Not My Dog

Overview

Ellie Martin fiercely resists her new dog's charms

It isn't Ellie's fault, really. She's always wanted a puppy, and now that she's almost nine, finally old enough to get one, Preston is foisted on her. What's more, her parents say that this fully grown mutt that Great-aunt Margaret can no longer keep will have to do. They can't very well have a dog and a puppy. Although heartbroken and resentful, Ellie does see Preston's virtues. Still, she refuses to accept him as her dog. Then...

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Overview

Ellie Martin fiercely resists her new dog's charms

It isn't Ellie's fault, really. She's always wanted a puppy, and now that she's almost nine, finally old enough to get one, Preston is foisted on her. What's more, her parents say that this fully grown mutt that Great-aunt Margaret can no longer keep will have to do. They can't very well have a dog and a puppy. Although heartbroken and resentful, Ellie does see Preston's virtues. Still, she refuses to accept him as her dog. Then Ellie's resistance almost costs her Preston, and at last she embraces him. Colby Rodowsky's story about a child's change of heart has just enough tenderness — and just enough bite — to satisfy young dog lovers. Captivating drawings by Thomas F. Yezerski highlight the experience.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Eight-year-old Ellie wants a puppy more than anything else in the world...So she's not happy when her parents inform her that they are adopting a full-grown dog...Gradually, however, Preston wins her over. Readers will find their interest engaged and held from beginning to end, and will close the book with great satisfaction." —Starred, The Horn Book

"Here's a really good book...for that neglected second-to-third-grade market. Eight-year-old Ellie wants a puppy more than anything else in the world...So she's not happy when her parents inform her that they are adopting a full-grown dog - a 'sort of square, boring brown dog with sticking-up ears and a skinny tail' - named Preston who belonged to a distant relative...Gradually, however, Preston wins her over. Readers will find their interest engaged and held from beginning to end, and will close the book with great satisfaction." —Starred, The Horn Book

"A neat twist on the girl-yearns-for-dog story, this begining chapter book has much to recommend it...Thomas F. Yezerski's 10 full-page drawings illustrate the characters' actions, attitudes, and emotions in a most appealing way. An excellent choice for children." —Booklist

Horn Book Magazine
Here's a really good book-well written, brief without being a mere outline for a novel, predictable without being boring, heartfelt-for that neglected second-to-third-grade market. Eight-year-old Ellie wants a puppy more than anything else in the world: she talks about getting a puppy with everyone, including the cashier at the supermarket; draws pictures of puppies; checks out books on puppies from the library. So she's not happy when her parents inform her that they are adopting a full-grown dog-a "sort of square, boring brown dog with sticking-up ears and a skinny tail"-named Preston who belonged to a distant relative. Ellie finds it hard to give up on her puppy dream and refuses to acknowledge the growing bond between her and Preston ("'Ellie, take your dog outside to play that game.' 'Okay. But he's not my dog,' said Ellie"). Gradually, however, Preston-loyal, smart, and fun-wins her over. Readers will find their interest engaged and held from beginning to end, and will close the book with immense satisfaction as Ellie answers a query about Preston's identity with an off-handed but committed "Preston?...Preston is my dog."
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Ellie's dreams of owning her ideal dog are dashed when she inherits her grandmother's pooch (who eventually wins her over). "The author is right on target expressing how it feels to receive a gift that is not quite right,"said PW. Ages 7-10. (Apr.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature - Kathleen Karr
Rodowsky's first foray into chapter books for younger readers continues her theme of coming to terms with unwanted change. More than anything, eight-year-old Ellie wants a puppy. She's done her research and knows exactly how she'll train and care for it. A puppy has been promised for her ninth birthday. When she's suddenly presented with a dog-a used dog, at that-Ellie goes into a snit. How she learns to accommodate Great Aunt Margaret's beloved Preston is the grist of this thoughtful tale.
School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-Ellie Martin has always wanted a puppy and her parents have promised that she can have one when she turns nine. Before her birthday, a letter arrives from her great-aunt, who explains that she must move into an apartment where pets are not allowed. Trying to make the best of a difficult situation, Ellie's parents tell their daughter that she can have her great-aunt's dog, Preston. To Ellie, he is a boring, brown dog and definitely not what she had in mind. Preston, however, proves to be a good friend; he helps her find her way home when she gets lost and keeps her company when she gets sick. Slowly, Ellie's affection for the animal grows. This beginning chapter book will have readers rooting for Preston and empathizing with the girl as she struggles with disappointment. The dilemma of an elderly person who is unable to keep her beloved pet is sensitively treated and adds to the realism of the story. Occasional black-and-white drawings illustrate the text.-Carol Schene, Taunton Public Schools, MA
Kirkus Reviews
Ellie has always wanted a puppy, and her parents have told her she can have one when she's nine. Then her great-aunt has to move into an apartment, and asks Ellie's family to take in her dog, Preston, instead of a puppy. Preston, a full-grown, ordinary mutt, is definitely not what Ellie had in mind, but through his friendliness, affection, and aid when she's lost, he gradually wins her over. Rodowsky (The Turnabout Shop, 1998, etc.) keeps the pace quick and the tone light; Ellie, though stubborn, is never bratty, and Preston, while never anthropomorphized, is clearly aware of the loss of his owner. Small moments give the story its gentle glow, e.g., Preston looking out the window on his first night, Ellie scratching his ears until he falls asleep. (b&w illustrations, not seen) (Fiction. 7-11) .
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374455385
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 4/9/2001
  • Series: Sunburst Bks.
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 80
  • Sales rank: 1,431,324
  • Age range: 7 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.13 (w) x 7.76 (h) x 0.23 (d)

Meet the Author

Colby Rodowsky's most recent books are The Turnabout Shop and Remembering Mog. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

Thomas F. Yezerski is the creator of Together in Pinecone Patch. He lives in Rutherford, New Jersey.

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Table of Contents

Ellie 3
Preston 12
Ellie and Preston 21
No Zoo Today 34
The Long Way Home 45
Maybe We Made a Mistake 58
Who Is Preston? 65
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