(Susanna Leonard Hill is the originator of PPBF and you can find all the other PPB recommendations and links on her blog.)
We are surviving the cold here in Michigan..It’s actually warmed up to 14 degrees! This is definitely the perfect time to grab some good books, a warm afghan, a friendly cat, and maybe a dog or two to lay on your lap (or is it lie? I always have to look it up). Anyway, I remember once when I had a bout of the flu I just couldn’t get warm. My hubby had piled on the quilts and afghans to no avail. My shivering was keeping him awake. Finally he called our choc. lab up on the bed next to me. That did it. Her body heat warmed me up and let me sleep.
So why am I talking about Dogs….on the bed…..? It’s my perfect picture book choice this week! My grand-reviewers were all involved in reviewing this one – even their beagle who’s been featured here before. (He gave it a 4 paws up.)
Author: Elizabeth Bluemle
Illustrator: Anne Wilsdorf
Publisher: Candlewick Press 2008
Genre: Picture Book
Audience Age: 4+ (But even the 2 1/2 yr. old was captivated)
Opening Sentences: There are dogs on the bed/Like hogs on the bed/Bed hogs on the bed/These dogs, these dogs! Sideways on the bed/Dog maze on the bed/Paws grazing on the bed/These dogs, these dogs!
Synopsis: This story is artfully and delightfully crafted in rhyme as a family of four (mom/dad and brother and sister) wrestle with six pooches of varying size trying to spend the night in the family bed.
Why I like it: It made us laugh! If you’ve ever owned a dog you’ll see it somewhere in these pages. From scratching to stretching to snoring and drooling, whining or howling and pushing you out from your own warm, cozy spot these canines take over the mattress. Dad tries to oust them, to which they use the midnight howl to get outside only to want in 3 minutes later. The family tries to share the bed and winds up on the floor “cuddling the ottoman.” They finally realize the value of their ‘portable heaters,’ rearrange sleeping accommodations and settle down. My grandchildren loved the canine rhyme. There is a change up in the rhythm to alter the action and then it returns to the original beat. Their favorite line was “They go on the prowl/they bark and they growl/night sounds make them howl…to which they added sound effects. There are brown dogs, black dogs, small dogs, hairy dogs, white dogs and short dogs–we only counted six, but it seemed like more as they romped around. Ms. Wilsdorf’s watercolors are whimsical and funny. Be sure to notice the background dog portraits for an extra grin. One caveat: this isn’t a ‘going to sleep book’ unless you read several more after to settle the kids back down.
Activities/Resources: A MARVELOUS teacher’s guide is on the author’s website. Everything from charting rhyming words, to Venn diagrams to having a stuffed animal day.
Blessings on your day and enjoy the book!!