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Meet the Dogs of Bedlam Farm

4.17  ·  Rating Details  ·  385 Ratings  ·  86 Reviews
Welcome to Bedlam Farm! Meet Rose, Izzy, Frieda, and Lenore, four dogs that work hard on the farm doing various jobs. They're good friends now, but it wasn't always this way. Just as each dog has a different role on the farm, each has a unique story.

Filled with his captivating photographs, bestselling author Jon Katz's heartwarming account of his dogs' lives on Bedlam Farm
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published April 26th 2011 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
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Community Reviews

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My library was renovated recently and they created a big display for kids books right by the checkout. I keep finding myself picking up books intended for young kids because I'm interested in the subjects, first it was archeology and Native Anericans, then musicians, and of course no one will be surprised that I couldn't resist the book about dogs. But this one is really special. It turns out that Jon Katz is a prolific author of fiction and nonfiction books for adults, including several books a ...more
Jun 03, 2011 Tasha rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
This is the very engaging story of the four dogs who live with the author at Bedlam Farm. Each of the dogs has a particular job that they do and do well. All except for Lenore, she doesn’t have a clear job to do. Rose, a border collie, helps out with farm chores like herding sheep. Izzy is also a border collie, and his job is to visit people who are sick as a therapy dog. Frieda, part rottweiler and par German shepherd, guards the farm, even chasing the farm cats up trees. But what does Lenore d ...more
May 24, 2011 Debra rated it really liked it
Having "met" Jon Katz's dogs through his adult books, this introduction to four of the Bedlam Farm dogs was a definite must-read for me.

In structure this is a picture book designed for reading aloud to children. Primary grade kids may be able to read it on their own, but there are almost surely unfamiliar difficult words (rottweiler, for example.)

Jon introduces the dogs, describes the job they do on the farm, including sheep herding, therapy dog, guard dog....and just what is Lenore's job anywa
Nov 09, 2013 Michele rated it really liked it
This book describes the four dogs that live on the author's farm. Three of the four dogs are "working" dogs and have jobs like sheepdog or guard dog. One of them is a goofy, loveable dog who on the surface has no real job. The author shows how her job is perhaps the most important job of all--playing and loving the other dogs and making them into a family. This book has excellent photographs (which the kids love) and a nice theme about the importance of the role of the family teacher and care-gi ...more
Nov 04, 2011 Betsy rated it it was amazing
I heard this book read by Katie Wood Ray at a writing conference this summer. I thought it was pretty good and ordered it for my library. I read it to my 4 year old daughter today, and we decided it was AWESOME! We love all of the dogs on the farm and respect the jobs that they do, but like Lenore the best and think that her job is probably the most important. Reading this book prompted us to talk about our dogs' "jobs." We'll probably be pondering that concept for years to come. No matter, thou ...more
Jun 24, 2011 Shannon rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
Looking at some of the recent books joining this one on the NYT bestseller list, THIS is what several similar books (Charlie the Ranch Dog, Einstein: The World's Smallest Stallion) should have aspired for.

Katz's photographs are vibrant and great, and he does an excellent job of explaining the dogs' jobs as well as their pasts. The narrative structure makes sense, and this is the first "I wrote bestselling books and then I wrote a picture book" I've read in a long time where I actually want to r
Nadine Jones
Jul 25, 2011 Nadine Jones rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s
This is the first book I ever read by Mr Katz, so I don't know if it's as good or worse or better if you've read some others first. We REALLY enjoyed this. It is just quietly wonderful. Nothing huge happens. You are introduced to each dog and learn what their special role is on the farm. Kids love it when each character has a special role, and they love picking their favorite dog (how can you pick just one????). I expected this to be nice, but it kind of snuck up on me and ended up being wonderf ...more
Feb 25, 2014 Jess rated it really liked it
Recommended to Jess by: Monarch
A kid's NF book about four dogs and the jobs they do on a real farm? Sounds like fun. And it is!

Here's the one problem: the text is waaaaay too repetitive. Over and over we're asked "but what is Lenore's job?" "_____ dog does this. ____ dog does that. Lenore doesn't have a job."

Cut it out. All of it and most of the words in the bottom corners that belabors the point. Kids get it. Lenore's takes care of dogs and people, teaching them to be happy and part of the family. There's no need to beat us
Aug 06, 2013 Dianneb rated it really liked it
loved this book! Gave it to my grand nephew for his birthday -- read it before I gave it to him! He read the book over and over and over and over!!!
May 19, 2014 Lesley rated it it was amazing
my daughter and i read this ! we loved it. shows how each dog has a role on a farm. great pictures of these working dogs!
Sep 16, 2014 M. rated it really liked it
Jon Katz lives on a farm in Upstate New York with his wife, their 4 dogs, and an assortment of other animals. This is the story of their dogs.

Izzy, Rose, Frieda, and Lenore each have a very different story as to how s/he got to Bedlam Farm and each has a different job to contribute to the farm. Izzy is a therapy dog who helps sick people to feel better. Rose herds sheep. Frieda is a guard dog. And Lenore...Lenore works to make the others happy and compatible. Each job is different and each job
Edward Sullivan
Jun 07, 2011 Edward Sullivan rated it really liked it
In a word, ADORABLE!
Mrs. Wynn
Jan 23, 2014 Mrs. Wynn rated it really liked it
Very nice photography highlights this short tale of the four dogs who live on a New York farm with author Jon Katz. I've been reading it with kindergarten through third grade as it is an Illinois children's choice nominee (Monarch Award) for 2014.

A great way to use this book would be to introduce a writing activity about a few of the students' family members or friends. Katz compares and contrasts the dogs and lists some of their attributes. I think the students would really enjoy writing a book
Jan 30, 2015 Ashley rated it it was amazing
Dog loving families would love this sweet story about the pack of dogs that have come to live on the author's farm. Each dog's story of what kind of dog he is and how he came to the farm is similar to any rescue dog but the author does the service of acknowledging each dog's job there at Bedlam farm too. A joy for children and adults alike!
Mar 30, 2014 Naomi rated it really liked it
I loved this book that showed different dogs jobs on a working farm. It not only gave personalities to the dogs, but showed that everyone works on a working farm. It also showed how the breed of dog affected their job.

I think the kids would enjoy it. It was shown in photographs.
Jun 24, 2011 Beth rated it it was amazing
Great photos, and an amazingly well-written story that introduces each dog, one at a time, and their dog-jobs. But the author asks, three times, "what's Lenore's job?". Lenore, the friendly, silly, stinky black lab, shows up in each of the other's dogs stories, but not until the end does the author tie all her actions together into a "job". Lenore's job is to be friends with the other dogs and make then a family (or to put it in a less heart-warming way, she's their canine-to-canine therapist). ...more
Feb 28, 2015 Jo rated it it was amazing
Not gonna lie, I teared up reading this one. I'm such a sucker for dog books, especially those that involve border collies and rescue dogs.
Tracy Holland
Jan 23, 2016 Tracy Holland rated it liked it
Picture book about four very different dogs becoming friends at a farm in New York.
J 636.7 KAT 4 different dogs and their jobs on a farm.
Feb 04, 2012 Laura rated it really liked it
I purchased this title for my elementary school collection based on the SLJ review and I'm glad I did. My dog loving students are going to eat this one right up. Pair it with Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine & a Miracle to emphasize that dogs, and people, deserve respect, fair treatment, patience, and love.

Recommended for elementary collections, especially kids in rural setting with working dogs.
Oct 28, 2011 Alesha rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids
I immediately fell in love with the dogs and so did about 250+ K-2 students the elementary school where I work as a media specialist. I read it to 12 different classes and each class gave a collective "awe" when they saw a picture of Lenore (the black Labrador retreiver) as a puppy.

There were so many different subjects that I could talk about wih the children after reading this story, farm life, working dogs, service dogs, pet care, the importance of friendship, etc. After 13 reads this week, I
May 10, 2013 Kelsey rated it it was amazing
Age: Preschool-2nd grade
Animals: pet dogs, working dogs

An array of fun action shots, cute profile snapshots, and panorama scenes, Katz gets the big bone for this one. Not only are the photographs "awww" inspiring and plentiful, but the story line is masterfully set-up. Throughout the book, we meet each dog and their responsibilities on the farm as they align with their personalities. But what is Lenore's job? A must-read for any pet owner or anyone that has a heart.
Apr 28, 2011 Peacegal rated it really liked it
Dog lovers young and old will enjoy this photo-heavy look at the daily lives of the author’s four dogs. From guarding the farmyard animals to working as a therapy animal in nursing homes, each dog has a special job to do. For working breeds like Katz’s pack, each day is no doubt a joyful experience.

Even better, we learn that two of the dogs have been rescued—the Border collie from a neglectful owner, the shepherd mix from life as a hungry stray.
Apr 24, 2013 Jenn rated it liked it
I think I'm missing the gene that is inherent in most humans that makes me like something just cuz it's cute and fluffy. I mean, I don't have a problem with animals, but as I read this book, all I could think is 'what kid would actually sit still for the complete reading of this?' (I may be wrong here...I'm basing this on my attention span and those of the kids I do storytime with).

The photographs are pretty spectacular.
May 18, 2014 Mary rated it it was ok
probably should not be read on a kindle. unanable to appreciate. photos and text.
Apr 04, 2013 H rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014-monarch
Loved this book by Jon Katz about the four dogs on his farm, and the different roles they fulfill. Dog and animal lovers from grades K-3 (and even higher) will love this book. The internal story of "What is Lenore's job" would spark great discussion for class meetings and Social Emotional Learning for older kids when you are talking about the roles different people play in groups.
Mar 22, 2012 Barbara rated it it was amazing
I have read all of Katz's books and was thrilled to see a children's book about the dogs of Bedlam Farm. The photos are so beautiful and depict the spirits, wonders, and love that these dogs, as all dogs, are. Teaching our children to respect and appreciate dogs is vital, and Katz does it beautifully and simplistically in his first children's book, of which I hope he does write more.
Jun 12, 2011 Sfdreams rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
This is basically a children's picture book, and took me all of 3 minutes to read. But I enjoyed the pictures of the dogs I've read about in Jon's earlier books. And I REALLY liked the message of the book, which I won't divulge, for fear of spoilers.

Rich in lovely, color photographs of Bedlam farm. Great for young children, who don't handle/read-alone their own books.
Aug 09, 2011 Dolly rated it liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a sweet tale about the various jobs and personalities of four dogs who live on the author's farm. The narrative is short, factual and interesting and the photographs are fun. Anyone who loves dogs will enjoy this tale of four adorable and loyal canine pals. I am not familiar with any of the author's other books, but I might just have to check them out.
Helen Prichett
Dec 09, 2011 Helen Prichett rated it it was amazing
A great example of teamwork. This book shows how each dog has a different job/personality/disposition and how that all comes together to make a successful team. For those of us, who are task oriented and mission driven, it is helpful to pause and think about sweet Lenore and her ability to be loving, accepting, and patient. A good lesson and goal for all!
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Jon Katz is an author, photographer, and children's book writer. He lives on Bedlam Farm with his wife, the artist Maria Wulf, his four dogs, Rose, Izzy, Lenore and Frieda, two donkeys, Lulu and Fanny, and two barn cats. His next book, "Rose In A Storm" will be published by Random House on October 5.
He is working on a collection of short stories and a book on animal grieving.
More about Jon Katz...

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