Per Hope is in the Word’s suggestion, this month we’re focusing on Dog Stories. Having a two year old, I wasn’t sure exactly how I wanted to go about handling the topic. I’ve never read Old Yeller or any number of other classic dog stories. I’m a big fan of Hank the Cowdog 01: The Original Adventures. And I just finished reading Because of Winn-Dixie. But I don’t think either of those classify as “classics” and I couldn’t really engage with my son over any of them.
Enter Jennifer’s Read Together Challenge. I purposed to spend this month reading aloud stories that were above my two year old’s current reading levels to see how he would do with more complex stories. When it came to preparing for this carnival, I wanted to read something that he could still identify with and enjoy. I browsed our home bookshelves and what popped out at me? One of MY childhood favorites — The Poky Little Puppy.
I have fond childhood memories of this book. I still remember being fascinated by the picture of the snake and the lizard which are crawling up (down?) the mountain. In case you somehow missed this children’s classic – it is the story of five little puppies who dig a hole under the gate to go out and explore the big, wide world. Every evening they are led home by the smell and promise of tasty desserts which their mother has made for them. Every evening they come home and are punished by their mother for digging holes. As pokey as the last little puppy is, he is also the smartest for he always dawdles in after the others have been sent to bed and, undetected by his mother, eats up the yummy food before crawling into bed himself.
My son really enjoyed reading this book. The fabulous thing about it is that it repeats certain phrases, as well as activities and concepts, over and over again. Younger children can get into the rhythm and pattern of the story even though there are a great number of words on each page. At two years old, my son sat through the whole story and studied the pictures and I liked to think that someday he’ll curl up with his children, in full possession of his own fond memories of the lizard and snakes who are going up and down the mountain.
So what about you? What did you dig up, dust off and otherwise enjoy this month? Do share!
And please join us for more Children’s Classics this summer:
June 9 — Poetry (individual poems or anthologies)
July 14 — Book Trips (i.e. any books that have inspired a family ‘field trip’ of sorts– maybe to a children’s museum or a museum affiliated with an author, or a visit to the city of a beloved author, or even to something like a local pet store)
August 11 — Adventure! (i.e. any adventure or suspense stories– any children’s reading level)
Note: Next month we will be featuring FUTURE Children’s Classics– books that you think will (or should!) become children’s classics.