Meet the Dogs of Bedlam Farm

Overview

Welcome to Bedlam Farm! Meet Rose, Izzy, Frieda, and Lenore, four dogs that work hard on the farm doing various jobs. They're good friends now, but it wasn't always this way.  Just as each dog has a different role on the farm, each has a unique story. 

Filled with his captivating photographs, bestselling author Jon Katz's heartwarming account of his dogs' lives on Bedlam Farm is unforgettable.

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Overview

Welcome to Bedlam Farm! Meet Rose, Izzy, Frieda, and Lenore, four dogs that work hard on the farm doing various jobs. They're good friends now, but it wasn't always this way.  Just as each dog has a different role on the farm, each has a unique story. 

Filled with his captivating photographs, bestselling author Jon Katz's heartwarming account of his dogs' lives on Bedlam Farm is unforgettable.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In Katz's first book for children, illustrated with lively photos, the author explains how the four dogs (which have been the subject of several bestselling titles for adults) that live on his farm in upstate New York have distinct roles and responsibilities. Border collie Rose herds sheep, while another collie, Izzy, works outside the farm as a therapy dog ("He helps people feel better"). Frieda, a rottweiler and German shepherd mix, was wild before coming to the farm, and while her size and ground-shaking bark make her "a bit scary," she guards the farm against foxes and coyotes. Katz withholds black Lab Lenore's job until the end, repeating the question, "But what is Lenore's job?" Lenore makes cameos in the other dogs' profiles, and readers will soon understand the role she plays: "Lenore is not as quick as Rose, or as busy as Izzy, or as strong as Frieda. But she is a working dog. Her job is loving and accepting and having patience." While the basic message feels a bit overemphasized, dog-loving readers will value the attention paid to their individual contributions. Ages 4–8. (Apr.)
From the Publisher
“Katz’s photographs depicting the dogs’ vastly different personalities are great fun for dog lovers and a fine lesson for dog fearers. Lenore, it turns out, makes sure everyone is happy.” —The New York Times Book Review

 

“This photographic essay aims at the heart of dog group dynamics on Jon Katz’s Farm. A highly specific, not preachy, charmer.” —The Chicago Tribune

“The book introduces Rose, Izzy, Frieda and Lenore, dogs that live on Bedlam Farm. It talks about the jobs that each dog is in charge of and about life on the farm. The pictures are all photographs taken by Katz. They lovingly show the dogs working and playing in each season of the year.” —McClatchy-Tribune news

 

“Meet the Dogs of Bedlam Farm by Jon Katz is a beautifully photographed and clever story.” —The Examiner.com

“This is the love letter people wish they could write to their own pets, and it makes a point well worth reiterating: in a family, all members are equally valuable.” —Booklist 

“The large, full-color photographs are totally engaging and capture the animals’ distinct personalities. . . . The writing is crisp and clear, and the stories (each dog gets its own turn) are sweet and filled with gentle humor. This gorgeous, heartwarming book, great for quiet reading and storytimes alike, stands out from the pack.”  —School Library Journal, STARRED

“In Katz's first book for children, illustrated with lively photos, the author explains how the four dogs (which have been the subject of several bestselling titles for adults) that live on his farm in upstate New York have distinct roles and responsibilities. . . .  dog-loving readers will value the attention paid to their individual contributions.” —Publishers Weekly

“The simple, informative story is illustrated with high-quality photographs of the dogs in action, using a wide variety of shots and settings that add visual interest. Young dog lovers will enjoy this, particularly those who own border collies or black labs.” —Kirkus Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 1–3—Border collies Rose and Izzy; Frieda, a rottweiler/German shepherd mix; and black Lab Lenore are four dogs living on Bedlam Farm in Upstate New York. Katz lives on the farm and has written about it for older audiences. While Rose, Izzy, and Frieda are working dogs with specific jobs to do, Lenore is different. She doesn't guide the sheep or guard the farm and she's not a trained therapy dog. She just keeps the occupants happy, and the canines operate as a family. The large, full-color photographs are totally engaging and capture the animals' distinct personalities. Lenore is shown contemplating a fly on her nose. Scary-looking Frieda, guard to the farm, gets nuzzled by Lenore. Therapy dog Izzy, the only guy in the group, snuggles at the feet of a patient. Rose, the serious one, glares at her sheep, keeping them in line. The writing is crisp and clear, and the stories (each dog gets its own turn) are sweet and filled with gentle humor. This gorgeous, heartwarming book, great for quiet reading and storytimes alike, stands out from the pack.—Anne Chapman Callaghan, Racine Public Library, WI
Kirkus Reviews

Katz has written several well-received books for adults about his working dogs and their life together at Bedlam Farm in upstate New York (Dog Days, 2007, etc.). In his first book for children, he introduces four of his canine companions and describes their personalities, specific jobs and interactions. Rose is a border collie whose job is herding sheep on the farm. Izzy is another border collie, a rescue dog who is now a therapy dog visiting patients in hospitals, and Frieda is a large, mixed-breed dog who guards the farm. Lenore is a black lab who appears throughout the story, along with the repeating refrain, "But what is Lenore's job?" The concluding pages present Lenore as the guiding spirit of the dog pack, a playful, friendly dog who keeps the whole group happy. Her job is "loving and accepting and having patience." The not-so-subtle message is that each individual contributes to a successful group in ways that are not always immediately apparent. The simple, informative story is illustrated with high-quality photographs of the dogs in action, using a wide variety of shots and settings that add visual interest. Young dog lovers will enjoy this, particularly those who own border collies or black labs. (Picture book. 4-8)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805092196
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
  • Publication date: 4/26/2011
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 282,615
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.56 (w) x 11.16 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Jon Katz

Jon Katz has written many books for adults including Izzy and Lenore and Dog Days, which were both New York Times bestsellers. His book A Dog Year was made into a film, starring Jeff Bridges, that recently aired on HBO. He is a photograher and lives in upstate New York with a host of personable animals. This is his first book for children. www.bedlamfarm.com

Biography

"I really don't know anyone in media who's been given the freedom I've had to spout off on a wide range of subjects," Jon Katz wrote in his 1998 farewell column for HotWired. As a writer for web venues such as HotWired and Slashdot, Katz has waxed enthusiastic about Internet culture and championed "geek life." As a contributor to Wired and Rolling Stone, he's written articles on technology, politics and culture. And as a book author, he's penned mystery novels, memoirs and more, at the rate of nearly one per year since 1990.

Katz began his career in traditional media, as a reporter and editor for the Boston Globe and Washington Post and as a producer for the CBS Morning News. His experiences in television became fodder for fiction in his first novel, Sign Off, which Publishers Weekly called "an absorbing, well-paced debut" about the corporate takeover of a television network.

Disenchanted with the world of old media, Katz signed on to the cyber-revolution as a contributor to Wired magazine and its then-online counterpart, HotWired. As pundit and media critic, Katz became a prominent voice of the libertarian, countercultural, freewheeling spirit that prevailed on the Web in its early years. After HotWired underwent a corporate transformation, Katz moved to Slashdot, a free-for-all e-zine that allowed him to continue spouting off on a wide range of subjects (for Katz, "open source" is not just a method of software development, it's a metaphor for free expression).

Meanwhile, Katz began a series of "suburban detective" books featuring private investigator and family man Kit DeLeeuw, who operates out of a New Jersey mall. The intricately plotted mysteries serve as "a framework for the author's musings on suburban fatherhood, a subject on which he is wise and witty and honestly touching," wrote Marilyn Stasio in The New York Times.

In 1997, Katz's digital-age pontifications took book form in Virtuous Reality, which tackled censorship, online privacy and the shortcomings of the media. Katz struck a more personal chord with Geeks (2000), a work of gonzo ethnography that follows two computer-obsessed teenagers and their struggle to escape the Idaho boonies. "Katz's obvious empathy and love for his 'lost boys,' his ability to see shades of his own troubled youth in their tough lives, gives his narrative a rich taste that makes it unlike other Net books," said Salon writer Andrew Leonard.

Katz turned to himself as the subject for a meditation on middle age, Running to the Mountain (2000) which chronicles the three months he spent alone in a dilapidated cabin in upstate New York. The result is "a funny, moving and triumphant voyage of the soul," according to The Boston Globe.

Then there's Katz's other pet subject: dogs. In A Dog Year , Katz writes about a high-strung border collie -- a canine "lost boy" he adopted and gradually bonded with. "Dogs make me a better human," said Katz in an interview. Given his recent contributions to The Bark magazine, dogs may make Katz an even more versatile and prolific writer, if that's possible.

Good To Know

Katz is so persuaded of the power of interactivity that he's refused to have his work printed by publishers unless they'll run his e-mail address with it. His published e-mail addresses include jonkatz@slashdot.org, jonkatz@bellatlantic.net and jonkatz3@comcast.net.

After a Slate writer made a disparaging comment about Katz's basement, Katz wrote a column describing the basement office where he works. Its accoutrements include a wooden cherub, portraits of Thomas Paine and Abraham Lincoln, and a collection of gargoyles. A Haitian voodoo "frame thingy" (in Katz's words) graces his computer.

In our interview, Katz told us more fun facts: "I see every movie that comes out, usually alone in a megaplex. I love the New York Yankees because they win a lot. My one brilliant move in life was marrying my wife Paula."

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    1. Hometown:
      Montclair, New Jersey
    1. Date of Birth:
      August 8, 1947
    2. Place of Birth:
      Providence, Rhode Island
    1. Education:
      Attended George Washington University and The New School for Social Research

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