Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Stray Dog” as Want to Read:
The Stray Dog
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Stray Dog

3.95  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,850 Ratings  ·  173 Reviews
When a little dog appears at a family picnic, the girl and boy play with him all afternoon, and they name him Willy. At day's end they say good-bye. But the dog has won their hearts and stays on their minds.

The following Saturday the family returns to the picnic grounds to look for Willy, but they are not alone -- the dogcatcher is looking for him, too . . .

Caldecott Medal
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published January 1st 2001 by HarperCollins (first published December 23rd 2000)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Stray Dog, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Stray Dog

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,897)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Apr 29, 2011 Kathryn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kathryn by: Lisa Vegan--thank you!
A heartwarming story of a stray dog and the family who meets him on a picnic one day. They leave him after their day of fun, thinking he must have a family (or using this as an excuse not to worry about him) but the children--and even Mom and Dad!--can't stop thinking about him. Will he be there when they go back? There are some harrowing moments before the eventual happy ending, and I just love that, wrapped in the simplicity of this story, are so many moments of humor, suspense, pathos, joy an ...more
Lisa Vegan
Mar 09, 2011 Lisa Vegan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: dog lovers, anyone who has adopted or saved a stray dog
Charming illustrations! In particular, the many dogs are great, including the main dog, Willy, who’s adorable. I felt joy while viewing each illustration, and it’s fun to search and find Willy on the second to last page.

The story might feel a bit suspenseful for young children or others who won’t recognize the formula ahead of time. I had a bit of a hard time with the family’s original decision, although I did understand it. Overall, I ended up liking the story, even though I have mixed feelings
 (NS) Amie
Oct 08, 2009 (NS) Amie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
The Stray Dog was my favorite book this week. I actually read it twice and learned so much more the second time around. This true story is about Willy, a stray dog who spends the afternoon with a family picnicing in the park, and they all are forever changed by it. They leave the dog behind with the excuse that it must be someone else's, but as the week goes by, they can't get Willy out of their minds. They go back to the same park to picnic again in hopes of seeing Willy. When Willy rushes past ...more
The Stray Dog by Marc Simont is a Caldecott Honor book about a family who encounters a stray dog at a park. This story really resonates with me, since my family adopted a stray dog that looked a bit like Willy after he was apparently dumped near our farm.

Simont uses short sentences to tell the simple, emotional, appealing true story of a family that adopts a stray dog. Initially after playing with the dog all day, the family leaves him, thinking the dog may belong to some other family. The next
Eva Leger
Dec 09, 2010 Eva Leger rated it liked it
Shelves: julias-books
*I'm not sure why this isn't already listed because I'm positive that we've taken this from the library and read it months ago.*
This book is about a family on a picnic who sees a dog while in the park. The kids ask the parents to keep the dog and are told no but throughout the next week everyone in the family, including the parents, are thinking about this little dog.
The next weekend the family is again at the park having a picnic but this time something is different. Two little bowls sit off t
Jordan Caton
Oct 02, 2011 Jordan Caton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Stray Dog was one of the books I chose for my picture storybook. This book is about a dog named Willy who was found in the park by a family having a picnic. Because they thought he probably belonged to someone, they didn't take him home but the whole family was sad about it. On another trip to the park, the family spots Willy being captured by the dog catcher and claims the dog. This story was cute and I think kids would enjoy it.

This book was a Caldecott award winner. I really enjoyed the i
Feb 05, 2010 Ch_beverlyatwood rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
Title: The Stray dog
Author: Reiko Sassa. Retold by Marc Simont
Illustrator: Marc Simont
Publisher: Harper Collins
Year originally published:2001
Translator (if applicable):
Approximate Interest Level/Reading Level: Ages 4-8
Format (picture book, audio book, book read online, chapter book/novel, graphic novel): Picture book
Rating system: ****
Brief summary: This is a heartwarming book that tells how a family saved a stray dog from the clutches of a dogcatcher by claiming that it belongs to them. The pic
When a family meets a stray dog while in the park for a picnic they have a hard time parting with it after a day of fun. They even name the dog Willy. Despite wanting to take the dog home, they leave the dog just in case someone is looking for him. All week long the family thinks about Willy. When they return to the park they see Willy being chased by the "Dog Warden" and quickly come to his rescue.

Beautiful watercolors help to tell this heart-warming tale that young listeners are sure to love.
Apr 17, 2016 Микаела rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
REREAD: This was one of my favorite childhood books of all time! The watercolor illustrations are really, really cute and perfectly go along with the story.
Jul 15, 2014 Courtney rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pet-friendly
I felt so sad for this dog until he finally found a sweet loving home. I love pet friendly books especially the ones that talk about dogs because I have my own. Love love love the illustrations in this book.
Barbara Balke
Oct 11, 2015 Barbara Balke rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: project-1
Review by Barbara Balke
A family partakes in a picnic in the country and they find a friendly, scruffy dog. The children play with him and even name him Willy. The family returns to their city home without the dog but each and every one of them thinks about the endearing pup. They return to the country and see that the dog is being chased by a dogcatcher. They immediately step in and claim that the dog is theirs. They assert that a belt is the dog’s collar and a hair ribbon is the dog’s leash fin
Sep 28, 2015 Hannah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Marc Simont tells an endearing story about one family's love for a stray dog. Whilst out on a picnic our family meets a stray dog, who they name Willy. Willy and the family quickly become friends and have a grand old time at their picnic, until it is time for the family to pack up. Te family chooses to leave Willy behind in case he belongs to someone, but never fear, they keep thinking about him and all end up happily living together in the end. I adore this story- with one exception. Obviously ...more
This is the last book that we picked out during our trip to the library. I thought the cover looked interesting and figured my son was due for another dog book.

The book tells the tale of a family who come across a stray dog while they are having a picnic. They leave the dog there but can't stop thinking about the dog when they get home. When they go back for another picnic they see the dog run past them while a dog catcher chases the dog. The family claim the dog as theirs.

This book was a Caldec
Deena Lernor
Willy a dog who just wanted a home, he wandered in the park until one day. A family of four went for a picnic in the park. As the kids went to play they found a stray dog and named him Willy. They played with him for hours until evening came. When it came time to leave the parents made the children leave the dog behind. As the week went on, everyone in the family thought about the dog. The following week they went back to the park to have another picnic. When they got there the kids went and cal ...more
Paige Green
Sep 08, 2014 Paige Green rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Stray Dog, by Marc Simont, is a story about a family who finds a stray dog in the park. The children fell in love with their new friend as they chased him around and taught him tricks. Once it was time to go, the family pack up their belongings but left the puppy behind. As the week went on, the whole family remembered what fun it was the week before when they played with the dog they had found. So, the following weekend the family went back to the park. When the dog came around the corner, ...more
Feb 08, 2016 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was wonderful and would be a book that all children would love. The title itself will draw most children to it. This book is a great picture book story book because you do not necessarily need to know what the text says in order to know it is going on in the story because of how well the pictures move along with the words. At one point the text saying all the different activities they did with the dog and the pictures follow by showing all the different activities they are doing. It al ...more
Tammy J
Oct 06, 2015 Tammy J rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
What a perfect book. The stray dog tells a story about a family who goes on a picnic. As they are there, they see a dog. They don't know who's dog and don't know what he wants. Each of the family members comes up with something different about what the dog wants. They play with the dog and leave it because they think it is someone else's. They had a great time with the dog but realize they can't take something that isn't theirs. The illustrations are great and go along to tell the story. After t ...more
Kelly Borton
Apr 05, 2014 Kelly Borton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
This picture book is a Caldecott Honor Book. The illustrations are full of color, motion, and emotion. Many of the pages tell the story without words with full page colorful pictures. They tell the story of a stray dog found by a family of 4 on a picnic at the park. The sequence of their day and week without the dog is developed through the illustrations. By the end of the week, the family returns to the park to find the stray dog they named, Willy. When the dog catcher is chasing the stray, the ...more
Stephanie Field
This book tells the story of a dog that did not have a home and of a family that fell in love with this stray dog. One day at the park, the kids began playing with the dog and named him Willie. They wanted to take him home but their parents said no because he must have belonged to somebody. The next weekend the family went back to the park and noticed that Willie was about to be captured by the dog warden so the kids said he belonged to them and they were able to take Willie with them and give h ...more
Kelli Mcdonald
Sep 20, 2012 Kelli Mcdonald rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this picture storybook! This is a beautifully written, and exciting story about a lost dog and a family who finds it. This is a good book for children to be able to predict what happens next. I thought it was so exciting that they got to keep the dog and I know the children do too! This book is an exciting story to read aloud to a classroom full of children!
Feb 09, 2016 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
The Stray Dog was a cute book about a family who was out on a picnic when out of the woods appeared a dog with out any identification. The family's children began to play with and name the dog, Willy. Everyone is sad to leave Willy and soon they will ask themselves if he has a place called home. What will happen to Willy?

This story would be great for K-2 students who are working on the skill of predicting. There are a few wordless pages which leave the reader to wonder where Willy is going or if
John Gilley
This book is about a family who is having a picnic in the park and a stray dog comes up and the family feeds and plays with the dog until they leave the park. For a week, the family thinks about this dog that they have named Willy and if he belongs to anyone or not. The next Saturday, the family returns to the park and sees Willy again, only this time WIlly is being chased by the animal control man. He tells the family that this dog is a stray dog and has to be taken in. The boy and girl claim W ...more
Jul 07, 2013 Hope rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dogs
This little dog will steal your heart! This Caldecott Medalist Winner can teach children what to do when stray dogs are wandering in the park. Could also be used to teach 'beginning, middle and end' for advanced readers.
Traci Bold
Oct 07, 2015 Traci Bold rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very simple story with a very strong message. Marc Simont rewrote and illustrated this endearing and thoughtful picture book originally written as a true story by Reiko Sassa.

On a beautiful Saturday, a family went to the park for a picnic. A cute little stray dog finds them and together, dog and family spend a great day together. The kids want to take the stray home but the parents insist he must already have a family and leave him there.

All week, the family thinks about the dog they named Wi
Joe Quigg
Nov 05, 2014 Joe Quigg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is about a family who finds a stray dog while on a picnic. They play with the dog and name it Willie, but the father doesn't let them take it home. The next week at their picnic, they saw Willie about to be taken by the Dog Warden. The kids from the family claimed the dog and took him home with them. The theme of this book is compassion. This book would be good to spark discussions in the classroom. You can ask the students why they couldn't bring Willie home, how the kids felt, and ho ...more
Andrew Hamilton
Mar 21, 2016 Andrew Hamilton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 19, 2015 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
One of my all-time-favorite picture books. The illustrations are SO expressive, and I love how author/illustrator Marc Simont leaves no page untouched -- even the publication data, dedication, and title pages are illustrated in a way that sets the stage for the narrative. The words are perfectly sparse, with several two-page spreads where the the story is told without words at all. And then there's the story itself: heartwarming and funny too. I just love this book, and so did the 1st graders I ...more
Tamara Stallins
"The Stray Dog" is a story about a family who found a dog while they were having a picnic one day. The next week, when they had a picnic in the park; the family saw the dog running from a dog catcher. They found out that the dog was a stray, and they took him into their family. The pictures in the book is really good. The pictures look children friendly, but almost real to a point. I read this book to a four year during the summer almost every Wednesday night at church while working on my Sunday ...more
Dee Davis
Mar 02, 2015 Dee Davis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a cute little story about a family finding a stray dog one day on a picnic. After playing with him all day, the kid's beg the parents to keep the little dog, only to have their parents say no because they believe that he belongs to someone else and will be missed by them. After their encounter with the dog, the dog stayed on their minds. When later they see him again, running from a dog catcher, the family intervenes and saves the day, giving the dog the home he was searching for. It's a ...more
Feb 07, 2014 Laurie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 96 97 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Hot Air: The (Mostly) True Story of the First Hot-Air Balloon Ride
  • Ella Sarah Gets Dressed
  • Hondo & Fabian
  • Noah's Ark
  • A Child's Calendar
  • Goggles!
  • Song of the Water Boatman and Other Pond Poems
  • Peppe the Lamplighter
  • The Faithful Friend
  • A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever
  • Coming on Home Soon
  • How I Learned Geography
  • Tibet: Through the Red Box
  • The Paperboy
  • Gone Wild: An Endangered Animal Alphabet
  • A Pocketful of Cricket
  • The Graphic Alphabet
  • A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams
Artist, political cartoonist, and illustrator of more than a hundred children's books, Marc Simont was born in 1915 in Paris. His parents were from the Catalonia region of Spain, and his childhood was spent in France, Spain, and the United States. Encouraged by his father, Joseph Simont, an artist and staff illustrator for the magazine L'Illustration, Marc Simont drew from a young age. Though he l ...more
More about Marc Simont...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »