Harry the Dirty Dog
child pleasing read ~~~highly recommend ~~~ 5 stars
Harry, the white dog with black spots loves everything. That is he loves everything except baths. When Harry notices his kids getting things ready for a bath for Harry; it is a dead give away when he hears the taps running. Harry grabs the scrubbing brush, buries it in the back garden in his special hiding place, to make certain he will not be lowered into that tub of water, he runs away from home.
Harry spends the whole day playing outside. Harry trots down to play with the men who are mending the roadway; which leaves him dirty from the tarmac. He plays by the railway and soon he is even dirtier from the fumes. Harry and some of his dog friends have a fun game of tag running in the mud in a field. When Harry finds a coal truck he has great fun sliding down its chute. Now he is a black dog with not as many white spots. He has had a great day digging and sliding in mud and paving tar. At last it is time to go home. Harry is a tired and hungry white dog with black spots, and he's beginning to worry that his family will think he's really run away, forever.
Harry hurries home, hoping to find food, his bed and comfort from his family. Oh no, Harry is so dirty he looks like a black dog with white spots. Even his own family can’t recognize him. Harry sets about to show the family he is Harry. First he does all his special tricks – he dances and barks, he flip flops, and he flop flips. He plays dead, and he rolls over. But no one can see that he is Harry.
Harry began to worry that even though his adventure was so much fun, just possibly he should have thought it through a little before he ran away. All of a sudden an idea popped into his head, Harry zipped out to the garden and began to dig busily. As soon as he found what he needed Harry, with his family in hot pursuit, rushed into the house and right up the stairs.
There was Harry sitting in the tub, with the scrubbing brush he buried earlier clutched in his teeth. A soapy scrubbing soon reveals just who is sitting in that tub.
‘It was wonderful to be home. After dinner, Harry fell asleep in his favorite place, happily dreaming of how much fun it had been getting dirty. He slept so soundly, he didn't even feel the scrubbing brush he'd hidden under his pillow.’
My resident critics always hurry to the rug for reading time. Harry the Dirty Dog is a long time favorite in my K-1 classrooms. Nothing has changed over 20 years of teaching little people regarding their universal adoration for the little white dog with black spots. Written in 1956 by Gene Zion and illustrated by Margery Bloy Graham, Harry appears perky and mischievous in each of the Harry books. Harry is always busy. As it is to most children, Harry views the world as a pleasurable, joyful place.
As a teacher I like the format of the books, Harry has a situation to resolve, he makes some poor choices as well as some good ones, illustrations are child friendly and low key and vocabulary is suited to beginning readers. What more could I ask from a book mean to be read aloud to little people?
Discussion always follows the reading of books for my fifteen resident critics. The kids are able to verbalize their own frustrations and irritations when they are talking about Harry and do not have to admit that the problems he faces are often similar to those they too face. Harry provides an outlet for talking about what bothers us, without having to tell everyone that the problem is ours.
Harry is not really naughty, he is just an immature fellow, much like the little people in my class. As they talk about their own reactions, appropriate and not the kids begin to see that sometimes there is a better way to do things than just blurt out, leap out or rush ahead without thinking.
Thirty thumbs up for Harry the Dirty Dog from Osage County First Graders in Mrs. M’s class. Harry is a book perfect for gift giving for a child’s library addition, good for classroom, public, school and homeschool library lists. Happy to recommend.
Reviewed by Molly’s Reviews
20+ years K-1 classroom teacher
Harry the Dirty Dog
by Gene Zion (Author),
Margaret Bloy Graham
Reading level: book is READ TO for the 3-4 set, READ WITH HELP for the 4 – 6 readers and READ ALONE for the 6 -8 group
Hardcover: 32 pages
Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.1 x 0.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces