Cover image for Not my dog
Not my dog
Rodowsky, Colby.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Farrar Straus Giroux, 1999.
Physical Description:
69 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
Eight-year-old Ellie has to give up her life-long dream of getting a puppy after her parents agree to take in the dog that Great-aunt Margaret can no longer keep.
Reading Level:
770 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.3 1.0 43707.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 6.2 4 Quiz: 21525 Guided reading level: N.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks
X Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
X Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



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.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 2^-4. For several years, eight-year-old Ellie has been longing for the puppy she will get when she's nine. But when Great-Aunt Margaret must give up her dog, Preston, Ellie's parents decide to adopt him and forgo the puppy. Under pressure, Ellie agrees, but she's upset and not entirely welcoming to Preston. Little by little, she grows to love and accept him as her dog. A neat twist on the girl-yearns-for-dog story, this beginning chapter book has much to recommend it, from the appealingly flawed characters to the multifaceted emotional conflicts to the happy ending, which is predictable but believable in context. 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, especially dog lovers, just beyond the beginning reader stage. --Carolyn Phelan

Publisher's Weekly Review

Rodowsky (The Turnabout Shop) is right on target expressing how it feels to receive a gift that is not quite right. For three years, eight-year-old Ellie has been dreaming of getting a dog that will "give puppy kisses" and "skid across the floor, his toenails making clicking sounds against the wood." But her dream misfires when Great-Aunt Margaret has to move into an apartment that won't take her dog, Preston, and Ellie's parents offer to adopt him. Preston looks like Ellie's worst nightmare, "a sort of square, boring brown dog with sticking-up ears and a skinny tail." It does not take Ellie long, however, to realize that the pooch has some redeeming qualities: when Ellie gets sick, he stays by her side, and when she gets lost in her friend's neighborhood, he leads her home. Turning her attention to a younger audience, the author writes a genuine, gently humorous and uncomplicated story about compromise and love. Readers will alternately empathize with Ellie, who has to settle for a hand-me-down pet, and Preston, who suffers a bout of homesickness before winning his new owner's affection. Illustrations not seen by PW. Ages 7-11. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

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 (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Elliep. 3
Prestonp. 12
Ellie and Prestonp. 21
No Zoo Todayp. 34
The Long Way Homep. 45
Maybe We Made a Mistakep. 58
Who Is Preston?p. 65