Family Book Festival

Family Book Festival: Harry The Dirty Dog {Franticmommy}

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Welcome to the Family Book Festival!

Family Book Festival


With the winter doldrums kicking in and families getting restless from being trapped indoors, we thought this would be a perfect time to create a Family Book Festival. And what better way to create a list of books to include in our  Family Book Festival is to ask fellow writers, authors, and bloggers for their favorite childhood book favorites along with some matching activities.

So throughout the month of February, we will be enlisting the help, thoughts, and opinions from our participants on what books they remember the most from childhood, and what books are family favorites now.  My thought is that this compilation of books, favorite reads, and activities will provide not only a new reading list for the winter, but a sweet walk down memory lane for parents that will last the whole month of February.

The first guest this month for this event is Becky “Franticmommy” Flansburg. You may also know Becky as my “Head Elf” at Audrey Press and Jump Ito a Book and also the Project Manager for the wildly successful Multicultural Children’s Book Day: Celebrating Diversity in Children’s Literature that was held January 27th. Welcome Becky!

Becky’s Pick: Harry The Dirty Dog

Harry The Dirty Dog

This books holds a special place in my heart because I remember this as one of my a favorite books as a child. Written more than 50 years ago, the gentle humor and themes of Harry the Dirty Dog still strike a chord with children today. I had forgotten about the magic of Harry until this summer we discovered this book at a garage sale. It was like finding an old friend!

Harry The Dirty Dog

The story of Harry begins as this naughty puppy does is best to avoid his most loathed thing; a BATH. Harry is a white dog with black spots and, as a way of outsmarting his family, he buries his hateful bath scrub brush and runs off into the city to hide. Harry, being the typical nosy dog, investigates the happenings of the city and gets filthy in the process. So dirty, his family doesn’t recognize him when he comes back home. His antics that follow are humorous and creative and in the end, he gets a bath AND gets his family back.

Harry The Dirty Dog


The Illustrations by Margaret Bloy Graham

The original publication in 1956 included monochromatic illustrations in black and white. In 2002, the illustrator, Margaret Bloy Graham, added subtle splashes of watercolor. The story begins on the title page as illustrations reveal Harry taking his scrub brush and running out of the bathroom. The simple cartoon sketches reveal details that are amusing and not included in the text. The emotions of the irresistible dog are revealed with simple black lines. Several of the illustrations run on to the next page allowing readers to guess or create a story of their own before turning the page.

Author Gene Zion

Born in 1913 in New York City, Gene Zion knew he was an artist when a kindergarten teacher praised one of his drawings. His first paid job as an artist was for painting pictures on the back of his classmates’ raincoats. He graduated with an art degree from Brooklyn’s Pratt Institute and in 1936 he won a national travel poster contest.

Something To Do

We decided to enhance our Harry The Dirty Dog experience with a few activities and this Dog in a Dog recipe/activity from Rhodes bread caught my eye. Yummy bread, hot dogs …and in a shape that the kids loved. What more could you ask? I wanted to include a picture of our finished product, but they “disappeared” too quickly 😉

Dog in a Dog

We also found a fun Kleenex Box Dog Craft from Plaid/Mod Podge that was not only fun, but exactly what our 2nd Grader needed to hold her Valentines at school!



We also loved this reading of the story from Betty White from the StorylineOnline series.


We hope you enjoy Harry as much as we did!

Becky Flansburg

8 thoughts on “Family Book Festival: Harry The Dirty Dog {Franticmommy}

  1. What a great idea to have a family book festival. My sons and I love books. They had set up a reading fort during our snow days last week. We haven’t read this book but it looks darling. Its on my 50 bookish things to do before I die bucket list to read 1000 books with my kids. Here’s my list if you would like to see what else is on it, many kid related. Stopping by from SITS!

  2. I love Harry the Dirty Dog. Its especially fun to read it to the littles as they scream and shout about how dirty he’s getting!

    1. It’s such a fun book to read too. Some classics are favs for generations 🙂

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