Books About Animals

Photo © Amish Karanjit

Margarita with her search and rescue dogs, Chance (yellow Lab) and Maggi (Aussie/heeler cross). This picture was taken for her upcoming paperback issue of Because of Shoe and Other Dog Stories.


Because of Shoe and Other Dog Stories

because of shoe - paperback Paperback edition of this book, with a new cover, will be released on May 21, 2013

Hilarious and heartwarming dog stories from nine renowned authors, including Ann M. Martin, Jon Muth, Mark Teague, Margarita Engle, Thatcher Hurd, Valerie Hobbs, Matt de la Peña, Pam Muñoz Ryan, and Wendy Orr.
For young readers who have ever wanted, known or loved a dog, the short stories in this anthology evoke the full spectrum of endearing doggy traits! .

Margarita's story in the anthology, Trail Magic, tells the tale of a search and rescue dog.

Click here to order a copy of the book.


Read reviews here




Margarita's book signing at A Book Barn Bookstore on July 14, 2012:
* Article from the local ABC station
* Video from local CBS station


When You Wander
A Search-and-Rescue Dog Story

Margarita's new dog-themed picture book for young children is available in stores now.

This cozy story gently teaches children what to do if they lose their way, and reassures them that a search-and-rescue dog can find them wherever they are. And once a child is found, the dog will bring people to make sure that everyone gets home safe and sound.

Full of interesting facts about search-and-rescue dogs and tips for young children in case they get lost, When You Wander is a fascinating peek into the world of these amazing dogs and the children they save.

Click here to order a copy of the book.


Mountain Dog

Margarita's new dog-themed chapter book in verse for 8 to 12 year old readers, is available in stores now. It is an expanded version of Margarita's Trail Magic story in the Because of Shoe anthology.

When Tony’s mother is sent to jail, he is sent to stay with a great uncle he has never met in Sierra Nevada. It is a daunting move—Tony’s new world bears no semblance to his previous one. But slowly, against a remote and remarkable backdrop, the scars from Tony’s troubled past begin to heal.

With his Tió and a search-and-rescue dog named Gabe by his side, he learns how to track wild animals, is welcomed to the Cowboy Church, and makes new friends at the Mountain School. Most importantly though, it is through Gabe that Tony discovers unconditional love for the first time, in Mountain Dog by Margarita Engle.

Read excerpt from the book.


  • Junior Library Guild Selection
  • Cybils Award 2013 nominee for Middle Grade Fiction
  • Parent's Choice Award Silver Honor in Fiction
  • Kirkus Best Book of the Year for 2013
  • Winner of the Mock Newbery Award at Sunrise Elementary School, Aurora, CO
  • Mountain Dog has been named a 2014 -2015 Georgia Book Award Nominee.

The official book trailer for Mountain Dog

Coming Soon in 2014

Tiny Rabbit's Big Wish


Margarita's new animal-themed picture book for young children will be released in March 2014 by Harcourt. It will also be published in Japan, by Iwasaki.

The official book trailer for Tiny Rabbit's Big Wish


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