Synopses & Reviews
The Naming of Dogs is a difficult matter, as Ogden and his
big brother discover in this most charming of collaborations
between Rhoda Levine and Edward Gorey. You see, the
sheepdog was sitting patiently in the back yard when the family
moved in. No one mentioned that there would be a sheepdog
in the yard, but there he was. He seemed to be waiting for
something, and the family, especially Ogden, is determined
to find out what it is. Does the dog want dinner? a lollipop? a
stray cat? conversation? No, what the dog wants is—a name!
But you can’t just choose any name for a grown-up dog. No,
it has to be the right name. And with a little patience, and a
lot of persistence, the brothers might just figure out just what
that name is.
The naming of dogs can be a tricky business, as Ogdon and his big brother discover in this charming collaboration between Rhoda Levine and Edward Gorey. You see, before Ogdon and his family moved to a new house, no one mentioned the big shaggy sheep dog in the back yard, but there he was, just sitting and waiting, imperturbable as can be. Waiting for what? Ogdon wonders. Dinner? A lollipop? A stray cat? Someone to talk to? No, what the dog wants is a name. And not just any name, but the right name. And with a little patience, and a lot of persistence, Ogdon and his brother will figure it out.
About the Author
Rhoda Levine is the author of seven children’s books (two of which were illustrated by Edward Gorey) and is an accomplished director and choreographer. In addition to working for major opera houses in the United State and Europe, she has choreographed shows on and off Broadway, and in London’s West End. Among the world premieres she has directed are Der Kaiser von Atlantis
, by Viktor Ullmann, and The Life and Times of Malcolm X
and Wakonda’s Dream
, both by Anthony Davis. In Cape Town she directed the South African premier of Porgy and Bess
in 1996, and she premiered the New York City Opera productions of Janacek’s From the House of the Dead
, Zimmermann’s Die Soldaten
, and Adamo’s Little Women
. Levine has taught acting and improvisation at the Yale School of Drama, the Curtis Institute of Music, and Northwestern University, and is currently on the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music and the Mannes College of Music. She lives in New York, where she is the artistic director of the city’s only improvisational opera company, Play It by Ear.
Edward Gorey (1925–2000) was born in Chicago. He studied briefly at the Art Institute of Chicago, spent three years in the army testing poison gas, and attended Harvard College, where he majored in French literature and roomed with the poet Frank O’Hara. In 1953 Gorey published The Unstrung Harp, the first of his many extraordinary books, which include The Curious Sofa, The Haunted Tea Cosy, and The Epiplectic Bicycle. In addition to illustrating his own books, Gorey provided drawings to countless books for both children and adults. Of these, New York Review Books has published The Haunted Looking Glass, a collection of Gothic tales that he selected and illustrated; The War of the Worlds, the pioneering work of science fiction by H. G. Wells; Men and Gods, a retelling of ancient Greek myths by Rex Warner; and Three Ladies Beside the Sea, an earlier collaboration with Rhoda Levine.