The 1956 Club is part of a meme created by Simon at Stuck in a Book and Karen at Kaggsy's Bookish Ramblings to showcase books published in a specific year. Other featured years are 1924, 1938, 1944, 1947, 1951, 1965, 1968, and 1977.
Title: Harry the Dirty Dog
Author: Gene Zion
Illustrator: Margaret Bloy Graham
Publication: HarperCollins, hardcover, 1956
Genre: Picture Book
Description: Harry was a white dog with black spots who liked everything, except . . . getting a bath. So one day when he heard the water running in the tub, he took the scrubbing brush and buried it in the backyard. Then he ran away from home.
Harry has a lot of fun frolicking around the neighborhood that day but gets very dirty. In fact, he changed from a white dog with black spots to a black dog with white spots. When Harry goes home, his own family doesn’t recognize him – even when he does all his clever tricks! What will it take to get this scamp of a dog out of the proverbial doghouse?
My Impression: Harry the Dirty Dog is one of the best-loved picture books of all time, due to the brilliance of this husband/wife team. The words are simple but Harry’s personality comes through and the humor of the story is illuminated by the illustrations. And many children are like Harry and do not like taking bath. Under the guidance of legendary editor Ursula Nordstrom, Zion and Graham created four books about Harry, an appealing dog with a mind of his own (he survived longer than their marriage). In contrast, Harry’s family is nameless – there is no doubt he is the star of this series and is beloved by generations of children and those reading aloud to them.
If you like this one, try my second favorite, No Roses for Harry, in which Harry rebels against his new sweater. My sister considered the name Harry for her new puppy but ultimately went with Cosmo.
|Cosmo - 3 months|
If you’ve never encountered Harry the Dirty Dog, let actress Betty White read it to you!
Source: Personal copy
Images copyright to HarperCollins