Friday, November 13, 2009


Part of the reason I have such a fondness for children's books, even as an adult, is their illustrations. And animal stories always seem to get the very best pictures.

Jock's Island by Elizabeth Coatsworth, illustrations by Lilian Obligado

Lad, A Dog by Albert Payson Terhune, illustrations by Sam Savitt (special edition)

Album Of Dogs by Marguerite Henry, illustrations by Wesley Dennis

A Tree For Peter by Kate Seredy

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Good Luck Dog

The Good Luck Dog

Lilo Hess, author and photographer

1985, Charles Scribners' Sons

A shaggy small dog is stolen off his owner's porch and ends up sold to a laboratory. In the nick of time, he's saved from a horrible fate when an employee discovers he's been tattooed - and the lab has a policy against using tattooed animals, as it indicates they are probably pets. Sent to a shelter, he's adopted by a little boy who names him Skeeter and who is disappointed when he's unable to train the little terrier to act like a beagle. When he gets the chance to acquire a Beagle, the boy passes the pup on to a little deaf girl, who has him trained as a hearing aid dog. The initially think the little dog is a mutt, but learn that he's really a purebred Tibetan Terrier - and Heather enters him in AKC obedience trials.

A short book which is more photo-essay than novel, with brief and inelequent writing stuffed full of obvious propaganda. I don't disagree with most of the 'message' - chained dogs are unhappy, tattooing a dog provides protection against theft, etc. - but I find the flat, dull style and unapologetic pedantry unforgivable.


Kah-Loo/Skeeter - male Tibetan Terrier

About the Author

Born in Germany, Hess grew up in Berlin and came to America in 1938. In 1939, she did PR pictures for Frank Buck, the famous animal collector whose slogan was "bring 'em back alive." Her photography and writing were featured in American magazines including Life.


Lilo Hess Museum & Gallery

Other books
A Dog By Your Side

Life Begins For Puppies

A Pony To Love

Shetland Ponies

Diary Of A Rabbit

Making Friends With Guinea Pigs

A Cat's Nine Lives

Bird Companions

Christine, The Baby Chimp

The Amazing Earthworm

Animals That Hide, Imitate And Bluff

The Curious Raccoons

A Family Of Foxes

Fawn In The Woods

Foxes In The Woodshed

Listen To Your Kitten Purr

Mouse And Company

The Misunderstood Skunk

Odd Pets