When you think of famous characters named Harry from children’s literature, you probably think of the Hogwart’s student, but in honor of today’s opening of the Westminster Dog Show, I’m thinking of another Harry. Harry the dog, of course — the star of four picture books by Gene Zion and illustrated by Margaret Bloy Graham. These stories about the adventures of Harry and his family are not the newest dog books on the shelves, but they have staying power.
There are four books about Harry: Harry by the Sea, Harry the Dirty Dog, No Roses for Harry and the early reader, Harry and the Lady Next Door. There are very few picture book images I easily recall from my own childhood, but I can still remember Harry in the coal truck where he changes from being a “white dog with black spots to a black dog with white spots.” And in Harry by the Sea, Harry rolls around in so much seaweed that he’s unrecognizable to his family. Clearly, this dog would not pose a threat to any of the dogs in the Westminster Dog Show, but he’s irresistable! I’ve never met a child who doesn’t love the Harry books so if you missed these stories during your own childhood, be sure to introduce your children (and yourself) to Harry.