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Mister Dog: The Dog Who Belonged to Himself

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  1,054 ratings  ·  81 reviews
Once upon a time there was a funny dog named Crispin’s Crispian. He was named Crispin’s Crispian because he belonged to himself.So begins the story of a dog who runs bang into a little boy, who also belongs to himself. This quirky, breathtakingly illustrated story is one of Margaret Wise Brown’s best.
Hardcover, 24 pages
Published May 13th 2003 by Golden Books (first published May 13th 1952)
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Danette Garth Williams is the illustrator
Garth Williams is the illustrator

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Average rating 4.13  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,054 ratings  ·  81 reviews

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Start your review of Mister Dog: The Dog Who Belonged to Himself
Feb 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Caution - Spoilers.

“When a man’s best friend is his dog, that dog has a problem.” - Edward Abbey

"Mr. Dog" (which is the original title of this book) is one of my favorite books of all time. My mother read it to me as a child (1950's) and I read to my own children. They turned out just fine, thank you, despite all the "bad influences" lurking in this book that people want to complain about. Margaret Wise Brown based Crispin's Crispian on her own dog (also named Crispin's Crispian). The literary C
Dec 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Mike by: Shannon
Shelves: shannon, shorts
A brutal look at autonomy, conservatism, the inability for two solitudes to intersect, and little fat stomachs.
Jan 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
I don't understand how anyone can see the cover of this book and not immediately run out and buy it. What a cold dark soul you must have! There is one odd page where Brown describes how Mister Dog and the boy he befriends (who also belongs to himself) are conservatives. I think she means Burkean, not Limbaughian, but it's still kind of a weird moment. ...more
I wasn't a huge fan of this book as a kid. It was in a large anthology of Little Golden Books. (I have no idea how that anthology came to our family, now that I think of it). I may have been in middle school before I read it.

What I remember about this book is that (like the title says) the dog belonged to himself. Also, there is a boy who belonged to himself. I think the book said something like he was "his very own boy." That really stuck with me. This story made it seem so reasonable for a per
Anna Gray
Jun 24, 2015 rated it it was ok
Really, really bizarre. But I should have expected that from a book that I only found because it was weird enough to be shared on buzzfeed and imgur.
Apr 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picturebooks
This book is perfect in every way and the fact that some readers here disapprove of it makes it even more perfect.
Nov 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I wonder how Margaret Wise Brown pitched this story to the Little Golden Book people?

“Well, Miss Brown, we liked The Color Kittens and The Seven Little Postmen. What have you got for us this time?”

“I’ve decided to take my next book in a slightly different direction. Picture this. A hairy, Republican nudist – no, it’s okay, stay with me – convinces a little homeless boy to come and sleep with him. It has a wonderful moral.”

Perhaps not. Nevertheless, that’s more or less what happens in Mister Dog,
Feb 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Aww, what a wonderful story of two independent souls who become housemates (with separate beds, of course). Read (for the first time ever) in [b:Story Land: 40 Of The Best Little Golden Books Ever Published|1786505|. Want to read again. Especially because I found a possible reference to the dog's name, in Shakespeare's Henry V: ...more
Dec 29, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: michael
Where was the climax? I need a climax, damn it!!
Kyle Anderson
May 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people who have taste bc this stuff is ART
Shelves: favorites
After much searching, I finally found the first book that emotionally screwed me over and left me seeking happiness in this cruel, cruel world.

Let me start by emphasizing the artwork of this book. While all Little Golden Books have a classic, nostalgic approach to drawings, the way that emotion is captured in this book in particular is enough to wreak emotional havoc (and it does.) For example:

Like ??? How do you look at that and NOT instantly start crying?

The themes of connection and loss are s
Kellee Moye
Read on IG by Mac Barnett 4/15/20
Jen (LOHF/Book Den)
Sep 26, 2014 rated it did not like it
Margaret Wise Brown wrote my favorite childhood book Home For a Bunny. She also wrote Goodnight Moon which is one of my favorite books to read to my kids. Surely I would love a book about Mister Dog the pipe smoking dog who belongs to himself!

It turns out Mister Dog is not his name. His name is actually Crispin's Crispian.
"His name was Crispin's Crispian because he belonged to himself."

Sure. That makes perfect sense.

This is one odd little book.
"He was a funny old dog. He liked Strawberries."

It s
Carling Barker
Feb 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Mister Dog is about Crispin's Crispian (aka Mister Dog) who belongs to no one. He befriends a little boy who belongs to no one and they decide to live together in the dog's 2 story doghouse. (I want to sleep in Mister Dog's bed, it just looks so comfy!)
This book is really cute and a little weird at the same time, but a good weird! A warning to some parents, it is like Curious George and has animals smoking tobacco pipes lol.
I also really love the illustrations and my son loves them too! Well r
Nov 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Mister Dog belongs to himself, he takes himself where he wants to go, and at night, he dreams his own dreams. But there is room in his life and his two story dog house for the boy who belonged to himself. I loved this book as a child and as a teenager. When I read it to my two-year old, we pretend to go inside Mister Dog's house with the boy who belonged to himself. More gentle nonsense from Margaret Wise Brown, this time with a liberating pulse. ...more
Apr 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I read Mister Dog over and over again to my children. The language still resonates: “He was a funny old dog. He liked strawberries.” Mister Dog posted a No Cats sign in his yard which amused my kids to no end. Reading this book aloud always seemed comfortable and cozy. It’s a great bedtime book.
Jan 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anybody who likes a nice stew
Shelves: fiction, children
this was one of my all-time favorite books as a wee child, mostly because of the art and the hilarity of a "dog that belonged to himself".

became one of my favorite books as a wee adult, mostly because of the following line: "crispin's crispian was a conservative."
Feb 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
"Crispin's Crispian was a conservative." So Margaret Wise Brown describes the main character, a dog who belongs to himself.

This is my favorite childhood book of all time. I am hoarding the copies I can find at flea markets and used book sales so that I am never without a copy.
Oct 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I read this book over and over as a child. I adored it so much I bought a copy for my daughter when she was a little girl. I still have it. I liked the story of an independent dog living in his own house and living his life, smoking a pipe and cooking. The artwork is fabulous.
Deborah French
Mr. Dog was one of my two favorite books from the 1950s. The other one was Henry's Wagon. Mr. Dog was a soft and kind book that reflected not only my innocence as a pre-schooler but the innocence of our entire country as well. ...more
Jul 02, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Fre-he-heakishly good. The illustrations, the story, the memory of it. Oh, marvelous!
Dec 25, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Garth Williams! His illustrations are exquisite and the stories are just a wonderful. A classic of classics!
Feb 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
The most wonderful children's book EVER. ...more
Mar 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children
One of my favorite childhood books! My first feelings of nesting.
Jul 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: read to small children.
Shelves: childrens-reads
This was one of my absolute favorite books growing up. I still enjoy it. It's a very simple book about friendship and belonging. ...more
Apr 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Just have your child ignore the various animals smoking cigars/pipes throughout the book.
May 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I loved this story as a girl, it was one of my favorites. I remember my Nana reading it to me, it brings back great memories.
Oct 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book was, hands-down, my favourite as a kid. I loved that a dog would eat strawberries and that he "belonged to himself." I also loved his name, Crispin's Crispian. Definitely recommended! ...more
Karen Rose
Mar 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my childhood favorites! The illustrations are very memorable, I love this little book so much!
Sep 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was my favorite book when I was a little girl. I used to make my mom read it to me over and over. Still as an adult,I read it to my friends.
Elizabeth Zembry
Mar 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was one of my favorite books growing up. I saw a mural painting on my vets wall and instantly knew it was Crispin’s Crispian, she was surprised and had no idea the dog was from a book.
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Margaret Wise Brown wrote hundreds of books and stories during her life, but she is best known for Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny. Even though she died nearly 60 years ago, her books still sell very well.

Margaret loved animals. Most of her books have animals as characters in the story. She liked to write books that had a rhythm to them. Sometimes she would put a hard word into the story or p

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