Dog Heaven

Dog HeavenDog Heaven

Rylant, Cynthia






In Newbery Medalist Cynthia Rylant’s classic bestseller, the author comforts readers young and old who have lost a dog. Recommended highly by pet lovers around the world, Dog Heaven not only comforts but also brings a tear to anyone who is devoted to a pet. From expansive fields where dogs can run and run to delicious biscuits no dog can resist, Rylant paints a warm and affectionate picture of the ideal place God would, of course, create for man’s best friend. The first picture book illustrated by the author, Dog Heaven is enhanced by Rylant’s bright, bold paintings that perfectly capture an afterlife sure to bring solace to anyone who is grieving.



 Rylant’s debut as a picture book illustrator (not to be confused with her board book debut as a collagist in The Everyday Books, 1993) offers sweet comfort to all who have lost loved ones, pets or otherwise. “When dogs go to Heaven, they don’t need wings because God knows that dogs love running best. He gives them fields. Fields and fields and fields.” There are geese to bark at, plenty of children, biscuits, and, for those that need them, homes. In page- filling acrylics, small, simply brushed figures float against huge areas of bright colors: pictures infused with simple, doggy joy. At the end, an old man leans on a cane as he walks up a slope toward a small white dog: “Dogs in Dog Heaven may stay as long as they like. . . .They will be there when old friends show up. They will be there at the door.” Pure, tender, lyrical without being overearnest, and deeply felt. (Picture book. 5-9)


If you’ve ever cried over the death of a pet, you need this book. Cynthia Rylant offers comfort for any grieving pet owner, no matter what his age.
“When dogs go to heaven, they don’t need wings because God knows that dogs love running best.” From that simple beginning, this book paints a picture of a place filled with canine joys. There are good-natured geese to bark at, angel children to play with, and dog biscuits to munch. Even strays have wonderful homes and lots of love in dog heaven.
It’s been over twenty years since I lost my first and favorite dog, and I identified with this book as if the loss had been yesterday. I can’t think of a better way to say farewell to a good and faithful friend than to share this book as a memorial.

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Barnes & Noble

We received this book from a close friend when our 13 year old Australian Shepherd, Sweet Adeline died. The book had been passed to the friend when their dog died, by a friend of theirs. This same copy has been passed to a total of 5 families so far – each has written a brief note on the inside cover to the next family. We just passed it on to a friend a couple of weeks ago. We are also now putting a new copy in circulation by giving it to another friend. This time we included a photo of our pet and a note to the friend, as well as a note to “share it on” and to include a photo of their pet. It made it all the more special to know that the book has been passed on – from and to – others.

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I don’t give a lot of books 5 stars but I loved this one. Recently, our oldest lab passed away. My 5 yr old handled it pretty well, but still had a lot of questions. Not only does this book answer these questions expertly and with political correctness, but it answers the questions that never occurred to you as well. It makes you feel good about where your pet is and on top of that, the illustrations were colorful, beautiful, and engaging. Both my 5 yr old and I very much enjoyed it. I highly recommend this to those who have lost a dog, both the ones with children and the ones without.

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Posted on

February 16, 2015