Tag Archives: imwayr

Howlers! Dog Picture Books for National Dog Day


It’s Monday and National Dog Day! I was going to write a more involved post on the topic, but the dog days of summer are so doggone busy around here that I didn’t have time. But here are a few (of the many) terrific picture books about canines!

Dogku by Andrew Clements, Ages 3+
Dogku employs haiku poetry to tell the story of a stray dog who finds a loving family. Here is my favorite verse:

“Squirrel sits in tree.
Mooch sits below, looking up.
Who has more patience?”

A Ball for Daisy by Chris Raschka – Caldecott Medal Winner, Ages 3+
Dog loves ball. Ball breaks. Dog is heartbroken. It may be a simple story, but Rashka’s watercolor illustrations convey the dog’s emotions beautifully.

Boot & Shoe by Marla Frazee, Ages 3+
Boot is a “back porch kind of dog.” Shoe is a “front porch kind of dog.” But when an obnoxious squirrel forces them to switch places, they can’t figure out where the other one is. This is a sweet, moving story about friendship and devotion.

Doggone Dogs by Karen Beaumont, Ages 2+
The title sums it up nicely. These mangy mutts cause no end of trouble, but they sure are fun to watch.

Officer Buckle & Gloria by Peggy Rathmann – Caldecott Medal Winner, Ages 4+
No one really cares about Officer Buckle’s safety speeches – until Gloria the performing dog spices up his act. This is a great book for discussing safety and teamwork.

I Got Two Dogs: (Book and CD) by John Lithgow, Ages 1+
I love all of Lithgow’s Book/CD combos. This one is particularly entertaining – and easy to sing!

Hondo and Fabian by Peter McCarty – Caldecott Honor Book, Ages 3+
This gorgeous book featuring a day in the life of a dog and a cat is one of my all-time favorites. Nothing surprising happens, but there is something deeply satisfying about reading it.

The Hound from the Pound by Jessica Swaim, Ages 3+
A woman picks out a dog from the pound – only to accidentally end up with all of them, including the handsome keeper. My son really enjoys this story.

For more great Monday reads, go to http://teachmentortexts.com or http://unleashingreaders.com

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It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

Most of the reading for the past week was dominated by pb10for10 (see Three Little Pigs post below), but I did notice this book sitting on the library shelf last week:

Betsy Hearne was my library science professor ten years ago at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She had recently released Seven Brave Women at the time and she incorporated the book into her Children’s Literature class. I didn’t think too much of the book at the time. I found it too wordy and questioned if children really cared about Hearne’s relatives.

Boy was I wrong! Earlier this year, I read a revealing article in the New York Times titled “The Stories That Bind Us.” The premise of the story is that children are longing to connect themselves to their family histories. In the modern era, we are so focused on the future that we often don’t do enough to ground our children with a sense of continuity and tradition. Hearne achieves this on a very personal level by writing about seven generations of women in her family, while at the same time making a political statement about the importance of women in history. Women didn’t always fight in wars, she emphasized, but that that doesn’t make their contributions any less important.

My children were deeply moved by this story. Plus, it encouraged me to think about the women in my family history and relate those stories to my kids. Ages 4+

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