BooksForKidsBlog

Thursday, August 24, 2017

What's in YOUR Doghouse? Dogasaurus Rex by Anna Stanizsewski

BEN COULDN'T WAIT TO FIND THE BEST DOG IN THE WORLD.

Ben and Mom are off to the animal shelter, where he finds dogs galore--large and small, cute and funny, quiet and loud. But Ben wants to find the special dog just for him. And at the back corner of the shelter, in an extra-large cage, he finds just the one he wants, wagging her tail. It's love at first sight. He names her Sadie.

ROAR! SAID SADIE.

"THAT DOG SURE HAS A STRANGE BARK!" SAID BEN'S MOM.

Mom and Ben walk his new pet toward home, Ben proudly leading his pet with a garden hose put into service as a leash.

"SHE'S KINDA FUNNY LOOKING," SAID THE KIDS. "DOES SHE KNOW ANY TRICKS?"

Ben tells Sadie to sit, and she does--right on top of a parked car. She rolls over, taking out a corner fruit stand. And when Ben tells her to fetch, she obediently returns with a mail truck. The police officer advises Ben to take his pet home--pronto.

Ben builds a really big doghouse for his pet. He rubs her belly and tells her she's the best dog ever.

ROAR!

Then Ben thinks it's time for Sadie to go potty. She happily obliges, leaving quite a pile behind. The neighbors are disgruntled and tell Ben to get busy cleaning up behind his pet post haste.

And then Sadie gets hungry! But a bowl of kibble is not nearly enough to fill her enormous tummy. She downs the whole bag of dog food and finishes up by eating all of the food in the house. Mom shakes her head sadly.

"WE MIGHT HAVE TO TAKE HER BACK!"

But before Mom can put that sad conclusion into action, fate steps in. At a cry of "Stop, thief!" Sadie goes into watchdog mode and fetches the thief, who strangely offers no resistance when Sadie squashes his getaway car. All's well that ends with a happy ROAR, in Anna Staniszewski's Dogosaurus Rex (Henry Holt and Company, 2017).

Although author Staniszewski's plotline borrows heavily from those famous faves of former decades, Syd Hoff's Danny and the Dinosaur and Norman Bridwell's Clifford The Big Red Dog (Clifford 8x8),artist Kevin Hawkes' comic illustrations give this one a definitely different look from their plot look-alikes, making it clear to savvy kids from the git-go that this pet is no dog, but a well-behaved dinosaur of the T. Rex persuasion,  a conceit that gives youngsters a happy chance to giggle at the clueless grownups who take Ben's pet for a strange breed of canine.

For storytime literary lessons, this new one offers a perfect opportunity to read along with its precursors, asking those compare-and-contrast questions, "What's the same"" and "What's different?" For thematic purposes, pair this one with Steven Krensky's Dinosaurs in Disguise or Carol and Donald Carrick's classic, Patrick's Dinosaurs (Clarion books).

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