Every Dog in the Neighborhood

by Philip C Stead (Author) Matthew Cordell (Illustrator)

Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

How many dogs live in the neighborhood? Louis decides to find out--by meeting every single one.

Louis really wants a dog, but his Grandma insists, "There are enough dogs in the neighborhood already." While Louis disagrees, he realizes he needs more information to support his argument: so he sets out to figure out how many dogs live in the neighborhood. While Grandma sets out on errands of her own, Louis starts knocking on doors. He meets big dogs and little dogs, dogs with jobs, dogs who eat socks, and dogs who are much missed. (He also meets cats, and birds, and one very big python, but those don't count!) By the time he gets home Louis is ready to tell Grandma just how many dogs are in the neighborhood. . . . But Grandma thinks he just might have missed one. A particularly loveable dog. A dog who needs a new home. Maybe there are enough dogs in the neighborhood after all.

Philip Stead and Caldecott Medalist Matt Cordell team up once again for a sweet, offbeat tale about a loving grandparent and grandchild in the tradition of Follow That Frog and Special Delivery. Perfect for dog lovers, of course--but the charming, subtle messages of community and compassion will appeal across the animal kingdom.

A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection

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Kirkus Reviews

Whether you’re a dog lover or not, count this one a winner. 

Publishers Weekly

Grandma knows it's going to rain; "I can feel it in my knees," she says, directing her shaggy-haired grandchild Louis to grab a raincoat for a walk through their neighborhood. Soon, rain starts pelting down, and everyone around them dashes for cover. "Grandma knows everything," Louis says serenely. Their outing prompts letters to City Hall, Grandma's banged out on an old typewriter, Louis's handwritten on notebook paper. As Grandma sets about realizing a plan for a nearby vacant lot, Louis heads out with a clipboard to survey the neighborhood's dogs. Previous collaborators Stead and Cordell (Follow That Frog) turn to real-world portraiture, spotlighting the racially diverse neighborhood's dog owners--and each pooch--in affectionate cameos. Cordell's scribbly ink and wash vignettes capture scenes of Louis meeting dogs with names such as Thelonious and Monk, while a trio named Moose, Goose, and Caboose is introduced by a girl who speaks through a mail slot ("Caboose is always leading the way," she adds). Though Louis does their own legwork, it's Grandma's brisk sense of community care--revealed in the white-presenting duo's projects--that brings a small-town intimacy to this volume's city inhabitants. Ages 4-8. Author's agent: Emily van Beek, Folio Literary. Illustrator's agent: Rosemary Stimola, Stimola Literary Studio. (June)

Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

School Library Journal

K-Gr 3--What a pleasure to see sprawling urban neighborhood scenes with every kind of adult, child, and dog imaginable, all packed into a picture book. For children who love dogs, this sweet story, charmingly limned by Cordell, follows a grandmother and her grandson, Louis, as they spend time trying to remedy a problem. Louis, resembling a sheepdog with black bangs hiding most of his face, canvasses the neighborhood to find out how many dogs live there after Grandma says there are too many for him to have one of his own. Grandma has a campaign of her own, concerning a vacant lot. By the end of the story, Louis has counted 20 neighborhood dogs, including the one he adopts, and his grandmother has turned the lot into a dog park. Louis's innocent but matter-of-fact narration is entertaining for all ages (with plenty of inside literary jokes to boot), while the illustrations show Cordell's signature sketchbook style of thin black outlines and soft watercolor paint. The art matches the tone of the book, making this a gentle and pleasant read. VERDICT In spite of its outwardly comical premise, this book delivers a ton of information on canvassing, addressing city agencies, amassing data, and getting things done. It can bolster various programs and collections, and makes a great addition to any shelf.--Sarah West

Copyright 2022 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

★ Cordell brings to the page a vivid cast of characters as Louis canvasses the neighborhood. His shaggy, loose-lined illustrations in warm pastels are detailed and filled with humor. . . . Stead creates an indelible character in Grandma, who is fierce, determined, and kind, and he leaves plenty of room in his lively text for Cordell to add layer upon layer to this already nuanced tale—one that ends sweetly, in more ways than one.—The Horn Book, Starred Review

Every Dog in the Neighborhood is an easy book to fall in love with. Philip C. Stead's writing is exquisite, and illustrator Matthew Cordell's artwork portrays a delightful menagerie of humans and their four-legged friends. . . . a memorable story about energetic grandparenting, the importance of being a good neighbor and the fruits of civic engagement.—BookPage

This charming, gently humorous tale will resonate with youngsters. Adults will appreciate the winks directed at them. . . . Illustrations rendered with pen, ink, and watercolor and marked by Cordell's signature quick, loose strokes complement the sweet story and capture Louis and Grandma's loving relationship admirably. . . . Whether you're a dog lover or not, count this one a winner—Kirkus Reviews

Plenty of visual happenings for young viewers to pore over. Cordell's characteristic scribbly art . . . perfectly captures the movement and organized chaos of city streets. . . .—The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Philip C Stead
Philip Stead is the author of the Caldecott Medal-winning book A Sick Day for Amos McGee, also named a New York Times Best Illustrated Book and a Publishers Weekly Best Children's Book, illustrated by his wife, Erin E. Stead. Together with Erin, he also created Bear Has a Story to Tell, an E.B. White Read-Aloud Award honor book. Philip, also an artist, has written and illustrated several of his own books. He lives with Erin, their daughter, and their dog in a 100-year-old barn in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
June 21, 2022
BISAC categories
JUV019000 - Juvenile Fiction | Humorous Stories
JUV002190 - Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Pets
JUV013030 - Juvenile Fiction | Family | Multigenerational
JUV002070 - Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Dogs
Library of Congress categories
Picture books
Grandparent and child

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