Today’s Fantastic Fiction for Kids comes courtesy of Tricia from The Miss Rumphius Effect, and her 8 year old son, William.
William (who’s almost 9) and Tricia (who’s 5 times that!) love to read together. Even though William thinks he’s “too old for picture books,” these dog-eared titles still get pulled off the shelves for regular reads. That’s because the pooches in them warm our hearts and make us laugh. William is in the third grade and loves to read, draw and build Legos. Tricia is on the faculty at the University of Richmond where she helps prepare future teachers.
Chowder is a bulldog whose owners carry him around in a backpack and let him use their computer. There’s no doubt that he’s an unusual dog. However, he is lonely and wants some animals friends. A visit to a grocery store with a petting zoo begins badly, but in the end, Chowder gets the friends he’s been longing for. You may not like the look of Chowder’s drooling mug, but you’ll still find yourself cheering him on.
When George’s mother asks him to bark, he meows. Then quacks, oinks, and moos. Whatever will they do? George is off to see the vet, who will surely have the answer. After reading this we always play “Wouldn’t it be
funny if …?,” where we suggest other sounds George might make.
Prison or a country club for dogs? You be the judge. In black and white (prison) and color (country club) illustrations, Teague takes readers on a rollicking good ride with Larue, the letter-writing canine. While LaRue may make his life sound like it’s full of hard knocks, he comes out on top in the end!
When Harry runs away from home, he is transformed from “a white dog with black spots to a black dog with white spots.” He eventually returns home, but is not recognized by his family until he’s scrubbed clean. Originally published in 1956, we love this new version because Margaret Bloy Graham’s illustrations have been updated to include splashes of color.
Martha is a plain old lovable pooch until she is fed vegetable soup and the letters go up to her head instead of down to her belly. Now Martha talks, and talks, and talks. And really, who hasn’t dreamed of having a conversation with their dog?
Doggy music that might bring a smile to your face includes:
As to activities, Tricia suggests this no-sew sock dog that she and her son William made over the summer, and also this origami pattern for a dog. Older kids (and parents) could try making this dog lead (leash) found via whipup.net
For more recommendations on kids’ books with a dog theme you could try this list from Donald Beck on Amazon, or for poetry and nonfiction as well as picture books you could try this extensive list from pbskids.org.
Thankyou Tricia and William for your great picks today!
And my other dear readers, if you don’t already know Tricia’s blog, The Miss Rumphius Effect you’ll be in for a treat if you head on over – do go and have a good root around and say hi! And then if you have the time and energy, we’d love to hear about your favourite dog books – do leave us a comment!