November 2010 Issue
October 24, 2010

Check it Out: Park Avenue Pound Puppy

Author: Jessica Tiare Bowen and Illustrated by Al Margolis
Source: NYSUT United

Recommended by: Joanne Theodorou, PS 186, Bronx, United Federation of Teachers

Suitable for: K-3

Why I Chose It: The elements of pet ownership and its responsibilities inherent in this story are essential lessons for youngsters. This book subtly delivers the message in a balanced manner, accompanied by simple, pastel illustrations. It's a charming story involving a puppy initially wanted and loved, but eventually ignored by its young owner. The puppy desperately wants a "forever home" after unexpectedly finding himself in an animal shelter due to neglect.

How Teachers Can Use This Book: This is an active, engaging read-aloud for grades K-3. The soft illustrations mirror the story line, and new words are introduced in a meaningful context. You can teach across the curriculum or address New York state standards in ELA/art while teaching students about the necessity of love and care vital to all successful relationships.

What I Like Best: The price of the book includes a donation to the ASPCA. The "adopt an animal" plot is an easy hook for young readers, and the story leads them into important themes of emotional responsibility and physical care as essential to the ownership of a living thing.