© 1999 by Thomas F. Yezerski


Not My Dog

  • written by Colby Rodowsky
  • illustrated by Thomas F. Yezerski
  • Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1999
  • 69 pp., black and white illustrations
  • ages 7-10
  • ISBN-10: 0-374-35531-2
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-374-35531-9


Ellie Martin is about to turn nine years old, and she can’t wait. Her parents promise her a puppy for her birthday. Ellie tells all her friends and spends all her time thinking up names for her new pet. Everything changes when her great aunt moves to an apartment and Ellie’s parents offer to take her dog, Preston. When Preston moves in, he is homesick, and Ellie resents him. After some time and a few poignant moments together, Ellie has to rethink her stubborn opinion. Colby Rodowsky writes a funny and tender tale about a spunky girl and her loyal friend.


  • Notable Book – American Library Association
  • Honor List – The Horn Book
  • International Book Awards Honor Book – Society of School Librarians
  • Gold Award – Oppenheim Toy Portfolio
  • Children's Media Award – Parent's Guide


Thomas F. Yezerski’s 10 full-page drawings illustrate the characters’ actions, attitudes, and emotions in a most appealing way.
— Booklist


When the designer at Farrar, Straus and Giroux asked me to try my hand at illustrating Not My Dog, she proposed I use ink washes rather than the crosshatching with which I usually shade my drawings. I tried her method, and I’m very happy with the way it came out. I especially enjoyed illustrating the expressions on the faces of Ellie and Preston. I first read this story when my Mom and Dad had just adopted a new dog of their own. Their dog, Mickey, and I didn’t get along really well at first, and I missed our old dog. One day I was playing the piano and Mickey lay down on the floor behind me. At one point, he got up on his hind legs, put his front paws on my shoulders, and just stood there. I had a change of heart and inspiration for the pictures in Not My Dog.