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Along Came a Dog

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  723 Ratings  ·  65 Reviews
The friendship of a little red hen and a homeless dog who appoints himself her protector ‘is treated by the author with delicacy and strength in lovely and lucid prose.’ —C."A moving story, full of suspense." —H.
Paperback, 192 pages
Published September 24th 1959 by HarperTrophy (first published January 1st 1958)
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Feb 02, 2013 Cherie rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 10, 2012 Qt rated it it was amazing
Shelves: animals
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
Jan 27, 2013 Becky Hirtzel rated it really liked it
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!
Austin Phadoungsyavong
I feel sad about that dog along for need play or something but this not real story because dog is doing did around in farm or watch that I through smart or helper dog and they care about his dog when they just farmer and worry about his dog or animal.
Kate Willis
Nov 11, 2016 Kate Willis rated it it was amazing
We love it! The dog was our favorite character, and it was fun how the man talked to animals. The last chapter was the best! It was sad when the red hen was missing, but it was funny and sweet that he (view spoiler).
Apr 11, 2014 QNPoohBear rated it it was ok
Shelves: middle-grades

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
May 24, 2015 Katrina rated it really liked it
This is a lovely story about a lonely dog, a brave little red hen, and a hired man trying to build out his own farm. It's more than that, though. It's a sharp, smart tale about disability and damaging assumptions. The hen loses all her toes to frostbite and should have been mercy-killed and eaten on the spot. How can a little bird survive when she can't scratch in the mud for worms or defend herself against the constantly battling hens, who attack her for being different? She not only survives - ...more
Mar 28, 2013 Tara rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 26, 2014 Michele rated it did not like it
Although written by a Newbery Medal winner, Along Came a Dog is one of the oddest children's books I've ever read. Maybe it's a book of its time -- 1958; I doubt if it would be published today. The author's name and his cryptic syntax made me wonder if the book was written in another language and translated into English. A European sensibility might also account for some of the story's harsher aspects. If the Brothers Grimm wrote a fairy tale set in a barnyard, it might resemble Along Came a ...more
Zach Aycock
Jul 25, 2016 Zach Aycock rated it it was amazing
This is my favorite children's' novel, hands down. Yes, I'm a "dog person", so I'm a little biased. But let me justify the five stars. I recently read through this for the third time and it's just as enjoyable as when I picked it up in the second grade. There's nothing wrong with a fantasy novel, but DeJong's realistic take on animal kindness is a refreshing break from all the talking animal stories out there. It's a well-written and moving story that manages to be a laid back read, but still ...more
Feb 05, 2015 Luann rated it really liked it
I really liked The Wheel on the School by Meindert DeJong, but I didn't expect to like this one as much. It's just about a dog and some chickens! But DeJong kept me fascinated with this story. I couldn't wait to find out what was going to happen with the dog and the little red hen.

I've read some reviews complaining about the violence, but the rooster and chickens in the story acted pretty much just like all the roosters and chickens I've ever seen. My family nearly always had chickens while I w
Jun 26, 2013 Savanna rated it it was ok
Shelves: kid-lit, awards, 19-50
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
Sherry Elmer
Splendid! (As the man would say).

I loved the little red hen, I loved the man, and I loved the splendid, noble dog who needed a home and chose one for himself. It is obvious the author spent plenty of time with chickens and with dogs--his descriptions are perfect. As someone who has seen many of these same poultry antics, the book made me laugh out loud in some places. It also made me a little fearful in places where I could see something unpleasant about to happen. This isn't Disney--it's a sto
Apr 29, 2010 Laura rated it liked it
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, ...more
Jan 01, 2015 Del rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This has been my favorite book for many years. A wonderful story about an amazing animal bond.

Although these are very rare, animal bonds are amazing and real. Giraffes and goats, dogs and sheep--

They act like friends, and some even love each other.

I love Along Came a Dog, which is about a misfit among misfits--a little red hen among white chickens.

She is always picked on until a big black dog (probably a Retriever mix by the way I imagine him) comes along and protects her.

But the owner of the fa
Feb 21, 2014 Judy rated it really liked it
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
Nov 04, 2014 Amber rated it liked it
Shelves: sy10-11, sy14-15
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 ...more
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
Monica Fastenau
Feb 02, 2016 Monica Fastenau rated it liked it
Read the full review here:

This book is by Meindert Dejong, a guy who I’ve had limited success reading in the past. This is partly because his books are old, and they read that way–the stories are old-fashioned and slow, and usually not much happens. Another strike against Dejong is that he tends to write animal books, something I have a hard time liking. But this one wasn’t too bad. I enjoyed the story of the little red hen, the big dog, and the man who w
Apr 11, 2011 Miranda rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 20, 2015 Hope rated it liked it
Although at times this book had me grimacing from the raw, honest, look at life on the farm, I simply could not put it down. It is splendidly written. DeJong is a masterful storyteller and his tales and characters are real and lovable through and through. This story of a little red hen without any feet and a loyal homeless dog is simply perfect. I'd have given it more stars but some of the scenes in the book were personally hard to stomach, although I know they are simply an honest account of ...more
Oct 01, 2011 Rachel rated it really liked it
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.
Emma Filbrun
Oct 01, 2015 Emma Filbrun rated it it was amazing
I had to wonder, before I started reading Along Came a Dog with my boys, if they would enjoy it or if they would think it was too boring. There isn’t a very strong plot to it, but it is a delightful story. As it turned out, however, they all loved it. I am guessing that is because they could relate so well to the subject, since we have always lived on a farm and had chickens.

Read my full review here.

Thomas Bell
Jun 07, 2016 Thomas Bell rated it liked it
Shelves: newbery-honors
This is a really cute book. The characters are, for the most part, nameless. 'The man' does have a name, Joe, but it is rarely used and there is little dialog. This book is mostly read as an observation.

Anyway, a chicken loses her toes and places herself under the care of a stray dog who is looking for a home. He feels that he is taken in and given a job by the chicken, and since he wanted a home and a job he takes it gladly. The man is kind, but he doesn't know that the dog is good. The whole s
Lori Davidson
Apr 30, 2016 Lori Davidson rated it it was amazing
This was my second time reading this book aloud to my kids. The sentence structure can sometimes be simplistic and, therefore, clunky as a read-aloud. However, kids don't seem to notice it. They just love the story. There are funny parts and parts that lend themselves well to further research about farm life or natural phenomena, and of course, there are heartwarming parts, complete with a happy ending. Perfect, especially, for the 6-9 year-old range.
Apr 16, 2014 Ginger rated it it was ok
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.
Jan 23, 2010 Asho rated it liked it
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.
Jun 26, 2009 Rachel rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens, animals
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.
Dec 08, 2010 Karen rated it liked it
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.
Sep 23, 2015 Kellie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a gem. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it, despite a bit of a slow start. A Newbery Award winner in 1959, and after reading it, I can understand why. Some of the syntax was a little weird for me, but aside from that it's a very sweet story about a smart, determined dog and a bossy little toeless red hen. If you enjoy animal stories, please seek this one out.
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Meindert De Jong 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 graduating.

He held various jobs d
More about Meindert DeJong...

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