When a young boy and his father move from one house to another, they decide to adopt a dog from the local rescue shelter. But their chosen dog, Toby, is having a tough time adjusting to his new life outside the shelter—howling all  night, hiding fearfully from his new humans, forgetting where to go to the bathroom, and chasing a ball through the flower bed. The boy has promised to train his new companion, and he’s trying his best, but Dad is starting to get exasperated. Will Toby ever feel comfortable with his new family and settle into his forever home, or will Dad decide he’s not the right dog for them after all?


A heartwarming story about the growing bond between a child and a new pet—inspired by the author’s experience with a rescue dog of the same name.

Publisher - Candlewick Press
September 13th 2016
Age 4-6     40 Pages
ISBN-10: 0763680931
ISBN-13: 978-0763680930



Inspired by her own dog’s adoption story, illustrator Mitchell’s ... first book as author centers on a boy who has moved into a new neighborhood with his (presumably single) father...The highlight of this getting-to-know-you tale is Mitchell’s visual channeling of her characters’ emotions, both human and canine.
— Publishers Weekly

Toby is a pleasing pup.
— Kirkus

The book’s warmth and appeal come from the artwork. Pencil drawings are tinted with a soft palate of watercolor washes and digitally added colors. And while the soft browns, blues, greens, and grays create a subdued, rather melancholy tone throughout the book, both the boy and his lovable dog are smiling by the final scene.
— Booklist

TOBY: Copyright © 2016 by Hazel Mitchell. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.