Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Is There a Dog in This Book?

Schwarz, Viviane (Author/Illustrator)
Candlewick Press 2014. 28 pages
First published: 2014
ISBN: 9780763669911 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

character, dialogue, structures and features

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

Three gregarious cats, Tiny, Moonpie and André, suspect they might not be the only ones prowling around this book. Their toys have been chewed and their milk has been drunk. “What is a dog?” Tiny wants to know. Moonpie replies that dogs are “snappy and yappy, smelly and noisy, hairy and scary.” Worst of all, dogs hate cats, so our three feline narrators proceed to hide all over the house. When at last the supposedly fearsome dog sniffs them out, it turns out to be very friendly. When the reader is in turn invited to pet the dog, the pooch takes fright and hides. The cats address the reader directly, urging us to help find their new friend.

The large, informal font and simple, metatextual dialogue are amiable and inviting. Witty details include the non-verbal dog’s speech bubbles, which contain only wobbly stick drawings of the feline interlocutors.

The text is almost a pretext for the playful 3-D visual content. When the pets scurry about trying to hide, they do so in pop-up furniture. The reader not only participates, but indeed is complicit in the concealment: pulling back an overstuffed sofa not only reveals the crouching purple dog, but hides the cowering cats on the other side. Like the book’s illustrations, the pop-ups are colourful, expressive and funny.

Yes, there is a dog in this book; there are also more than a few chuckles and a sweet denouement.

  •  

    Discuss what you know about cats and dogs. As a group, draw a Venn diagram about their characteristics.

  •  

    Explore the structures and features of the book. What is hiding behind the book jacket and the flaps? What is the purpose of those hidden speech bubbles?

  •  

    As the book is read a second time, choral read some of the cats’ speech bubbles. Use good expression.

  •  

    The red cat is different from the other two because it doesn’t know what a dog is. Write about how the red cat thus approaches the dog differently. In what ways are you sometimes like the red cat and sometimes like the other two cats?

  •  Discuss what you know about cats and dogs. As a group, draw a Venn diagram about their characteristics.
  •  

    Explore the structures and features of the book. Examine the book jacket and the flaps. What are they hiding? What are the speech bubbles there for?

  •  

    As the book is read aloud, explore and discuss the surprises that are hidden behind the flaps.

  •  

    As the book is read a second time, choral read some of the cats’ speech bubbles. Use good expression.

  •  Notice the position words. Practise using them with school objects or stuffed toys.
  • To construct his/her identity
  • To cooperate with others
  • Citizenship and Community Life