Along Came a Dog
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Along Came a Dog

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  344 ratings  ·  39 reviews
A stray dog earns a home for himself by protecting a little red hen and her chicks from a preying hawk.
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published September 1st 1980 by Turtleback (first published January 1st 1958)
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5 stars for Along Came a Dog!

The big black dog needed a home. The big black dog needed a purpose. The big black dog needed a reason to exist. The big black dog had a plan. The big black dog found a friend. The big black dog found a purpose. The big black dog found a reason to exist. The little red hen gave him a purpose and reason to stay on the farm where he was not wanted. He was her protector. He had made it his duty to protect her. “He had made himself her unquestioning slave. He stayed with...more
It isn't often that you find novels about chickens, so of course I had to like this book :-D It seems like the author is quite familiar with the ways of poultry (as well as dogs) :-) It's simply but beautifully written, and the perspectives of the little hen and the dog are well described.
Becky Hirtzel
Written in 1958, this Newberry honors book was a terrific find as I sorted and packed my kids' old bookshelves. A sweet story about a barnyard with chickens, hawks, and of course, the stray dog. But these aren't Disney animals. They act according to their natures and the author gives great insight here. Who doesn't love a book with a dog in it?! And the happy ending makes it all the better!
Feb 21, 2014 Judy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: animal lovers. Kids aged 9 or so up
Recommended to Judy by: Dr Kerrie Lay
A delightful read. I'd agree with the review not the back of the book. It is indeed filled with suspense from start to finish... not your 'killer on the loose' suspense... a gentle kind of suspense, due to our engagement with the three main characters, the tangled mess of misunderstanding and affection, and our wish for it all to end well.

The author surely must have had intimate knowledge of animals, been a similar kind of man to the farmer in the story who 'talks to animals' . How else to writ...more

It's spring on the farm at last. The hens have been stuck inside the chicken coop in the top of an old horse barn all winter. When the man comes to let them out, the little red hen is especially glad to see the man and get out in the barnyard. The man has made something of a pet of the last little red hen, so when he discovers her feet froze off in the winter, he decides to disobey his boss's orders to kill the hen. He tries hard to protect the hen from the attacks of the rooster and his harem o...more
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Summary: This book is about a farmer, a red hen, and a dog. This farmer is very fond of this red hen, but one day the hen looses her toes. A dog shows up and begins to protect the hen. The farmer doesn’t realize that the dog is protecting his favorite hen and keeps trying to get rid of the dog. The dog keeps finding his way back and protects the hen from animal that would have eaten her and from the rest of the flock, and in the process makes the farm his home.

My thoughts: I didn’t expect to but...more
This was a cute children's book. I can see why it was given the newberry award. It teaches such values as loyalty, hard work, and accepting other people's differences. It is not the best read aloud, however. I think my kids would have enjoyed it better reading it on their own. The book really had very little action, and almost no conversation. Most of the book was describing what the animals were doing...but not necessarily what they were thinking. My kids prefer books like Charlotte's Web, wher...more
Read aloud with the kids. Not one of our favorite books. Most of the story was sad, except for the ending. The friendship between the little red hen and the puppy was the only happy part of the story but wasn't enough to redeem the entire book. I think I'll wait a few more years to introduce the kids to the the harsh realities of life.
This was an different sort of book for us as it is told mostly from the animals' perspectives. It was interesting to look at things from each animal's point of view, how the dog knew the man was good, how the rooster felt about the chickens, how the little red hen felt about the other chickens and the man. Blake found the violence of the chickens a little disconcerting at first. The development of the relationships between the dog, the hen and the man and the way the three are able to communicat...more
Cheryl in CC NV
Sep 03, 2014 Cheryl in CC NV marked it as incompletely-investigated  ·  review of another edition
I wonder if this is at all like The Underneath.
B. thought it was a good story and she liked it.

I agree that the story itself was interesting and solid. My issue is with the writing style - very repetitive. Just the fact that he never gives anything (even some people) names means that you have to read "the little red hen" over and over instead of just a one word name. Add that to his penchant for repeating other phrases and it makes for a maddening read. Perhaps it is a lesson in staying present and calm and I failed because I couldn't help...more
There is a quiet poignancy almost obscured at times by the commonplace phrasing and attitude and the sometimes slightly bizarre elements of DeJong's writing. That this story, Hurry Home, Candy, and Wheel on the School still linger in my memory more as (good) feelings than plots is testament to this. I adore animals and grew up with chickens, so this story is in many ways dear, in its quiet-meandering, surprisingly moving way. The rubber foot sockets have always stayed, with slightly incredulous...more
A story about a little red hen who adopts and becomes adopted by a homeless black dog is, in execution, not nearly as twee as it sounds. The animals are portrayed as animals -- they don't talk or wear clothes or anything -- and farm life is depicted realistically, so much so that younger children might find some aspects of the story disturbing. At the same time older children might find it boring, as there are no wizards or vampires, just a quiet little story about friendship and determination.
This is a charming book. I liked the illustrations by Maurice Sendak and I'm a sucker for any book told from the perspective of an animal. I loved the dog, and even the chicken was endearing, and overall I found this book soothing. I have to say that this book doesn't have much of a plot, though, so I'm not sure how appealing it would be to twenty-first century kids really into action.
I loved the simplicity of the prose and the nobility of the story. Unlike most children's books with animal protagonists, the characterizations of the animals were completely believable. This realism (of sorts) makes for a bitter-sweet story that adults will probably appreciate more than children.
The children found it difficult to follow sometimes, maybe because I found the style of writing difficult to read aloud. They were always eager for the next chapter the next night, but sometimes it is difficult to tell if that is because it's a great book or because they'd rather not go to sleep.
I read this since I couldn't find the House of 60 Fathers. It was ok. Maybe a child would enjoy it but it seemed very basic, of course, little dialogue since the main characters are a dog and a chicken. Sweet ending and a sweet book really, just not very engaging, I guess.
Jun 04, 2009 Willow rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: children
This is a good book for younger kids (if they can stand the killing of roosters and mean chickens, lol). It was a pretty good book with a good story. In a way, it is like Charlotte's Web because the guy is talking to the animals the whole time.
The Christian Lucario
This story is different from most books centered around animals. It tells (in a sense) what the animals are thinking, but doesn't make them talk, which makes the book more realistic and engaging. It's a sure favorite for animal lovers like me!
This book was ok. It had a lot of emotions. It is about a dog who is thought of as a chicken hunter but really, the dog is sweet and wants to protect the chicken. As I said before, it wasn't my favorite, but maybe you should try it sometime!
I enjoy Meindert DeJong's writing style. This is a sweet story of an unlikely relationship that develops between an outcast red hen, a dog desperate to find a home, and a loving albeit misguided farmer who strives to better understand his animals.
Whitney Townsend
Memorable with astute observations about chicken behavior. Somehow the book had an odd feel to it as your reading, I think because of being told from the pov of the dog.
Heather Leipart
Great story, but it just went on and on and on and on. In the end, we were all happy, but I'm not sure it was one of the best picks for a Newberry Award.
As someone who has backyard chickens as well as a husband who talks to them, I loved this book! The opening chapter is especially fantastic.
Rebecca Dunahoo
Good book. A lonely dog and a lonely hen become friends and the dog protected the chicken.
I read this book years ago and loved it! It is such a sweet story and I absolutely loved the loyal dog. Good book.
Charming story of a misunderstood but good dog and a hen on a farm. Read aloud 6-10, read alone 8-11
I loved the pictures, I loved the story. I just love thinking about the dog, Old, Week and slow.
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Meindert De Jong(4 March 1906 – 16 July 1991) was an award-winning author of children's books. He was born in the village of Wierum, of the province of Friesland, in the Netherlands.

De Jong immigrated to the United States with his family in 1914. He attended Dutch Calvinist secondary schools and Calvin College, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and entered the University of Chicago, but left without grad...more
More about Meindert DeJong...
The Wheel on the School The House of Sixty Fathers Hurry Home, Candy Shadrach Journey from Peppermint Street

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