Cover image for Moondogs
Kirk, Daniel.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Putnam's, [1999]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 26 cm
Willy flies to the moon to get a moondog for a pet, but he finds true happiness with a scruffy but loyal Earth dog named Scrappy.
Reading Level:
490 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 2.9 0.5 68414.

Reading Counts RC K-2 2.3 1 Quiz: 28358 Guided reading level: J.
Geographic Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Childrens Area-Picture Books
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



There are amazing-looking dogs on the moon! Young Willy knows because he has been watching them through his telescope. When his dad suggests he ought to have a pet, Willy builds a rocket just his size, and sets off on the adventure of a lifetime.Willy's heart is set on finding a dog like you've never seen before and readers will be surprised to see what he brings home!

Author Notes

Daniel Kirk is the author and illustrator of many books for children, including Trash Trucks and Moondogs (both Putnam) and Skateboard Monsters (Puffin). He lives in New Jersey. copyright ? 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 5-7. Concerned that he spends too much time in solitary stargazing, young Willy's parents decide that their son needs a dog; but rather than find one at the pet shop, Willy eagerly constructs a spaceship and zooms off to pick one from the Moon. Sporting a glorious array of extra eyes, heads, legs, ears, and tails, a crowd of moondogs gathers around; before Willy can choose, though, the hulking Man in the Moon snatches him up hungrily. Off race the moondogs, leaving the scruffy spaniel that has followed Willy--or, to be more accurate perhaps, Willy's lunch--from Earth to leap heroically to the rescue. Instant bonding ensues. Although not to be confused with David Kirk of the best-selling Miss Spider books, this Kirk gives his art a similar look, with smooth, airbrushed surfaces and opaque jelly bean colors; the monstrous Man in the Moon looks and postures like a WWF refugee, the moondogs add a wide streak of daffiness, and young fans of the Barraccas' Taxi Dog adventures will feel at home with the singsong rhymed text. (Reviewed March 15, 1999)0399231285John Peters

Publisher's Weekly Review

Despite its far-flying premise, this story of extraterrestrial canines falls short of Kirk's retro-cool Lucky's 24-Hour Garage and his philosophic Bigger. In campy rhymes, the book introduces Willy Joe Jehosephat, a brainy young astronomer who spends his nights stargazing by himself. Will's father urges him to find a sidekick, so Will builds a rocket and shoots into space in search of his ideal companion: "I'd like to get a moondogÄthat's the perfect pet for me./ I watch them through my telescope./ They're real, I guarantee!" En route, Will finds that a stray mutt (visible on early spreads) has hidden aboard the craft, but Will overlooks the friendly stowaway in favor of the multi-eyed, Ceres-headed moondogs that he meets among the planet's craters. Predictably, the plain brown hound soon outshines the flamboyant lunar varieties. Kirk's smooth oil paintings are this volume's strong suit. Will's home is a kitschy suburban refuge, with Mom and Dad standing tall in the open doorway of the overlit house; pencil tucked behind his ear and eyes seemingly painted onto his shiny glasses, Will himself is the postmodern parody of a science buff. Yet the narrative voice labors to exude enthusiasm for Will's fantasy. Kirk's versatile brushwork can't conceal this tale's flimsy plot. Ages 5-up. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-With a nice balance of pictures and rhyming text, Kirk takes readers on a satisfying flight to the moon. Young Will's parents, concerned that their son's only interest is space, think that he should have a pet. The boy agrees. However, he wants a moondog, and after building a rocket, he blasts off into the sky to find one. Unbeknownst to Will, but visible to sharp-eyed readers, a hungry, brown-haired mutt, who has slyly turned up in the earlier pages, sneaks onboard. Good thing, too, because when Will is captured by the man in the moon, a giant whose "breath was hot and sour," Scrappy comes to the rescue. Grateful, Will concurs with the moondogs he meets-this is his perfect pet-and the two head for home. A final picture finds them-Will in an astronaut suit, Scrappy clean and beribboned-looking at the stars through dual telescopes. Kirk's oil paints have a smooth, silky look that fits this science-fiction story and his bevy of colorful moondogs, with their multiple tails, eyes, heads, and legs, are a splendid complement. For Will, for Scrappy, for Kirk, and especially for his readers-mission accomplished.-Barbara Elleman, Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.