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.


Tiny Rabbit's Big Wish

Margarita's new animal-themed picture book for young children was 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



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.


  • Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List, 2015-2016
  • Americas Latino Book Award by the Americas Latino Eco-Festival
  • Bank Street Best Children’s Books of the Year 2014 for 9-12, Adventures and Mystery category
  • Junior Library Guild Selection
  • Winner of the Mock Newbery Award at Sunrise Elementary School, Aurora, CO
  • Mountain Dog has been named a 2014 -2015 Georgia Book Award Nominee.
  • Winner of the Mock Newbery Award at Mount Kisco Elementary School in Mt. Kisco, NY
  • Cybils Award 2013 nominee for Middle Grade Fiction
  • Parent's Choice Award Silver Honor in Fiction
  • Kirkus Best Book of the Year for 2013

The official book trailer for Mountain Dog

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