Mo Willems has created a frolicking book about friendship in City Dog, Country Frog. Two animals meet and become friends – a dog and a frog. Each animal teaches the other some games. Jon Muth’s illustrations allow the readers to infer much more than the text says. It’s a packed, simple story that allows children to fill in the parts when time transfers from one season to the next.
In the end, the dog goes and cannot find his friend after the winter. The pictures made my heart sad. As I turned the page, my heart was cheered when a Country Chipmunk came upon the City Dog waiting for his friend. And a new friendship bloomed. Love it.
Savorings for reading and in writing for City Dog, Country Frog:
- Semi-colon – “City dog didn’t stop on that first day in the country; he ran as far and as fast as he could.”
- Seasons changing and hibernation
- Bookend – begins with City Dog meeting Country Frog who was waiting for a friend
- “Ing”ing verbs – sniffing, fetching, barking
(Okay I know the verbs are called present participles, but I learned a long time ago that first graders do not understand that terminology. Instead, thanks to Katie Wood Ray and my friend Ruth, who noticed “ing”ing words in My Mama Had a Dancin’ Heart, I can name the verbs what I want. So “ing”ing verbs makes sense to little kids. :))