Picture Books: Dog In Charge


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Image courtesy of Amazon

What is amazing to me is that no matter how many picture books collect on our shelves, or how many we peruse in the book store or library, there are always so many that I haven’t heard of. This week’s picture book recommendation from Cheryl Ashley is a newly published book, and as we love dogs in our house, I think I need to head to the library to pick it up.

Title:  Dog in Charge
Written by:  K.L. Going
Illustrated byDan Santat
Publisher:  Penguin Group, 2012
Suitable for:  Ages 3-5
Themes/Topics:  Responsibility, cooperation, friendship

Opening:  “Dog had a busy afternoon.  He sat, he stayed.  Dog stood on his back paws and danced in a circle.”

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Brief Synopsis:  Dog, a large, homely, good-natured, toothy bulldog (sometimes dressed in a tutu with matching hair bow), is told to baby-sit for the family’s five cats while they go shopping.  The cats disappear as soon as the family’s out the door and they manage to make a mess in every room of the house, Dog chasing in mad pursuit.  Whatever will the family say when they get home?  Will Dog ever see another scrumptious dog treat?  Anxious to fix the mess, and overcome with the stress of responsibility, it all becomes too much for Dog and he lays down for a nap.  While he is asleep, the cats, who love Dog, polished and straightened and neatened and got the house back in order so that when the family returned, Dog was given praises, hugs and treats.  Dog, delighted with his good luck, broke out into a dance on his hind legs and thought, “Good cats…smart cats…the very best cats.”

Resources/Activities: While there are many sites with cleaning up activities, I think the best thing to do for kids this age is to tell them to pretend they are cats and clean up just like the cats in the story. Very simple and easy to copy.

Why Cheryl chose this book: This is a funny story and children will love the illustrations.  Dog’s face is very expressive and he’s an endearing fellow.  The text is sparse and young readers will recognize the familiar message:  If you make a mess, you have to clean it up yourself.  Also, good friends take care of each other.

Every Friday we are reviewing great picture books for children of all ages. For more books recommended by parents, teachers, librarians, authors, and illustrators, visit Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Friday series.

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  1. I’m such a fan of K.L. Going – I LOVE her books for older readers! I will definitely have to check this one out. It sounds like a fun story with a wonderful message. Thanks for adding it to the list!


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