I can’t even look at the cover of David Ezra Stein’s latest book without smiling. I’m My Own Dog (2014) is a must-have for your elementary writing workshop. You may be familiar with David Ezra Stein’s work. He is the Caldecott Honor-winning author and illustrator of the popular book Interrupting Chicken. If you are a fan of David’s work, you will not be disappointed in his latest creation.
The back flap of I’m My Own Dog tells readers how the dog in this story is based on a drawing David once made of a dog walking himself. “That’s probably the first time I met this dog,” David writes. David’s idea of a self-walking dog must have grown after the original drawing because the dog in this book walks himself, fetches his own stick, and even licks his own face when he is happy to see himself. He is his own dog. Until the day he gets a bad itch on his back that he just can’t reach. Then, everything changes.
This book will have you and your students laughing the whole way through, from the dog’s stubborn independence to his growing fondness for his human.
In addition to infusing some laughter into your classroom, I’m My Own Dog will make an excellent mentor text. Use this book to teach:
- writing from a different perspective or point of view. This book offers a fresh dog’s-eye view of the world.
- writing dialogue. Sure, the dialogue is spoken by a dog, but that only adds to the entertainment value of the story.
- including a ‘turning point’ in a story. This story takes an obvious turn when the dog finally lets someone scratch his itch.
- word choice. Words like ‘yapping’ and ‘fella’ contribute to the humor of this book.
- introducing a character. From third grade and up, the Common Core State Standards call for writers to be able to write introductions which introduce a narrator and/or character. This book begins, “I’m my own dog. Nobody owns me. I own myself.”
- how words and images work together to tell a story. This book is a clear example of both the words and the images carrying equal weight.
This book will serve many purposes in your writing workshop, not the least of which is a good laugh.
This giveaway is for a copy of I’m My Own Dog. Many thanks to Candlewick Press for donating a copy for one reader. For a chance to win this copy of I’m My Own Dog, please leave a comment about this post by Sunday, November 30th at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time. I’ll use a random number generator to pick the winners, whose names I will announce at the bottom of this post, by Tuesday, December 2nd. Please be sure to leave a valid e-mail address when you post your comment, so I can contact you to obtain your mailing address if you win. From there, my contact at Candlewick Press will ship your book out to you. (NOTE: Your e-mail address will not be published online if you leave it in the e-mail field only.)
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Post updated 12/8/14 The original winner could not be contacted via email. I used a random number generator to select a new winner. The person whose number was selected was Sharon Cuaresma. Here’s what Sharon wrote:
Engaging texts that immerse students in the world of STORY is always what I look for. This sounds like a highly engaging and enjoyable text for me and my students!
Literacy Coach, Reader, Writer