Mogie: The Heart of the House


Mogie is a real-life Labradoodle with a special talent: he always knows just what a sick kid needs! Get to know this passionate pup with this story by a Newbery Honoree.

Give that dog a puddle and he’d splash. Give him a whistle and he’d roll over. Give him a rule and he’d break it.

One day a passel of puppies was born. Each puppy was designated for a Very Important Job, like Service Dog, or Search and Rescue ...

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Mogie is a real-life Labradoodle with a special talent: he always knows just what a sick kid needs! Get to know this passionate pup with this story by a Newbery Honoree.

Give that dog a puddle and he’d splash. Give him a whistle and he’d roll over. Give him a rule and he’d break it.

One day a passel of puppies was born. Each puppy was designated for a Very Important Job, like Service Dog, or Search and Rescue Dog, or Groomed for the Show Ring Dog.

Each puppy, that is, except Mogie. Mogie was a ball-chasing, tail-wagging, moon-howling pup. Not the kind of pup for any of those jobs!

But there is a place that is just right for Mogie: a very special house where sick children and their families can stay while they undergo long-term treatment. A place with children who NEED a ball-chasing, tail-wagging, moon-howling pup.

And there’s one little boy in particular who needs Mogie. And Mogie is about to prove he’s the best darn pooch in the passel. Based on a true story, this heartwarming picture book is published in conjunction with the Ronald McDonald House.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This cheering story is based on a real-life Labradoodle that resides at the Ronald McDonald House in Houston. Though this “ball-chasing, tail-wagging, moon-howling pup” is too frisky to make the grade as a service, search-and-rescue, or show dog, Mogie finds his raison d’être after wandering into a “very special house in the heart of the Big City.” There he befriends Gage, “once a ball-chasing, race-running, back-flipping boy,” who is now in a wheelchair. Rosenthal’s (Bobo the Sailor Man) loosely drafted illustrations showcase Mogie’s devotion to Gage, while Appelt’s homey, emphatic tone (“Give that dog a puddle and he’d splash”) will ring familiar to readers of The Underneath and The True Blue Scouts of Sugarman Swamp. When Gage, much recovered, leaves for home, Mogie adopts another needy patient. Kids will find the narrator’s question, “Who wouldn’t love a dog like that?” very easy to answer. A warm tribute to a remarkable dog and to the workers at Ronald McDonald Houses, which will receive a share of proceeds from book sales. Ages 4–8. Agent: Holly McGhee, Pippin Properties. (June)
Kirkus Reviews
Mogie finds his purpose in this true story about the Houston Ronald McDonald House.Gage is a "ball-chasing, race-running, back-flipping little boy"…until he gets too sick to do any of those things, and his family flies to a very special house in a Big City. He's lost his mojo. And there, Mogie, a "ball-chasing, tail-wagging, moon-howling pup" who has failed at training for everything else, wanders in and knows just what to do. He intuits when Gage needs him to sit next to him quietly and when his antics will help him remember and look forward to brighter, healthier days. And slowly, Gage gets better and goes home. Mogie misses Gage, but now he's watching out for Antonia, "a toe-dancing, jump-roping, cartwheel-spinning girl" who's lost her cha-cha-cha. "Give this dog a bone and he'll chew it. Give him a stick and he'll fetch it. Give him a kiddo who is bluer than blue, and Mogie will be truer than true." Rosenthal's pencil, charcoal and digital illustrations wonderfully complement this emotional tale without tipping it into the saccharine. Colors help set the mood of each spread, and the scribbly style against a white background lends the illustrations a slightly retro feel. Wheelchairs and bald heads on a few children are the only indications of illness, aside from subdued posture.Mogie's one good dog, and readers will be awfully glad they've met him. (author's note) (Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781442480544
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 6/10/2014
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 277,590
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD470L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.80 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Kathi Appelt

Kathi Appelt is the author of the Newbery Honoree, National Book Award finalist, PEN USA Literary Award-winning, and bestselling The Underneath as well as the National Book Award finalist The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp and many picture books. She has two grown children and lives in Texas with her husband. Visit her at

Marc Rosenthal is the illustrator of many books for children, including I Must Have Bobo, I’ll Save You Bobo, and Bobo the Sailor Man, all by Eileen Rosenthal; The Straight Line Wonder by Mem Fox; and Phooey, which he wrote. Marc’s illustrations can be seen regularly in The New Yorker, Time, Forbes, Fortune, The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times, Boston Globe, The Washington Post, and others. Visit him online at

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