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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

The book that inspired the animated movie classic! When Dearly's Dalmatians have their first litter of pups—fifteen in all—everyone is delighted. But their joy is shortlived, for the pups are kidnapped! Scotland Yard is baffled, but the keenest canine minds are on the case—and on the trail of Cruella de Vil, the most fiendish person to ever covet a fur coat. Pongo and Missis would give every…

101 Dalmatians

by Dodie Smith

Overall Book Review:

101 Dalmatians is a charming classic that I picked up after loving another of Dodie Smith’s books (I Capture the Castle). There are some major differences from the Disney movie of 101 Dalmatians–for example, you will be surprised to know that Perdita and Pongo’s wife are entirely different dogs! And yet the book is delightful and fun, probably because it presents dogs in such an endearing light.

While I felt there was some implied sexism throughout the book, this could be chalked up to the time period, and the author shouldn’t be blamed for that. It wasn’t prominent enough that a child would notice it.

Overall, this book might make a great gift for a child, so long as it doesn’t bother you that one of the major settings is titled Hell Hall. As a sweet little book, any dog-lover will appreciate it.

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  None (However, a place called Hell Hall is mentioned 32 times, which is probably worth noting in a children’s book.)

Violence/Gore:  An adult talks about drowning kittens; an adult suggest drowning puppies; an adult has a disturbing obsession with killing and skinning dogs and puppies; a dog threatens to hurt a human adult; a toddler throws a rock at a dog, injuring him; a dog talks about wanting to bite a child; a few adults discuss how to kill a lot of puppies.

Sex/Nudity:  None

Mature Subject Matter:

Revenge, cruelty to animals, an adult villain is implied and discussed as having some relation to demons/the devil.

Alcohol / Drug Use:


Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

I am devoted to stories. The guest bedroom at our house is themed “Harry Potter.” My dream job is to be a librarian or book editor. I even wanted to name our dog Ender or Julian Delphiki, but my husband put his foot down (which was probably a good idea).