David Sarkies's Reviews > Mister Dog: The Dog Who Belonged to Himself

Mister Dog by Margaret Wise Brown
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's review
Feb 12, 2012

did not like it
bookshelves: childrens

Things were a lot different in 1952
12 February 2012

Well, here is another Little Golden Book that I found sitting next to my brother's computer, and since it would pretty much take me less that 5 minutes to read this book, I picked it up and read it. My initial impression was WTF? Seriously WTF? Is this book really a kids' book, and if it were to have been written today would anybody actually touch it? I think not (though it seems by glancing across the number of reviews of this book, I am in the extreme minority).
The book is about a dog who belongs to no one. He lives in a two story dog house and smokes a pipe. He then goes out for a stroll and meets a boy who belongs to no one (ie he is a street kid) so takes him home and the boy sleeps in Mister Dog's bed. Seriously, what may have been innocent back in 1952 is certainly not innocent now. Granted, kids sleep in their parent's bed all the time (much to their parent's dismay) and they even sleep with animals on their bed, but this I felt was going just a little bit too far.
While I said that it may have been innocent at the time of its writing, I assure you that it is not now. I really would not like my kids (if I had any, which I don't) getting the idea that running off with strangers and climbing into bed with them is okay: it is not. Granted, the kid in the book belongs to no one, but this, to me, is also absurd. It is a sad fact of life that there are a lot of children out there who simply do not have parents (or are from abusive households, or simply ran away from home). While such things were swept under the table and ignored in 1952, they are not now.
I did have the book at a higher rating, but the more that I think about it, the more convinced I am that it should not be a part of a child's reading collection. Granted, there are a lot of worse books out there (don't go reading the Satyricon to a child, please), but as a children's book, no thanks.

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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Lobstergirl You do realize this book is about a dog and a boy, right? Not a child and a stranger?

No kid is going to read this book and think climbing into a complete stranger's bed is normal or desirable, I promise you.

Chad Ryan Have a heart! This book is amazing & hilarious!

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