of creating a word picture of the excitement of the dogs that reminded me of how our dog gets and made me feel as though I were right there with them! Planet Of The Dogs is a short, quick read, perfect for reading a chapter or two each night as a bedtime story to be continued. This is the first book of a series. The other two are Castle In The Mist and Snow Valley Heroes A Christmas Tale.
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Reviewed by: Wayne Walker

Did you ever wonder how dogs came to be man's best friend? I'm sure that there is some historical explanation, although it may be shrouded in the mists of prehistoric times. But in your mind's eye think back to those times and just imagine for a minute that there is a planet far out in space on the other side of the sun that is inhabited by intelligent dogs that live in peace and happiness. As the book opens, the dogs learn that there is trouble on Earth. Bik, the greedy leader of the warlike Stone tribe of Stone City, is planning to invade and conquer the peaceful people of Lake Village and surrounding Green Valley. Therefore, the dogs bring Daisy and Bean, the daughter and the son of a farm family in Green Valley, to the Planet of the Dogs and explain the situation to them.

Since no dogs have ever been on Earth before, three dogs, Lucy, Robbie, and Buddy, are sent by their queen, Miss Merrie, to go back to Earth with the children to convince the people of Green Valley that dogs can help them. At first some of the people are afraid of the new animals, but as the dogs assist people in protecting their livestock from bears, providing companionship for the lonely, and even finding lost children, most everyone finally agrees that the dogs are good. But when the Stone tribe comes, can the dogs do anything to help defend Green Valley, and if so, will it work?

Author Robert J. McCarty has created a charming fantasy-allegory that can be read and understood on at least two different levels. Children will enjoy the story about dogs that come from another planet to help people on earth. But under the surface are the important messages of friendship, love, loyalty, and overcoming evil with good. Stella Mustanoja McCarty's black-and-white shaded drawings are delightful companions to the text. Two sequels are now available, Castle in the Mist and Snow Valley Heroes: A Christmas Tale. Barking Planet Productions supports therapy dog reading programs across the country with book donations. Both old and young, especially dog lovers, will find Planet of the Dogs an enchanting tale.
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on January 17, 2009
I enjoyed the story in PLANET OF THE DOGS. This first book told how people were losing touch with what's important and becoming very unhappy. Dogs on the Planet of the Dogs decided to come to Earth and help. They first communicated with children because their hearts and minds are more open than adults; however, it wasn't long before they won over even the most difficult humans. The story had a little bit of adventure, a little bit of the supernatural, and a lot of entertainment.

Not only did I like the story, but I loved so many of the messages in the book -- messages that are important for children and adults to remember! It was nice to see all the different ways that dogs are beneficial in our every day lives as well as some of the less obvious ways that they bring happiness. I especially liked how the potential conflict was averted and how the book ended. It was nice to see a happy ending and have people realize what's important in life.

PLANET OF THE DOGS is almost 80 pages long, so it's not for beginner readers. It does appeal to kids who are comfortable with a longer book (probably eight year olds and up); however, each chapter in the book is very short (only a few pages.) I liked this format because young readers could enjoy the story without getting frustrated, and it makes for a great classroom read-along. The brief chapters also had a few teasers which will entice the reader to continue to the next chapter. There are also some beautiful black and white sketches in PLANET OF THE DOGS. The book is illustrated by Stella Mustanoja McCarty; and her drawings definitely add to the story.

My daughter had a similar reaction to the book that I did. You can read her thoughts here:

People from earth are forgetting about loving each other and they are getting ready to fight. Dogs to the rescue. Dogs travel from Planet of the Dogs to Earth to help people. People didn't know these creatures existed, but most people looked at the dogs and wanted to keep one. The dogs try to finish the mission so that their love would help make the earth a better place.

I liked the book because it was fun to imagine dogs helping people from Earth. I also liked the message that if people help each other, there won't be as much fighting. Dogs still protect people from dangers and make them happier.
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I love this series of books and this first, Planet of the Dogs, sets the stage for those works that follow. The earth, during the time this story takes place, is taken from a time past. It would be difficult to nail the exact era in which the story takes place, but medieval would probably be the closest call. Anyway, the people of earth at that time were without dogs. The people at that time were loosing the ability to love and to be loyal. This of course is where the dogs come in. The dogs of Planet of the Dogs live in complete harmony. They do not lie, cheat, steal or have any of the other bad traits we humans have. The dogs become aware of the problems on Earth and decide to take action.

This story boarders between reality, a dream world, fantasy, fiction, reality and wonderful imagination. People here on Earth are in trouble with many of the evils they create for themselves, and as in real life, dogs are much brighter about such things than we are. The author has done a wonderful job of weaving this tale, making it a first rate fantasy read, while at the same time addressing quite real problems and indeed, how to fix those problems.

This book can be, and should be, read on several different levels. First, it is completely appropriate for children from about the age of eight and up. While not a beginning reader by any means, the story could be read to children of a younger age and I feel there would be complete understanding with little explanation of the reader's part. Secondly, this book is quite sneaky about throwing in wonderful facts about dogs, such as their ability and method of communication, life style, temperament and abilities. Thirdly; this book makes some very insightful observations of the general human condition; not only in the setting of the story, but are just as applicable now as then. Fourthly; these books are excellent motivators, not only for reading, but for generally living life as it should be led. Finally, the entire work is almost irritable to dog lovers.

The nine illustrations included in this work are brilliantly done. The artist (and note that I do use the term "artist" rather than illustrator in this case), has given us soft, charcoal type drawings which are extremely detailed, while at the same time having a misty surreal quality about them that is absolutely charming. This is not an easy fete to pull off, I know, I've tried, and it is perfectly done with this work. Stella Mustanoja McCarty knows her dogs and captures them beautifully. She also captures the feeling of the story perfectly and you can see it in each line she draws.

Robert J. McCarty seems to have the ability to write in a way that is quite attractive to children and at the same time is able to write and tell a story that will not numb the mind of the adult whom is reading the work to or with the child. Each chapter of this book is short, the story moves right along, and the young reader quickly becomes completely engrossed with the story line. This is an ideal book to read to a group of children and an ideal work to be read either by the individual child or with a parent or loved one. There are so many good lessons to be learned here!

Young readers, who love fantasy, dogs, history and simply a good, fast moving story, will love this one. This is a book that belongs on their shelves.

Snow Valley Heroes A Christmas Tale
Castle In The Mist

Don Blankenship
The Ozarks
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VINE VOICEon January 28, 2010
This is where it all began. "Planet of the Dogs" is the first in the Planet of the Dogs series of books by Robert J. McCarty.

In this introduction to the Planet of the Dogs series, the Stone City warriors are set on invading Green Valley, where Tomas and Sara live with their children, Daisy and Bean. That is, until Daisy and Bean meet Lucy, Robbie, and Buddy from the Planet of the Dogs. The children journey to the Planet of the Dogs and learn of the dogs' plan to restore peace. Is it possible that such strange creatures can convince Bik, the leader of the Stone City warriors, that all people can live in peace?

Having already read, the third book in this series, "Snow Valley Heroes", I was looking forward to seeing how the dogs had originally come to Earth. This book, like the others in this series, relies heavily on narration, as it is meant to be a story that is shared and read aloud. Actually, I think these would make excellent books to use in the classroom, as the concepts of problem solving, acceptance, and tolerance flows through all three of the Planet of the Dogs books.

If you love dogs, enjoy fantasy, and like to share stories with the family, "Planet of the Dogs" will certainly be a good choice for you.
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on September 24, 2009
"Out in space, on the other side of the sun is the Planet of The Dogs. This is the story of the first time dogs come to planet earth to teach people about love..." When I heard from author Robert J. McCarty about the premise of his Planet of the Dogs series, and would I like to take a look, I gave an unequivocal "Yes!" Moreover, my middle son Thomas, who's just finished third grade, is an avid reader, particularly of "animal stories." We embarked on our first book co-review project.

This series for ages 6-12 (and dog lovers everywhere) from Barking Planet Productions is an impressive read that not only offers great story, accompanied by lovingly realistic illustrations by Stella Mustanoja McCarty, but conveys a refreshingly sincere, unaffected message about the necessity, nobility, loving natures, and even healing abilities, of dogs. Unlike most "dog books", a single dog is not the hero here; the heroes are the whole race. And they save the world by following their noses with unconditional love.

I also most enjoy books from small presses and individuals because no big-publisher editors have diluted the spirit. While his message is clear, McCarty does a good job of delivering it in a non-didactic, entertaining way with good storytelling. His (and his illustrator's) depiction of a planet where dogs roam freely and govern themselves, and their decision to journey to earth to save people from themselves, is really delightful. In fact, once we misplaced the book I was co-reading with Thomas (no finger-pointing here!), and I became pretty anxious to locate it because I truly wanted to learn what happened next!

Now I'm giving the reins to Thomas for his review based on the first two books of the series, Planet of the Dogs and Castle in the Mist. His review of the newest installment, Snow Valley Heroes: A Christmas Tale will appear soon.

"Our story begins a long, long time ago before there were dogs on Planet Earth," the author, Robert McCarty states at the beginning of the first book of Planet of the Dogs. It's a great read for people of all ages about the love dogs provide for humans all over the Earth. Dogs inside the book negotiate problems throughout the Earth with love as they work together with two children, Daisy and Bean. This heartwarming story shows happiness, love,healing, and teamwork as the dogs treat the world to peace. It contains realistic illustrations drawn by Stella Mustanoja McCarty, his daughter in-law.

The second book, Castle in the Mist, is very exciting. At the beginning, it introduces Prince Ukko and his guards, and we see again Daisy and Bean, the two children. But in the meantime, Prince Ukko has kidnapped the children of the Stone City ruler, who is now friends with the people of the Green Valley, thanks to the dogs. So this book is about how the dogs team up to rescue the children. I can't wait to finish Snow Valley Heroes.

I really recommend these books to all kids looking for some good summer reading.

-Thomas Jarvis

Reviewed by Janie McQueen, author, The New Magic Bookshelf: Finding Great Books Your Child Will Treasure Forever
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