McCarty, R.J. (2007). Planet of the Dogs. Barking Planet Productions.
Planet of the Dogs shares the story of a human world consumed by greed. To save the Earth, volunteer dogs leave their own planet and begin to improve humanity by befriending children, beginning with Daisy and Bean.
This book has the feel and language of a creation myth. Individual characters are not introduced for several chapters. All of this lends itself for the book to be read aloud.
The illustrations were detailed, but did not always match the images that I personally wanted to create for the worlds described.
The book is in moments choppy with the chapter transitions. It was also too didactic for my personal tastes. But more than anything, this book demonstrates a love for dogs and a metaphor for how they can improve people’s lives.
For more information on the book and series, you can visit www.planetofthedogs.net.
Activities to do with the book:
Since the book shares both examples of a distopia and a utopia, a teacher could encourage a discussion of what makes a society ‘good’ or ‘bad.’
Students could create their own stories in response, incorporating their own favorite species of animals as heroes.
The book could also be used to initiate a conversation on respecting dogs and other animals. Or could begin to consider how pets can help people feel happier.
“Our story begins, long, long ago, before there were dogs on Planet Earth” (p. 1).
“Our plan is to begin with the children. They are more open to trust, love and learning new ways than adults. We will go to Planet Earth and work with the children” (p. 6).
“We dogs are happy and help each other because love is the most important part of our lives. When you give love,” she said, “You bring out love in others. If we come to Planet Earth, and people spend time with us, there will be fewer lonely people and more happy people” (p. 10-11).