Two dog books for children have titles that match in a strange way even though the books are different views of dogs. One book, by Serena Hodson, is about the outside of dogs and looks at them as “Upside-Down Dogs.” “Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know” is by Alexandra Horowitz, and is all about what goes on inside a dog.
Get your child both books. One is fun to look at, with pictures of adorable dogs in many silly positions. The other is filled with nonfiction, scientific information about our canine best friends.
“Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know” delves into the mind and body of a dog with chapters like “From the Dog’s Point of Nose” and “Dog-Eyed.” A fascinating chapter is “Dogs Who Study Humans: Can Dogs Read Minds?– All About You.” Dogs use many clues, including out physical movements, our facial expressions, and even our smells to understand what we feel and what we are going to do.
One lovely section of the book has the subtitle: Get a Mutt. It advises:
“If you are planning on getting a dog, I have just the breed for you: the mutt. Some people will tell you that a mutt or a dog from the shelter is not as good as a purebred dog. This is simply wrong. Mutts are healthier, less anxious, and live longer than purebreds…Mutts tend to be more easygoing. They make comfortable companions.”
Interspersed in the text are stories of the author and her much-loved dog, Pumpernickel. The reader will learn about Pumpernickel’s life from puppy to geriatric dog, and all about how that dog influenced the author just as any dog will influence the life of the human who loves it.
The book includes a glossary with vocabulary words that might be unfamiliar to young readers, a section of Notes and Sources for each chapter, and an Index for quick reference. Definitely a book for the young dog lover in a home or school! (Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers)
“Upside-Down Dogs” is by well-known photographer Serena Hodson. Her love for dogs is apparent in the beautiful photographs of dogs from every angle — but especially upside down. The photographs of the pregnant beagle next to the photograph of her with her four-week-old puppies snuggled next to her are touching and beautiful. Dogs photographed include pugs, boxers, afghans, salukis, border collies, greyhounds and goldens, bassets, bull terriers, and bullmastiffs, labs and lab mixes and even a xoloitzcuintle whose second photo looks eerily like that of a flying fruit bat.
It’s a lovely book for a coffee table or for a gift to a dog lover. It’s elegant and beautifully organized. (St. Martin’s Griffin)
Please note: This review is based on the final, hardcover books provided by the publishers for review purposes.