I am leaving in rather a hurry to see more of the world, so I have no time to say goodbye to you individually. I embrace you all and sniff you with love. I don't know when I'll be back. But back I will be.
It's time for a change, so Dominic packs his collection of hats and his piccolo and heads out, letting the world take him where it may. When Dominic encounters members of the Doomsday Gang, he easily foils their attempt to rob him. Legend of his victory quickly spreads, and each new friend Dominic meets tells him a story of their own less-fortunate meeting with the villains, and asks for help from the heroic dog. But can one lone dog bring down an entire band of hooligans?
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Dominic is a one-of-a-kind dog. One day this exuberant, restless, freedom-loving fellow decides there isn't enough going on in his neighborhood to satisfy his need for adventure. And off he goes, with an assortment of hats (rakish, dashing, solemn, and martial), his precious piccolo, and a few other things, leaving a note on his door:
Dear Friends, I am leaving rather in a hurry to see more of the world, so I have no time to say goodbye to you individually. I embrace you all and sniff you with love. I don't know when I'll be back. But back I will be. Dominic.On the road, this curious canine is lighthearted, open to every option, all senses aquiver. It's not long before he encounters a prophetic witch-alligator, (who had "many more teeth than necessary for any ordinary dental purpose"); a catfish who gives him a long, sharp spear that will make him invincible in serious combat; and even the infamous Doomsday Gang, "who robbed, ravaged, cheated, attacked innocent creatures at large and travelers especially, and did all sorts of damaging mischief." Dominic remains undaunted throughout, for "challenges were his delight. Whatever life offered was, this way or that, a test of one's skills, one's faculties; and he enjoyed proving equal to these tests."
As he continues his journey, we find Dominic to be considerate, compassionate, generous, and philosophical. As he ponders the nature of death, the nature of wealth, the role of art in our lives, the nature of good and evil, and the yearning for true love, readers are left with a feeling that life is basically good, and even splendid:
"What a wonderful world!" thought Dominic. "How perfect!" Had it been up to him when things were first made, he wouldn't have made them a whit different. Every leaf was in its proper place. Pebbles, stones, flowers, all were just as they ought to be. Water ran where it should run. They sky was properly blue. All sounds were in tune. Everything had its appropriate smell.Kids will adore the magical, comical, action-packed adventures of this remarkable dog, and readers of any age will come away from William Steig's Dominic somehow changed. An ALA Notable Book. (Ages 8 and older, and a wonderful read-aloud for younger children) --Karin Snelson About the Author:
William Steig (1907-2003) was a cartoonist, illustrator and author of award-winning books for children, including Shrek!, on which the DreamWorks movies are based. Steig was born in New York City. Every member of his family was involved in the arts, and so it was no surprise when he decided to become an artist. He attended City College and the National Academy of Design. In 1930, Steig's work began appearing in The New Yorker, where his drawings have been a popular fixture ever since. He published his first children's book, Roland the Minstrel Pig, in 1968.
In 1970, Steig received the Caldecott Medal for Sylvester and the Magic Pebble. His books for children also include Dominic; The Real Thief; The Amazing Bone, a Caldecott Honor Book; Amos & Boris, a National Book Award finalist; and Abel's Island and Doctor De Soto, both Newbery Honor Books. Steig's books have also received the Christopher Award, the Irma Simonton Black Award, the William Allen White Children's Book Award, and the American Book Award. His European awards include the Premio di Letteratura per l'infanzia (Italy), the Silver Pencil Award (the Netherlands), and the Prix de la Fondation de France. On the basis of his entire body of work, Steig was selected as the 1982 U.S. candidate for the Hans Christian Andersen Medal for Illustration and subsequently as the 1988 U.S. candidate for Writing.
Stieg also published thirteen collections of drawings for adults, beginning with About People in 1939, and including The Lonely Ones, Male/Female, The Agony in the Kindergarten, and Our Miserable Life.
He died in Boston at the age of 95.
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