MOONDOGS by Daniel Kirk


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 7
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A deliberate sense of the absurd infuses Kirk’s story of a boy and his dog with great humor and appeal. Young Willy Joe Jehosephat loves gazing at the moon through his telescope, but his parents want him to have a real playmate, a dog. Willy readily agrees—to a moondog, “the perfect pet for me./I watch them through my telescope./They’re real, I guarantee!” After Willy builds a spaceship and is on his way to the Moon, he discovers a stowaway on board, a scrappy Earth mutt that Willy intends to leave in the care of the moondogs after he has made his selection. Once on the moon, Willy establishes contact with an enormous pack of moondogs, but also with a hideous moon man, who threatens to eat Willy. While the moondogs quake and quiver, the Earth mutt gives the moon man a good nip and sends him running. That’s the dog for Willy. Questions of loyalty are obviously raised here, but Kirk’s story allows for the pleasures of the here-and-now as well as acknowledging the dreams attached to distant stars. As always, the palette is robust and retro, with images that are invitingly participatory. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: March 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-399-23128-5
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 1999