Author: K. L. Going
Illustrator: Dan Santat
Publisher: Penguin Group USA
Publication Date: 2012
Genre/Format: Fiction/Picture Book
When the going gets tough, Dog . . . takes a nap.
Dog can Sit.
He can Stay.
He can even Dance.
But when he's in charge, can he keep the cats in line?
All one, two, three, four, five of them?
With slapstick silliness and utterly earnest charm, Dog will quickly wiggle his way into preschoolers' hearts.
What I Think: My husband is mad because this book made me totally want a dog all over again. Since we got married we have discussed having a dog. Usually the topic comes up, we talk about it, I get a tiny bit whiny, then I stop and really think about what having a dog entails: feeding the dog, walking the dog, picking up after the dog, our house potentially being covered in fur, our things getting scratched or chewed, training a dog, taking a dog to the vet, etc, etc, etc, etc...it just goes on and on. And then I tell my husband never mind. And the I read a book like Dog in Charge and can't help but fall in love with this cuter than cute bulldog main character. I seriously love him.
This story is super cute and the illustrations send it completely over the top. I love the personalities in the dog and the cats, they are all so much fun. I love this book for little kids and for talking about responsibility but I also see how this book would be great for older students and to practice some persuasive writing. When the cats have the house in shambles, poor dog thinks it's all over for him because he has been left in charge. Haven't you ever been blamed for something that you didn't technically do? Or have you ever taken the blame for something to protect another person? Or if someone else should own up to what he or she did, how can you convince him or her to take responsibility? I can see how middle school and high school kids might take the idea of this sweet dog and cat story and be able to relate it to their own lives and to write a persuasive essay from there. A mentor text if I ever saw one!
Read Together: Grades Pre-K - 12
Read Alone: Grades Pre-K - 5
Read With: Binky the Space Cat (series) by Ashley Spires, Sidekicks by Dan Santat, Bird and Squirrel and Beep and Bah by James Burks, Dogs Don't Do Ballet by Anna Kemp
Snatch of Text: Just look at how adorable this dog is! You know you want to read this book!
Writing Strategies to Practice: Personal Narrative, Persuasive, Perspective
Writing Prompts: Write about a time in your life when you were blamed for something that you didn't do. Write a persuasive essay from the dog's perspective to convince the owners that he isn't to blame OR to convince the cats to help him clean up.
Topics Covered: Pets, Responsibility, Friendship, Loyalty, Consquences, Respect
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