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Born to Pull: The Glory of Sled Dogs

Overview

For centuries, sled dogs pulled the people of northern climates over otherwise impassable distances of snow and ice, guiding them home through trackless wilderness. These burly, strong dogs were the lifeblood of the northern winter world. Today, from races like the famed Iditarod and the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon to sled dog tours, people from all climates are rediscovering the joy of this dog-powered sport. Born to Pull is a celebration of sled dogs who love to run in cold and snowy Minnesota, including ...

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Overview

For centuries, sled dogs pulled the people of northern climates over otherwise impassable distances of snow and ice, guiding them home through trackless wilderness. These burly, strong dogs were the lifeblood of the northern winter world. Today, from races like the famed Iditarod and the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon to sled dog tours, people from all climates are rediscovering the joy of this dog-powered sport. Born to Pull is a celebration of sled dogs who love to run in cold and snowy Minnesota, including lively stories from veteran mushers, insider information on dog care and training, and breathtaking watercolor illustrations that make the dogs come to life on the page.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"There’s almost no way to describe the beauty with which this book about sled dogs was conceived, written, and illustrated. . . . Born to Pull has a dreamy quality to it, so effectively does it capture a world removed from everyday life and portray the mystical connection between humans and animals." —American Booksellers Association
Children's Literature - Leona Illig
This book takes the reader on a journey to a frozen land of snow and ice where sled dogs and their masters race against each other and, sometimes, against death itself. A large portion of the book is factual and describes the various breeds of sled dogs and their ancestry; what the dogs eat; how they sleep and are cared for; how they communicate with each other, people, and other animals; the selection process and training program required to create a team; and the elements of competitive mushing. A list of resources for more information about sled dogs, and a glossary, are included at the end. The world of the sled dog is portrayed realistically, and the author confronts such topics as the importance of money in the sport as well as some of the more unpleasant aspects such as unwanted litters, unsavory canine eating habits, and dog attacks. Despite the author's obvious love for sledding, he makes it clear that this sport can be dangerous to both dogs and humans. What makes this book stand out from so many other nonfiction dog books is that interspersed among the factual descriptions are real life stories told by the mushers themselves. In prose that is sometimes lyrical and always entertaining, these stories bring the sport alive for the reader and illuminate the often strange relationship between dog and man. The illustrations and colors are stunning, and the various montages are eye-catching. There are a few editorial lapses (e.g., "I almost talked by team out of the finish" instead of "I almost talked my team out of the finish"). Nevertheless, this is a beautiful book about the sport of dog sledding, one that is educational as well as memorable. Reviewer: Leona Illig
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816667734
  • Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
  • Publication date: 10/12/2009
  • Pages: 96
  • Sales rank: 936,218
  • Product dimensions: 8.90 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Bob Cary (1921-2006) was an author, journalist, and wilderness adventurer. His many books include Root Beer Lady, Tales from Jackpine Bob, and Ely Echoes, all available from the University of Minnesota Press.

Gail de Marcken is an illustrator of children’s books. Her books include The Quiltmaker’s Gift, The Quiltmaker's Journey, and Miss Hunnicutt's Hat by Jeff Brumbeau; Clever Ali by Nancy Farmer; and The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by E. T. A. Hoffmann. She and her husband live year-round in the woods near Ely, Minnesota.

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