January 30, 2012

Emily Gravett uses her illustrations to lure her readers in. The soft, puppy with the leash in his mouth makes any dog-lover go, “Awe” and want to read more. Cat lovers, listen up. This book will be one you will enjoy too. It will springboard for you as well.

The simpleness yet carefully paired dogs, in the book called Dogs, is a natural text to teach compare and contrast. It promotes a structure children can duplicate with topics they know.

All through the text, the narrator shares her love for dogs. On my first read, I assumed the narration to be one character and was very surprised in the end. I can’t spoil it. You will have fun, I guarantee. Your students will be sharing stories and Dogs will provide a catalyst for writing at any grade level. Have fun. I’d love to hear your classroom stories.

View Emily Gravett’s author videos at Reading Rockets. There are ten short, worthwhile videos (each 1 to 3 minutes in length). She talks about how she began her writing, illustrating, and even reads one of her books, Monkey and Me. Coming from the United Kingdom, your students will enjoy hearing her accent and learning about this read author. I also highly recommend checking her website out. She has activities for children and background on her books. There is even a contest linked with her book, Again. Children can write to her.

Another 1.5 minute video shows Emily drawing process.

Emily shows children how she illustrates a book for another author with her newest book, Cave Baby.

Savorings for reading and writing for Dogs:

  • Compare/Contrast
  • Repeating Structure
  • surprize ending
  • Perspective
  • Expert topic to use as a mentor text