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When Molly Drew Dogs

2.86  ·  Rating details ·  35 ratings  ·  13 reviews
On the night before the first day of school, a pack of stray dogs moves into Molly’s head. They are friendly, but a bit wild. They scamper through her thoughts, yap at the door to her dreams, and scratch at her brain, begging to be let out. So Molly starts to draw them.

When Molly draws dogs, she feels better—but not everyone can see the value of her strange habit. Her
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 17th 2019 by Owlkids Books
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Literary Soirée
What a moving story about little Molly and her use of art to cope with anxiety, with such tender illustrations and text. The story is based on a Japanese fairy tale, The Boy Who Drew Cats, translated by Cincinnati journalist Lafcadio Hearn.

Molly begins to have visions of stray dogs the night before her first day of school. She begins to draw them compulsively to get them out of her head, and continues in class the next day, despite exhortations by her teacher and
La Coccinelle
Jun 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arc, children, netgalley
I've come across a few picture books like this, ones that encourage children to run away when they have strong feelings. Those were older, though, and I assumed that idea was a relic from another time. Apparently not. Here we have a story in which a young girl is unable to concentrate. She's obviously creative, but adults just want to make her conform. When she doesn't, they lose their patience. So she runs away and puts herself in a potentially dangerous situation.

I just can't recommend a book
Carla Johnson-Hicks
This is a picture book about young Molly who is dealing with a lot of anxiety. Her outlet is to draw, and draw she does. The wild dogs in her head are drawn everywhere. Just as there are many people who do not understand anxiety, everyone tries to get her to stop drawing her dogs. In a panic, she runs away and hides in a shed. She is found safely the next day by her teacher and instead of being admonished for drawing her dogs, she is encouraged to share her art.

I am not sure about this book. It
Alicia Bayer
Jun 22, 2019 rated it it was ok
I want to like this picture book but I just can't. It's about a young girl who can't stop drawing wild dogs, which annoys her family and teacher. Overwhelmed by her emotions, she runs away and ends up in a shed where she is cold, hungry and scared. She draws dogs with coats to keep her company and in the night she hears terrible howling. In the morning, her teacher finds her and is now a fan of dogs, since it turns out that robbers broke into the neighborhood in the night and were chased away by ...more
Ren HappilyBuriedInBooks
When Molly drew dogs, she was scolded by her teacher, ran away from school, got lost, and was missing overnight. Now, she’s back in class entertaining her teacher and classmates, seated on a rug, while she stands at the front of the room drawing dogs on the chalkboard.

It is significant to note that Deborah Kerbel’s book is a retelling of a Japanese fairy tale, but with problems of all sorts. Originally about a boy who draws cats, refitting the narrative to suit a girl who draws dogs isn’t
Dec 14, 2019 rated it it was ok
For fans of the Japanese tale, THE BOY WHO DREW CATS.

I was underwhelmed with this picture book unfortunately. It fell flat for me because the story wasn't cohesive enough imo and I was not a fan of the illustrations. The only thing I really liked was that Molly is a fan of dogs (as I am). That's....about it. *shrug*
Nov 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This book is an interesting combination of art and anxiety. In the story, Molly finds relief from her anxiety through drawing the "dogs" in her head. The book depicts others who don't understand what she's going through. This book could be used as a talking point for children who suffer with anxiety.
Jul 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Do you ever feel anxious? I’m sure you do as we all can experience anxiety in different ways throughout our lives. In When Molly Drew Dogs by Deborah Kerbel we meet Molly. One day some dogs moved into her head and she could not stop drawing them everywhere. Interestingly, the dogs moved in right before Molly was about to start school. At home, in school, with her tutor Mr. Russell, she had to draw dogs which made it really hard to concentrate and learn. One day when the grown ups reach the peak ...more
Mama Suzi Moses
Nov 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Warning: contains a lot of ideas that may be scary or produce anxiety in some kids. Read it first before sharing!


Beautiful and affecting story about a child who becomes obsessed with drawing dogs to the point where it interferes with her life and schoolwork and concerns her family and teachers. When confronted about it she runs away and hides. She becomes frightened and draws more dogs to self-comfort. She hides overnight and is found the next morning. Some magical realism at the end.
Sep 14, 2019 rated it liked it
Topics of anxiety and emotions were focused on in this book. The style of artwork in the book and the topics discussed indicate that this book is meant for an older child who can relate to the content. It was an unusual story that some parents may like for their children, but I don't think that I will share it with my children when they get older.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine.
Jul 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
I had in mind a retelling of The Boy Who Drew Dogs, but it wasn't. Too much of the story is missing! I'm not exactly sure what was so wrong with the girl that her parents, teachers, etc, were so put off by her. No explanation is ever given. Her dogs come to life and chase off buglers and now all is well??? Nope. Doesn't work for me. Sorry. I'll give it 2 stars as I enjoyed the artwork.
I received a Kindle arc from Netgalley in exchange for a fair review.
Olga Barnes
Jul 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
A rather unusual book! The character in this book does not conform to what one would call "typical" behavior. She does not seem to want to - she is pretty happy with her imaginary dogs. Nor would she be able to if she tried. The book teaches us about the importance of empathy, understanding, acceptance and mental health.
Engel Dreizehn
Arc Copy...I would review as a good insight into mental conditions and how the power of art channel it into something good if taken with a good enlightenment + understanding.
Ms. Chambers
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Sep 29, 2019
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Deborah Kerbel was born in London, England, but grew up in Toronto, Canada.
A finalist for the 2012 Governor General's Literary Award, the 2010 Canadian Library Association YA Book of the Year Award, 2019 Blue Spruce Award Honour Book, and winner of the 2020 IODE Jean Throop Book Award, Deborah is the author of ten books for young readers of all ages.
Currently, Deborah lives and writes in