Eastern Sun, Winter Moon offers a fuller account of Paulsen’s life in the Philippines and Snowball than does My Life in Dog Years. Paulsen says that the place was insane, and it certainly seems to have been. Destruction was everywhere, and the leavings of the military conflict were always underfoot. The book can be read as an adventure or as the story of a family’s dissolution. Much of young Paulsen’s desperate loneliness comes through.
Happier memories form the bases for Father Water, Mother Woods: Essays on Fishing and Hunting in the North Woods; Winterdance: The Fine Madness of Running the Iditarod; and Puppies, Dogs, and Blue Northers: Reflections on Being Raised by a Pack of Sled Dogs. Paulsen has a good sense of humor, and these books display it, but they also capture some of the majesty of the North American wilderness and are fine tales of adventure. Paulsen mentions his experience racing in the Iditarod in My Life in Dog Years; Winterdance fills in the details. Puppies, Dogs, and Blue Northers has somewhat more adult themes than My Life in Dog Years but is good reading nonetheless.