Harry the Dirty Dog

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Harry the Dirty Dog
First edition
AuthorGene Zion
IllustratorMargaret Bloy Graham
LanguageEnglish, Spanish
GenreChildren's literature
PublisherHarper & Brothers
Publication date

Harry the Dirty Dog is a children's book written by Gene Zion and illustrated by Margaret Bloy Graham. Originally published in black and white in 1956, it was reprinted in 2002 with splashes of color added by the original artist. Based on a 2007 online poll, the National Education Association named the book one of its "Teachers' Top 100 Books for Children."[1]


The family dog, Harry, disenchanted with taking baths, buries the bathtub scrubber and runs away from home. Harry gets dirty and returns home, only to find his family does not recognize him. His attempts to get his family to realize that it is him only succeed when he brings back the brush that he buried. Then he ran back into the house and up the stairs where the bathroom was. Then once the kids realized that the dirty dog was only to be their very own dog.


Harry the Dirty Dog received positive reviews.[2] Kirkus Reviews called it "Another funnybone tickling charmer".[3] Kids' Book Review found "Its timeless storyline, humour and sheer affection between the characters make the series an absolute delight for all ages."[4] Common Sense Media commented "Expressive illustrations with old-fashioned charm."[5] The book continues to be held in thousands of libraries worldwide.[6]

In popular culture[edit]

  • The book is read in the Barney & Friends episode "Our Furry Feathered Fishy Friends".
  • Weston Woods Studios produced an adaptation of the book.
  • An official musical adaptation of the book was written and produced by ArtsPower National Touring Theatre.
  • Betty White, representing the Screen Actor's Guild (SAG), reads the book in a StorylineOnline YouTube video published May 21, 2012 and has received over 4.17 million views hence[7]


  1. ^ National Education Association (2007). "Teachers' Top 100 Books for Children". Retrieved August 19, 2012.
  2. ^ "Margaret Bloy Graham, 'Harry the Dirty Dog' Illustrator, Dies at 94". New York Times. 28 January 2015. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  3. ^ "Harry the Dirty Dog". www.kirkusreviews.com. Kirkus Media LLC. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  4. ^ "Review: Harry the Dirty Dog". www.kids-bookreview.com. Kids' Book Review. 17 May 2009. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  5. ^ "Harry the Dirty Dog". www.commonsensemedia.org. Common Sense Media Inc. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  6. ^ "Harry, the dirty dog". WorldCat, accessed 21 September 2015.
  7. ^ StorylineOnline (2012-05-21), Harry the Dirty Dog read by Betty White, retrieved 2016-05-05

External links[edit]