Do You Have a Dog?


This follow-up to Do You Have a Cat? introduces readers to a whole new collection of historical figures—Admiral Richard Byrd, Jackson Pollack, Annie Oakley. Eileen Spinelli's whimsical, rhyming text and the colorful and energetic paintings of Geraldo Val�rio help bring these dog owners to life.
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This follow-up to Do You Have a Cat? introduces readers to a whole new collection of historical figures—Admiral Richard Byrd, Jackson Pollack, Annie Oakley. Eileen Spinelli's whimsical, rhyming text and the colorful and energetic paintings of Geraldo Val�rio help bring these dog owners to life.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Behind every great man or woman, there’s a great dog, suggests this rhyming canine tribute, which follows the format of Do You Have a Cat? and Do You Have a Hat? Figures like Agatha Christie, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jackson Pollock, and Annie Oakley were all dog owners: “Billie Holiday had a dog/ who sat backstage as he was told./ A dog named Mister—good as gold.” Young readers itching for a furry friend will find only the benefits of dog ownership in Spinelli’s buoyant verse and Valério’s cheerful acrylics. Endpapers provide further details about the historical figures mentioned within. Ages 4–8. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Sharon Salluzzo
Children who long for a dog of their own might find here a new approach when pleading with their parents. As she did with cats and hats, Spinelli has gone back into history and found interesting and well-known people from all walks of life who were dog owners. Her bouncy, rhythmic poem describes the personalities and activities of their special companions. Children can now remind their parents that Empress Bonaparte, Admiral Byrd, and Jackson Pollock all had dogs. In the notes on the end papers, Spinelli provides a brief background about each person. The reader learns that Agatha Christie's dog was the inspiration for one in her novel Dumb Witness. Spinelli's poem inquires of the readers the special traits of their own dogs. The cartoon-style illustrations, created in acrylics, depict smiling historical figures and their dogs in settings that pertain to the person's profession. Other animals depicted on the pages provide elements of humor, such as a cat playing a saxophone near Billie Holliday, and an animal tossing an apple from a tree to Sir Isaac Newton. Anyone who has ever owned or wanted a dog will want this poem read over and over again. Reviewer: Sharon Salluzzo
School Library Journal
Gr 2–4—Spinelli takes 11 famous individuals and their dogs and presents their stories in brief, rhymed text. Meriwether Lewis, Billie Holiday, Agatha Christie, and Jackson Pollock are among the celebs included. Each entry starts and ends with the person's name, followed by the phrase, "had a dog." The endpapers give additional information about the owners and their pets. The illustrations feature unattractive, elongated figures with wide cheeks and big noses. The eyes of the humans and the animals are flat and a little startling. There are some whimsical touches in each painting-Empress Josephine's pug is dressed like Napoleon, and Admiral Byrd's dog is sleeping with a miniature version of himself. Marginal at best.—Susan E. Murray, formerly at Glendale Public Library, AZ
Kirkus Reviews

A hodgepodge roundup of celebrity canines.

This is a rather meager offering from Spinelli, nor has Valério's artwork much character, though it is decidedly high spirited and gay. Readers are engaged very briefly about whether or not they have a dog—"Do you have a dog?... Does a dog have you?"—but the meat and potatoes of the book are dogs of the famous. And by far the most interesting material is found in the end papers, where Spinelli has introduced the 11 historical figures with their dogs. It is the pages in between that are often less than beguiling. "Iggy—who kept Byrd warm, / a comfort in Antarctic storm. / Through blizzard, ice, and wild weather / the two holed up, good friends together." And of Agatha Christie's dog Peter, readers learn, "He on the rug and she in the chair— / they made a rather cozy pair." The poems are too bland for these couples, who should have set off some sparks of clever allusion or strange factoid. As the poems are quatrains—plus introductory and closing refrain—you really have to use all the few words you've got, and here Spinelli doesn't.

Despite inherently child-friendly subject matter, a nonstarter. (Informational picture book. 4-8)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802853875
  • Publisher: Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 10/15/2011
  • Pages: 26
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD640L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.10 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Eileen Spinelli
Eileen Spinelli is the author of over thirty-five picture books and novels, including Something to Tell the Grandcows and Now It Is Summer (both Eerdmans), as well as When Mama Comes Home Tonight (Simon and Schuster). Eileen lives in Pennsylvania. Visit her website at

Geraldo Val�rio was born in Brazil and has created art for many children's books, including The Hungry Ghosts by Julius Lester (Penguin). He has collaborated with Eileen Spinelli on When You Are Happy and Do You Have a Hat? (both from Simon & Schuster) and Do You Have a Cat? (Eerdmans). Geraldo lives in Toronto. Visit his website at

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Read an Excerpt


By Eileen Spinelli

Eerdmans Books for Young Readers

Copyright © 2011 Eileen Spinelli
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-8028-5387-5

Chapter One

Do you have a dog? A dog who wakes you, wants to play? A dog who walks you every day? Or one who leaps or fetches sticks? A dog who does a lot of tricks?

Do YOU have a dog?

Meriwether Lewis had a dog, Seaman — a "fellow explorer" who put up with beavers ... mosquitoes too. He swam across rivers, trekked through snow, and saved Lewis and Clark from a buffalo! Meriwether Lewis had a dog.

Annie Oakley had a dog — Dave. And, oh, what a thrill were his tricks on the road with Buffalo Bill. Of all the performers in the show "Wild West," Annie and Dave, they say, were the best. Annie Oakley had a dog.

Admiral Richard Byrd had a dog — Iggy — who kept Byrd warm, a comfort in Antarctic storm. Through blizzard, ice, and wild weather the two holed up, good friends together. Admiral Richard Byrd had a dog.

Billie Holiday had a dog who sat backstage as he was told. A dog named Mister — good as gold. He seemed a rapt, contented thing whenever he heard Billie sing. Billie Holiday had a dog.

Empress Josephine Bonaparte had a dog — a pug, sometimes a go-between delivering notes from Josephine tucked under his collar so none could see what she had written secretly. Josephine Bonaparte had a dog.

Agatha Christie had a dog. He sat with her in her writing nook and inspired a character for her book. He on the rug and she in the chair — they made a rather cozy pair. Agatha Christie had a dog.

Jackson Pollock had a dog. A gift to Pollock and his wife, the poodle shared their country life, romping out and clomping in with paint on paws and mud on chin. Jackson Pollock had a dog.


Excerpted from DO YOU HAVE A DOG? by Eileen Spinelli Copyright © 2011 by Eileen Spinelli. Excerpted by permission of Eerdmans Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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