ATLAS of DOGS: Explore the PAW-SOME World of Pooches

I’ve always prided myself on my ability to recognize an impressive number of dog breeds, but I was blown away by some of the unusual pooches covered in the ATLAS OF DOGS, as well as the fascinating information about some more common breeds. In this beautifully rendered hardcover by Lonely Planet Kids, author Frances Evans and illustrator Kelsey Evans introduce 150 paw-some pooches in the geographic region from which they hail with engaging, kid-friendly language and vibrant, personality-packed illustrations. Though the reading level is tagged at grades 1-3, this is an atlas an entire family of dog lovers can enjoy!

Whether you’re looking for a new furry companion or enjoy flipping through dog books like I do, you’ll learn fun facts about breeds like the Cesky (“chess-key”) Terrier, a Czech rat-hunter bred in the 1940s to be “chilled-out when off duty.” I particularly appreciate how Frances Evans gives us the real poop-scoop about what each dog was bred for and how they might act around people, in or out of your home. I also love how arrows point to each physical attribute and include clear explanations. Now for some woof-tastic examples!

Believe it or not, the Hungarian Puli’s fur naturally grows into mop-like cords. Equally hard to believe, this “clever, agile, and energetic” mid-sized pooch was bred to round up sheep! Imagine having a dog that can round up your teenagers and dust your floors at the same time. But given the Puli’s penchant for jumping on top of sheep, this probably isn’t the best breed for families with young children!

After reading this paw-some description, I immediately googled “Afghan Hounds running in the desert” and confirmed my hunch that these aloof hunting dogs think they’re cats. This stunner has long, silky hair that many women (and men) would envy.

Interspersed throughout THE ATLAS OF DOGS are special interest pages. SUPER-DOGS introduces real life canine superheroes like Bear, a Collie-Koolie crossbreed who saved over 100 koalas trapped by terrible Australian brushfires in 2019 – 2020. Bear’s heroics merit being written up in a school report and prove my long-held belief that mutts are just as worthy of our love as purebred dogs are.

Some dogs, as many of you are undoubtably aware, are purposely crossbred into designer combinations. Under the heading CUTE CROSSBREEDS AND MARVELOUS MIXES, readers are introduced to Boradors – a mix between a Labrador and a Border Collie- and the adorable and playful Cavoodle (my next dog), a mix between a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Miniature or Toy Poodle.

Other special interest pages include DOGS ON THE GO, GENTLE GIANTS, TERRIFIC TERRIERS, DOGS WITH JOBS, RECORD-BREAKING DOGS, and more! Besides the Table of Contents, the ATLAS OF DOGS also features a glossary of terms and a helpful index that make searching for a specific breed or section tail-waggingly easy.

Can you sniff out my passion for dogs? Recently, we rescued a 4-year-old Goldendoodle named Skye. Though I’m a wee bit bummed that Goldendoodles aren’t highlighted in the atlas, I recognize that with the proliferation of designer doodles (Aussiedoodles, Bernadoodles, Schnoodles…), there could be an atlas dedicated entirely to them! What’s next? Perhaps a Stroodle – a mix between a St. Bernard and a Standard Poodle! Appropriately, the doodle that started the craze, the “affectionate, friendly, smart” Labradoodle, IS included.

One final anecdote: A few weeks ago, I met the most unusual and adorable dog. Its tight, curly coat was Poodle-esque, but it had a big, blocky head that contrasted its coat. “What kind of dog is that?” I breathlessly quizzed the owner and asked him to repeat his answer three times. When every person behind me also quizzed the kind and patient owner, I suggested he call it a truffle dog instead. Kudos to Frances Evans for providing the phonetic pronunciation of each breed! And trust me when I tell you there are breeds within the ATLAS OF DOGS with names more difficult than this one!

Dog lovers of any age are guaranteed to get hours of enjoyment from this stunning atlas, a veritable who’s who of our faithful canine companions. Here’s why I heartily recommend this hardcover for kids: it imparts respect and understanding, invites exploration and additional research, can be read and re-read in sections or page by page, and will retain its good looks through repeated perusal. Kids can focus on whatever sparks their fancy, a specific geographic region, a particular breed, or the fascinating special interest pages. There’s absolutely no right or wrong way to experience an atlas like this! Though the holidays are behind us, the ATLAS OF DOGS would make a woof-tastic birthday, Valentine’s Day, or any time gift! So go fetch!!

8 comments

    1. I loved the story of Bear! And I never heard his story before reading this atlas! All the stories in the SUPER-DOGS section are truly awe-inspiring.

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    1. Pamela, indeed it is! I’ve always prided myself on my dog breed knowledge, but I learned so much from this beautiful atlas and really enjoy flipping through it.

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  1. Oh man, this would be an engaging coffee table book at my house! I love the idea of the Super-Dog stories interspersed throughout…sounds greally cute 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hilary,
      Yes! This makes for the perfect coffee table book. One that the entire family will enjoy reading again and again.

      Like

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