Book Review: Sled Dogs Run

By Jonathan London and illustrated by Jon Van Zyle, the Official Artist of the Iditarod, this book for 6-9 year olds describes a young musher’s experience raising and training sled dog puppies and her run with them on a sled in winter.

Readers as young as 4 years old and as old as 11 and 12 years old are captivated by this book. Read either independently or as a picture book for the group, the story takes readers on the run with the team—-moose, a storm, gee and haw commands, and quietness.

Imagery is strong in the book, so it can be used with older readers, to identify and discuss the imagery used.  “We run to keep up with our hearts”; “the air clears, like a clean window”; “silence as quiet as owl’s breath”. Stimulating vocabulary brings images alive—sloppy, solo, scenting, skidding and more.

Notable features of this book include the end papers which are filled with Van Zyle’s illustrations and identification of sled and musher gear. The Author’s Note provides factual information about the dog and human relationship and the Siberian husky featured in this book.