Circle Dogs

( 2 )


The circle dogs live in a big, square house with a big, square yard. See the dogs? See the circles? Mama calls them pooches. Papa calls them hounds. I'm a dog! says Big Sister. Baby is, too. And even the youngest reader will want to wiggle and bounce and dig through the day with the circle dogs....until it is time for bed. An inspired collaboration, a new take on simple shapes, a story to read again and again.

Bravo Henkes and Yaccarino!

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The circle dogs live in a big, square house with a big, square yard. See the dogs? See the circles? Mama calls them pooches. Papa calls them hounds. I'm a dog! says Big Sister. Baby is, too. And even the youngest reader will want to wiggle and bounce and dig through the day with the circle dogs....until it is time for bed. An inspired collaboration, a new take on simple shapes, a story to read again and again.

Bravo Henkes and Yaccarino!

Circle dogs live in a square house with a square yard and spend a busy day eating circle snacks, digging circle holes, and sleeping.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Henkes, who spoke to an elementary-age audience in Owen and Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse, here gets down to basics with this lively description of a day in the life of two dachshunds. The tube-shaped dogs -- one rust-orange with black ears, the other vice versa (both have blue noses and collars) -- form circles while they are resting. At dawn, they uncurl and greet a mother, father, little girl and baby boy ("clink-clank,... clink./ Hear their tags?/ Mrooon, mro-o-o-o-on./ They stretch and stretch and moan and yawn"). The story follows a morning-to-evening sequence of mealtimes, playtimes and naptimes, and comes full-circle, as it were, with the dogs bedded down for the night. Henkes infuses even this simplest of texts with humor: at breakfast, "Papa drops his toast./ Oops! Where did it go?/ The circle dogs know." He balances full sentences with fragments, and punctuates the story with the everyday sounds of barking, crunching and doorbell-ringing. Yaccarino's (Goodnight, Mr. Night) opaque, geometric graphics and limited gouache palette complement the concise statements. Squares and rectangles form window views inside and outside the house, and hem in the fluid shapes of the dogs and people. Author and artist judiciously repeat imagery and phrases ("Mama calls them pooches. `Those pooches!' says Mama"); and the diversity of words and sentence structures ensure a book that runs circles around the usual primer.
Children's Literature - Debra Briatico
Perfect for bedtime reading, this clever book introduces young readers to two circle dogs that live in a big, square house. From beginning to end, this delightful book entertains and teaches important concepts such as colors and shapes. Kevin Henkes uses simple language to describe the daily routines of a family and their two lively dogs. When the alarm clock rings, the pooches wake up, dispense kisses, and run, jump and bounce their way through an exciting day filled with playing, eating and sleeping. Pet-loving families will enjoy this charming picture book.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1-A love letter to dachshunds, called "circle dogs" because of their ability to form that shape with their bodies. The text is simple, almost primerlike, with lots of onomatopoetic words: "Circle dogs like circle snacks-crunch, crunch, crunch-right from your hand." The pooches play, dig holes and get yelled at, sniff Baby's face and lick Big Sister's, bounce, bark, and sleep a lot. The lively gouache paintings in large flat areas of color have a retro look, somewhat reminiscent of Lane Smith's work in The Happy Hocky Family! Viking, 1993 or Yaccarino's illustrations for Laura Godwin's Little White Dog Hyperion, 1998. Besides the circles made by the dachshunds, there are lots of other shapes to pick out in the pictures. Fun for the youngest dog lovers.-Pam Gosner, formerly at Maplewood Memorial Library, NJ
James McMullan
. . .[A]n evocative piece of writing that would be a joy to read aloud to a child. -- The New York Times Book Review
Kirkus Reviews
Shapes cavort in the form of circle dogs (long thin dachshunds that chase their tails, forming circles) that live in a big square house in this delightful book for the very young. Imitative of the early work of Margaret Wise Brown, this collaboration has the retro look, feel, and sound of her classic Noisy Book series. Yaccarino uses essentially the four-color palette of a few decades back, set against a creamy vanilla background, with a bolder, more graphic, and deliberately contemporary design that plays with the rearrangement of space to show circle dogs that clink-clank their tags and flip-flap their tails. Circle dogs dig circle holes and eat from circle bowls. They snap at the air, lick Big Sister's face, and sleep a lot in simple pictures that emphasize shape and form, with circles everywhere: the mouths of people, the tips of dog's noses, the bones of a steak, the dogs themselves. Henkes completes the goodnight tale with just the right amount of sounds for the sensory enjoyment of preschoolers. (Picture book. 2-4)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780064437578
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/28/2001
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 624,312
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD30L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Kevin Henkes

Kevin Henkes has been praised both as a writer and as an illustrator. He received the Caldecott Medal for Kitten's First Full Moon; a Caldecott Honor for Owen; two Newbery Honors, one for Olive's Ocean and one for The Year of Billy Miller; and a Geisel Honor for Penny and Her Marble. His other books include Old Bear, A Good Day, Chrysanthemum, and the beloved Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse.

Dan Yaccarino is an award-winning artist whose work has been featured in magazines, ad campaigns, and animation worldwide. His large-scale paintings and sculptures have been exhibited in galleries across New York City, Tokyo, and Rome. Mr. Yaccarino has written several books of his own and illustrated numerous books by other authors, including I Met a Bear and So Big!. His television show Oswald the Octopus airs on Nick Jr. He lives with his wife, Susan, and their son, Michael Dante, in New York City.

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    1. Hometown:
      Madison, Wisconsin
    1. Date of Birth:
      November 27, 1960
    2. Place of Birth:
      Racine, Wisconsin
    1. Education:
      University of Wisconsin, Madison
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2012

    Wonderful Story!

    Kevin Henkes is an amazing author and partnering up with Yaccarino's illustrations make this book a wonderful read for you and your child. Your child will delight and laugh at the funny lines and the things that are said and done by the family and the dogs and the illustrations are simple, pure and allow your mind to bond with the story and the colors.
    I highly recommend this for any family, but especially a family with a dog or dogs.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2004

    A great read out loud book.

    This book is really great. I am always searching for something I can read to my young crowd. Preschool children really seem to enjoy this book as well as I do. It is really difficult to find books that can be read to such young children due to their attention span. This book is short and sweet, but also has the necessary rythmic sounds that is important for children to learn to read. Overall I think this book is a great buy.

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