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Children's Fiction General

A Very Unusual Dog

by (author) Dorothy Joan Harris

illustrated by Kim LaFave

Scholastic Canada Ltd
Initial publish date
Oct 2004
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2004
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2007
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Out of print

This edition is not currently available in bookstores. Check your local library or search for used copies at Abebooks.

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 4 to 8
  • Grade: p to 3


Jonathan has a very unusual dog. It likes to go to the park, watch TV, and eat toast crumbs. And it's invisible. When the entire family — including Dog, of course — visit Grandma one day, Jonathan spots a photo of a cat. The cat, says Grandma, was hers, but the cat died, and Grandma's apartment won't let allow pets. The next day, Dog is gone. Jonathan explains to his family that he left Dog at Grandma's to keep her company... and it's okay if she calls him Cat. Inspired by the author's real-life children, who had their own invisible dog when they were young.

About the authors

Dorothy Joan Harris was born in Kobe, Japan on February 14, 1931, and came to Canada in 1938. She graduated from the University of Toronto in modern languages, then taught in France and Japan. In 1955, she married Alan Harris, settled in Toronto, and was editor with Copp Clark Publishers. She began writing for her two children, Kim and Doug, and has gone on to write for other people's children.

Dorothy Joan Harris' profile page

Kim LaFave is a prolific picture book artist with many titles to his name, including Amos's Sweater, Ben Over Night, and Big Ben, which earned him the Mr. Christie's Book Award Silver Seal. He has also won the Governor General's Award, the Ruth Schwartz Children's Book Award, and the Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator's Award. Kim lives on the west coast of Canada, in Robert's Creek, British Columbia.

Kim LaFave's profile page


  • Short-listed, Chocolate Lily Book Award (BC Children's Choice)
  • Short-listed, Shining Willow Award (Saskatchewan Young Readers' Choice)
  • Commended, Canadian Children's Book Centre, Our Choice
  • Short-listed, Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award
  • Short-listed, OLA Blue Spruce Award
  • Short-listed, Governor General's Award for Children's Literature - Illustration

Other titles by Dorothy Joan Harris

Other titles by Kim LaFave