Diogenes (Hardcover)

By M. D. Usher, Michael Chesworth (Illustrator)

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR), 9780374317850, 32pp.

Publication Date: May 26, 2009



Most dogs in this world are content with their doggy lives, playing dead and burying bones, but Diogenes was a dog of a different sort – he wanted to become his own master. So he buried his collar and leash, left his cozy doghouse, and ran off to the great city of Athens, Greece. There he took upon himself the role of “watchdog” to those around him, warning of life’s moral pitfalls and showing by his own surprising example the path to an enlightened way of being.

Rounding out this colorful picture book biography about a revolutionary thinker, a two-page author’s note about Diogenes elucidates the connection between the book’s doggy hero and the historical figure, who became a pauper in order to live like a king.

About the Author

M. D. USHER is a classics professor at the University of Vermont. His first book for children, "Wise Guy: The Life and Philosophy of Socrates," was named an NCSS-CBC Notable Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies. He lives in Shoreham, Vermont. MICHAEL CHESWORTH has illustrated numerous children's books, including "Inventor McGregor" by Kathleen T. Pelley and the Morgy series of chapter books by Maggie Lewis. He lives in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Praise For Diogenes

“An accurate and witty take on a philosophy of self-sufficiency that clearly separates wants and needs.” —The Chicago Tribune

“Chesworth’s comical cartoons underline the dog’s carefree spirit and the book might spark a discussion about humans’ desire for prestige and material goods and how to overcome them.” —School Library Journal

“Chesworth’s pen-and-wash artwork is playful and evocative, while the author keeps the text as simple and easeful as Diogenes would have wanted.” Kirkus Reviews

“A touch of education, some light humor, and mildly affirming inspiration combine nicely here.” —Booklist

“It is a very clever retelling by an author who really knows his subject – Usher is a classics professor at the University of Vermont, and discusses the historical Diogenes in an excellent afterword.”Infodad.com