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A Dog So Small

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  385 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
Philippa Pearce’s poignant story of a young boy who longs for a pet dog.

Young Ben Blewitt is desperate for a dog. He’s picked out the biggest and best dogs from the books in the library—and he just knows he’s going to get one for his birthday. Ben is excited when the big day arrives, but he receives a picture of a dog instead of a real one! But the imagination can be a pow
Published August 29th 2000 by Puffin (first published 1962)
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Oct 28, 2014 rated it it was ok
My first comment on "A Dog So Small" is that I am surprised it has gotten such positive reviews on here. Whilst others found this book to be charming and/or heartbreaking I found it to be aimless and meandering and I found the protagonist to be selfish, obsessive and a terrible role model to the children who this book is aimed at.

The book tells the story of dog-obsessed Ben Blewitt who believes he is owed a dog simply because his grandfather half-promises him one. When this wish does not come to
Clare O'Beara
This is a great book for young people, about Ben who lives in London. Ben would love a dog - a big dog, like a Borzoi, say. But there is no room. His family has no garden. So he decides maybe the only way is to have a dog so small you can only see it with your eyes shut.
Meanwhile his gran shows him a picture of a Chihuahua dog so he imagines this dog - Chiqitita - is following him around London. Poor, lonely Ben, with no friends, takes to riding the Tube all day, walking the streets, alone but f
LH Johnson
Oct 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
A slim, tight story that gives so much more than it suggests, A Dog So Small always feels rather Tardis like to me. I have written before on the thick, luscious stylistics of Pearce's writing; the summer heat of Minnow on The Say and the charming, charming grace of her style is something that I will always come to. She is one of those writers who is both vividly British to me and deeply evocative in how she captures that endless space of potential that is the Summer holidays in the countryside. ...more
Sep 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
I recall now I did in fact read this book several years ago. Seeing the title clearly brought back memories of a beautiful little book. I read this of course as an adult and feel perhaps many lovely poignant stories such as this are wasted to a degree on the young. There is nothing wrong with cultivating and protecting the child within you, in fact I recommend it.
Vonnie Skaggs
Jul 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I can't help but quote Elaine Moss, the editor who wrote the afterward in my Puffin publication of this lovely book. She gave the manuscript of this book to a nine-year-old boy named Charlie to read, after he finished reading it he said, "I loved the story, but I'm not sure if I'll tell my friends, because I don't want to have to talk about it with anyone."
This is exactly how I felt. This was one of the most private stories I've ever read. Philippa Pearce gives us, the readers, this rare privile
Feb 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I remember this book very clearly from my childhood. I read it once and the story stuck with me, I tried for many years to find another copy of the book so that I could read it again but to no avail.

The other day I found it. The story remains captivating and charming even to an adult. The characters are well drawn - all flawed, some unpleasant but all doing their best to care for their family members.

The book teaches important lessons about acceptance and love without ever preaching and the stor
Louise (A Strong Belief in Wicker)
I wanted to like this book, indeed I expected to like this book. Ben is a young boy living in London who longs for a dog. But his family live in rather cramped conditions already and there's no easy solution. I didn't take to this book especially, although some parts were sweet. I was left incensed by the ending!

Dec 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
it was good book
Oct 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes this Genre
This book was just AMAZING, It was so heartbraking to finish it.
Marion Husband
Aug 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
We read this as a class when I was about 10....I have never forgotten it, just a lovely book
Christina Reid
May 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this and picked it up in my local library with every expectation that I would. I love Tom's Midnight Garden, rereading it regularly as a child, but this book just didn't capture that same magic.
I could really relate with Ben wanting a dog as I spent the first 12 years of my life in the same position ( finally succeeded when I persuaded my dad to go and look at a rescue pup being rehomed -love at first sight! The look on my mum's face when we got home said that the joint
Nov 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Ben wants a dog, he has lived and dreamed of one for his birthday so long from his grandparents but instead he gets a picture of a dog so in desperation and disappointment he conjures an imaginary dog named Chiquitito until it becomes his consuming obsession, seeing this dog everywhere.
Suddenly one day his dream might be within his grasp but when you have your heart's desire is it always truly what we want? If it isn't how do we learn to live with it?
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Jul 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Ben wants a dog. Sadly, Ben can’t have a dog. Ben and his family live in London and London is no place for dogs.

Then Ben’s grandpa promises to get him a dog for his birthday.

You will never read a more realistic book about wanting, not getting, wanting some more, getting, not wanting, and, then, finally, wanting.
Debbie Gascoyne
When I was a child, I longed for a dog of my own. Not the family dog, but _my_ dog, who would follow me around and sleep on my bed and pull me out of a river if I fell in. This book achingly captures that longing.
Caryn Snook
Mar 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I remember reading the as a child, and again in my teens, and then again as a young adult - I just explained the storyline to my partner some 20 years later and it still bought a tear to my eye ... it is such a lovely book
Kate B
Mar 06, 2015 rated it liked it
I don't suppose George Bernard Shaw ever got round to reading 'A Dog So Small' (being dead at the time it was first published is a reasonable excuse) but if he had, he'd have said, "There are two tragedies in life. One is not to get your heart's desire. The other is to get it."
Jul 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wallowed in childhood nostalgia as I re-read this. I loved it just as much as when I read it as a child - and it still has the power to make me cry. An absolutely beautiful book with a powerful story about a child's imagination, longing, and disappointment.
May 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This was my favourite Puffin book. While I read it decades ago while at school (the cover was different then), I still remember it vividly. I am glad that Ben finally got a real puppy as his best friend.
Feb 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Beautifully written and with a storyline to match. Ben Blewitt has always wanted a dog so you can imagine his disappointment when he is given not a real dog but a picture of a dog. Then strange things start to happen ...
Colin Fisher
May 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Read and reread as a child and never fully understood. Read as an adult and swept away by its simple message of 'Be careful of what you wish for.'
Sep 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
Read this as a child, and loved it then. I can't think of another book that does a better job with the theme of 'wanting what you can't have'.
Feb 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Fantastic book - excellently well written.... well worth reading, however old you are!
Izumi Nishi
Mar 20, 2014 added it
Shelves: nishi
Worth reading.
Mar 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s
Read this yonks ago at junior school (Mrs Linklater got us reading all sorts of brilliant things) and this is a recent charity-shop purchase.
Feb 18, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: kids
At first I was not this about a boy with a mental problem? what would kids reading this think? But the ending made it all okay.
May 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
a good about an ambitious boy who wants a dog more than anything in the world.
Apr 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
I quite liked this little book. Being from Australia, this book seems like everything I imagine England to be. I also loved this book as a commentary on its time - a time when families were large in small homes, and many families could only focus on the essentials; a simpler time when families window-shopped together and we didn't worry about our children being outside alone, wandering around till their hunger screamed "enough already". Very nostalgic.
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Philippa Pearce OBE was an English author of children's books. Her most famous work is the time slip fantasy novel Tom's Midnight Garden, which won the 1958 Carnegie Medal from the Library Association, as the year's outstanding children's book by a British subject. Pearce was four further times a commended runner-up for the Medal.

Pearce wrote over 30 books, including A Dog So Small (1962), Mi