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Author: Emma Jackson

Illustrator: Bob Carey, photographs

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Publisher: Collins, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers,

Material: hard cover

Summary: Mary Cody owns Aunt Mary’s Doghouse, a place for unwanted dogs. Emma is a little girl who wants a dog. She keeps asking and asking, and finally her parent take her to Aunt Mary’s Doghouse. She finds a dog that is just right for her and names it Dixie. For the rest of the story, learn how Emma and Dixie live together. The last pages of the book are informational about Aunt Mary’s Doghouse and how to find a place like that near you. This is a photo-illustrated story of a recue pet adoption.

Type of Reading: family reading, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 4 to 9; read yourself: 9 to 12

Interest Level: 5 to 9

Reading Level: 4

Age of Child: Read with a five-year-old girl.

Young Reader Reaction: My daughter asked several times to re-read this book. She liked the photographs. She also liked the idea of finding a dog and being able to bring it home as your own. She commented on how cute the dogs were. She asked if it was a real story and a real place like the one in the book for lost dogs.

Adult Reader Reaction: I picked this book because a family member recently adopted a dog and my daughter wanted to understand what that meant and how they did it. I liked the simple way it explained about how to adopt a dog and I enjoyed the photos. I was surprised she liked the book. She doesn’t really like animals that much but this book helped her see them as a part of someone's family.

Pros: Puppies, a happy ending, and beautiful illustrations combine for an enjoyable story about adopting an abandoned dog.

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. This is a good book if your thinking about (or being pestered about) getting a pet. This is an excellent book (a must have) for school and local libraries.


Educational Themes: Kids love dogs, and this is a great book for showing kids (through the photos) and then talking about the responsibility that goes along with having a dog. There is also information about volunteering and you can use the information in the book to find out more about pet rescue organizations in your community.

Literary Categories: Nonfiction - picture book, animals, middle grade

Date(s) Reviewed: April 2009

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