All My Dogs.

Author:Silverstein, Barry
Position:Book review

Bill Henderson (author), Leslie Moore (illustrator); ALL MY DOGS; David R. Godine (Nonfiction: Autobiography & Memoir) $19.95 ISBN: 9781567924350

Byline: Barry Silverstein

It would be a mistake to dismiss All My Dogs by Bill Henderson as just another entry into the already inflated category of canine books, because this little memoir is masterful.

The author reminisces about the numerous dogs he has owned since childhood. They are, of course, main characters in the book, each with its own personality and its own story. Their antics bring joy to Henderson, and they will undoubtedly amuse readers, too. The dogs' short time on earth, however, and the manner in which some of them die, may well bring tears.

There are other memorable characters, of the non-canine variety, who make an appearance; for example, Edward Holyoke Snow, the junior high principal who was "obsessed" with dogs. Henderson writes, "Snow's favorite slogan, which the entire school -- teachers included -- was required to chant at pep rallies was, 'It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog.'" Readers also get to eavesdrop on Henderson's occasionally stormy marriage to Annie, who is herself a richly drawn character.

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