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The World's First Movie Star Dog

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.


Strongheart may have been a movie star, but he wasn't always famous. He started out as a police dog who could sniff out criminals and march like a soldier, but he didn't know how to have fun. Larry Trimble was a Hollywood director who wanted to put Strongheart in his movies—not just as a pet but as the lead actor. Larry taught him to play with toys and walk like a regular dog. In his films, Strongheart brought audiences to tears. He was a sensation! But when Strongheart's military training led to trouble, was his career over? Set in the early days of silent movies, Emily Arnold McCully's extraordinary story about a real-life hero will capture the hearts of dog lovers and movie fans everywhere.

From Publishers Weekly

Oct 06, 2014 – As she did in Wonder Horse, McCully offers a concise, evocative account of a talented, real-life animal. Raised as a police dog in Germany ("He was bred to be alert, brave, strong, and perfectly loyal"), Etzel was brought to the U.S. in 1920, before the heydays of Rin Tin Tin or Lassie. He was adopted by Larry Trimble, a Hollywood movie director and animal trainer, and his screenwriter wife, who had been searching for the right dog to feature in a silent film. The couple taught the disciplined dog how "to learn to relax and have fun," gave him the screen name of Strongheart, and cast him as the lead in The Silent Call, the first movie to star a dog. McCully's watercolors (and the story in general) focus more on Strongheart's evolution into a dog who can enjoy playing (while still fiercely defending his turf) than on the filming of The Silent Call or Strongheart's later movies. An author's note offers backstory for this heartwarming tale, and film reel style endpapers replicate a few of Strongheart's on-screen moments. Ages 4 8.


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View in iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Level: Grades P-3
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Animals
  • Published: Nov 11, 2014
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
  • Seller: Macmillan
  • Print Length: 40 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 3 or later and iOS 4.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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