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4.23  ·  Rating details ·  1,465 ratings  ·  206 reviews
Dominic is a talented dog, and when he encounters the notorious Doomsday Gang up to their old tricks, it becomes obvious they have met their match!

An ALA Notable Book
Paperback, 146 pages
Published August 1st 1984 by Farrar Straus Giroux (first published 1972)
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Average rating 4.23  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,465 ratings  ·  206 reviews

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My kids have been raised on a steady diet of William Steig; books like Sylvester and the Magic Pebble and Brave Irene have been a regular part of their childhoods.

And, naturally, most of us have been at least a little influenced by Shrek (also Steig's creation).

But, my family didn't know Dominic until I picked it up last month at a library sale.

Dominic is a chapter book for older kids (and apparently their mothers, because I was fully involved in the story and crying by page 33).

Sigh. I miss the
May 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Maybe every five years or so I have flashed back on some book I read when I was a kid which I think I only read once, and the details aren't clear. I just remember it being a melancholy - or straight-up sad even - book about a dog. He had a strange name and carried a bindle stick. Couldn't remember what the book was or anything more than that, though.

A week or two ago I thought, "Man, I should just use AskMetaFilter because this is the kind of thing at which it excels" and so I did and so the na
Aug 05, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can't remember a time when this book wasn't on my shelves. Not sure how old I was when I actually read it for the first time, maybe eight. I thought that this tale of a noble joyous dog on a journey who has adventures involving being kind to strangers while routing a group of baddies (the Doomsday gang) was just great and I reread it lots. It was, consequently, one of the first books I tried reading aloud to my older son who was four at the time, and it was a failure. I was shocked to find it ...more
Dec 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
Like the great Robert Lawson, William Steig impacted children's literature as much by his novels as by his picture books. Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, Shrek!, Doctor De Soto, and Amos & Boris are only a few of his picture books that touched generations of readers; Abel's Island, The Real Thief, and Dominic were novels that had similar effect. What other children's author surpasses William Steig's advanced vocabulary and treatment of serious themes, trusting that his young readers are capable ...more
May 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I think I read this as a kid, or it was read to me. It seemed vaguely familiar. This is a great children's book, and it does the thing that I think all children's literature should do. It doesn't treat kids like they are stupid, it talks to them as if they were adults and can handle things like life and death, and it uses words and sentence structures that are challenging. A kid reading this book would have to think about sentences and figure out some words from their contexts. I love that the a ...more
Nov 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is simply one of the finest books I've ever read. No joke! It was written by the great William Steig of "Sylvester and the Magic Pebble" fame, but there was no way that brilliant picture book could prepare me for the majesty of Dominic. Basically, it's about a dog who leaves his home to go out and seek his fortune in the world. He is a benevolent soul and meets all kinds of other unique animals that add to Dominic's story like the layers of a classic oil painting. They add rich colors to hi ...more
Apr 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Interesting book. A dog named Dominic (spelled wrong, but you still might see why this book appealed to me) decides he needs adventure so sets out to explore the world. He has a series of loosely-linked adventures, including several encounters with the Doomsday Gang, a band of ruffians he ultimately manages to defeat, when all of nature turns against them. He has several amusing encounters with odd animals, finds treasure, generally proves himself the best of all possible dogs, plays the piccolo ...more
Jun 29, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
This was recommended reading for a PTA Children's Classic Book Group List I used to lead when my kids were in elementary school. Most the books on the list were a bit depressing. I don't know why adults write depressing books for kids. Also I don't know why they recommend them for Newberry Awards. This is one of the few books the kids voted as one of their favorites year after year. It's a delightful fun book inducing wonderful topics of discussion. I loved it too. Our discussions were always li ...more
Jennifer Newsom
Sep 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was one of the first chapter books I read, and I fell in love with it. Dominic was my role model; he was noble, brave, kind, and polite. I looked up to him as if he was real, and wanted to have adventures like his.

I re-discovered this book my twenties at a used book store and read it again, fearing that time would change my perceptions for the worst. I found that as an adult, this story was just as exciting and vivid as it was when I was young. It was like meeting a friend I had lost touch
Mar 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
I picked up this book because of John Green (sort of). He posed a question on Facebook and Twitter: what is the most underrated book you have read? Author Jonathan Auxier mentioned this book; I had never heard of it.

It's very interesting to read a children's book written over 45 years ago; just seeing how language has changed is fascinating. How many books today would use 'reconnoitered'? I found myself looking up many of the words; are books today "dumbed down?" Dominic's desire for adventure,
Second read, September 2019.

What a beautiful, wise, fierce, life-loving book! An undiscovered classic. Like the Pooh books, there's an astonishing amount of wisdom here.
Concerning the times and travels of a canine gentleman adventurer and transcendentalist. Delightful.

There is some challenging vocabulary here, but it’s a great book for 4th to 5th grade readers--and even advanced 3rd graders. Would be an excellent prelude to the Narnia books.
Tyler McGaughey
Jun 20, 2007 rated it it was amazing
This is an absolutely wonderful book, a picaresque story for kids that somehow maintains a tone of transcendentalist wonder most would consider beyond the grasp of young readers. Every individual episode is a small, self-contained gem that adds up to a great journey. The conclusion to this book is stunning for both its lushness and pitch-perfect ambiguity. Magic from beginning to end.
Mar 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wise dog in a contemplative story. Dominic sets off for an adventure, and his friendly encounters with each new animal he meets are intertwined with his escalating confrontations with the Doomsday Gang villains. What is notable is the philosophical approach Dominic takes to life, expressed in such eloquent, simple language. He lives in the moment, appreciating each small, new thing while musing on the larger mysteries of life.

Dominic is a fascinating character -- a fearless hero who is rather
Laura (Book Scrounger)
This was an enjoyable tale of an anthropomorphized dog who sets off on a quest to see the world, or at least as much of it as he can get to. He meets several eccentric characters (all different kinds of animals) along the way, makes some friends, and does battle with the Doomsday Gang. There are quite a few illustrations throughout, which is nice for kids.
Apr 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Steig's philosophy of life - "take the road to the left, the road to adventure." And then give it everything you've got: "Oh life! I am yours. Whatever you ask of me, I will give it."
A gem.
And it stands up to a re-read - still a profound and brilliant piece of writing.
Sewfii Cameron
Dec 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is a masterpiece. Everyone should read Dominic.
Mar 02, 2021 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book ,the characters are amazing. I love their personality's.

Mar 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
One of my all time favorite s from childhood.
Diana Welsch
Jul 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This was one of my favorites when I was in 5th grade and I'd like to read it again. I remember having dreams about it.

10/31/2018: I read it again.
I read this in grade school and it moved me deeply. It was a book that made me feel like I'd lived a thousand lifetimes. As an adult, I have dreams like that sometimes. I'm not a spiritual person, but the dreams are deeply spiritual, in which I experience having all human knowledge and being utterly at peace.

This book was a similar "lite" approximation
Feb 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Dom and I read this book simultaneously. I knew it was a bit more difficult so I wanted to make sure I could answer any questions he had. He enjoyed 'racing' me. And despite the harder vocabularly, he comprehended the book quite well. It is a nice story about a dog and his adventures through a wood plagued by a group of hooligans known as The Doomsday Gang. I'm trying to get Dom to start introducing himself to people with this line from the book:

'With you in the world, the world is a better plac
Feb 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is a great read-aloud book. It's a bit dated in its themes if you're sensitive to episodes involving sword-fighting and traditional gender roles, but those issues aren't glaring. What I love that Steig doesn't simplify his prose for children; there are big words throughout. It has charming pencil sketches too that, at this point, make a read-aloud, chapter book more appealing to my 5-year-old. But she was swept up in the story regardless. I loved it. ...more
Sep 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Dominic is my hero. If only I could be as thoughtful, adventurous, generous, brave, and happy-go-lucky as he is.

Dominic heads out one day, out of the blue, deciding to seek an adventure. He befriends all kinds of interesting characters along the way. Steig writes in a wonderful, descriptive, straightforward manner. A charming little book.
Jun 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-reader
If only we all had as much confidence (and spare time) as Dominic the dog! Meandering along, head first into whatever situation presents itself, always coming out on top. There is a hint of humility, but he does wonder about 3/4 way through the book how anyone got along without him? A sweet little children's book. ...more
Noah Sebastian
Apr 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I think William Steig is the first grader version of Bill Peet, great stories about animals having life lessons, coming of age (first grade age) stories, learning about and respecting others, all while having an adventure that most first graders would have.

Apr 12, 2011 rated it did not like it
I read this with the boys for their school book club. I did NOT enjoy it. A bit much for 8 year olds IMHO.
Nevada Libert
Mar 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
this is a good book, it is full of passion and bravery and adventure. i like the kindness in this story, and how thoughtfull the people were.

and dominic was my favorit actor.
Meredith Henning
Sep 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
We Loved this book by William Steig!!
Apr 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Ppl r complaining about this being 2 hard for little kids to understand but I read it when I was like 8 so maybe the problem is U
May Selby
Jul 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Remy loved this book about Dominic and his adventures, and did not like the evil Doomsday Gang.
Oct 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-to-the-kids
Do you like kind and overly confident dogs that win at everything? This book's for you! Dominic goes out into the world to find what is out there. He isn't afraid, but determined. He doesn't pout or dissolve into self-pity. He takes each experience, the bad, the dangerous and the good as chances to prove himself and help others. The message is one that I wish were touted more: there is much to be enjoyed in this world, but you can't sit back and enjoy the good things of life very well unless you ...more
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Play Book Tag: Dominic, by William Steig - 5 stars 1 10 Oct 31, 2018 03:57PM  
Fantasy Fiction 1 4 Dec 02, 2013 11:30AM  

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William Steig was born in New York City in 1907. In a family where every member was involved in the arts, it was not surprising that Steig became an artist.

He published his first children's book, Roland the Minstrel Pig, in 1968, embarking on a new and very different career.

Steig's books reflect his conviction that children want the security of a devoted family and friends. When Sylvester, Farmer

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  Kerine Wint is a software engineering graduate with more love for books than for computers. As an avid reader, writer, and fan of all things...
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