Doggie Ditties from A to Z

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Doggie Ditties

Van DAM, Jo (text) Myles Lawford (illus.) Doggie Ditties from A to Z Scholastic (NZ), 2014 unpaged $NZ19.50 pbk ISBN 9781775431886 SCIS 1653593

Can you think of a name of a dog breed for each letter of the alphabet?  Now there’s a challenge.  To quote the text itself: ‘Doggy ditties, rather witty- About a kid’s best friend- A crazy collection, a silly selection- From A through to Z at the end.’ This book is a must for all pet lovers, especially those who, like me, have a dog.  What is intriguing about the ditties (limericks and all) and the illustrations, are the subtle truths about particular species: prancing poodles, digging fox terriers, leaping Irish wolfhounds, strutting Japanese Spitz, swimming Newfoundlands, and powerful Rottweilers.  Not all dogs like to swim and not all dogs prance!  Before you open the book, can you think of a dog species that begins with X Y and Z?  Here is a good book to begin an inquiry-based journey focused on the good, bad and the ugly of dog shows and dog breeding.  It is a good text to ignite a spark of the poetic in the classroom where children create their own text.  There’s also an element of an activity book in the double-page spread at the end.  Can you recognise each breed once you have been introduced to it?  That will encourage close observation of each illustration as the book is being shared.  Recommended.

reviewed by John McKenzie

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