Hayes, S. (2008). Dog Day. New York: Brubaker & Ford Ltd.
Dog Day is the surrealist tale of a class of humans being taught by a dog. The dog is in no way humanized, but stays true to his doggie self. Ben and Ellie, the featured children, learn to sniff, wag their tails, bark, growl, etc. It very carefully sneaks around requiring the human characters to eat dog food or go to, ah-hem, relieve themselves as dogs would.
The illustrations are vibrant and support the text well, while incorporating some elements that are photographed. The illustrations also include fun details like having the word ‘cat’ crossed out on the chalkboard.
It is worth noting, the principal character, who is present for part of the story is a woman and is not portrayed negatively.
This is a good book to use to encourage students to participate actively with a text. This book could also be used as a lesson in both perspective taking and acting.
Dog Day will be appreciated by many young readers. It is also the type of book that will entertain adults as well for its sense of humor.
Activities to do with the book:
Students could write their own stories of classes being taught by other animals. Such an activity could even provide some research activities for finding out about various animals’ habits.
This is a great book to chare with children who wander around pretending to be a dog, have an invisible doggy friend or want to adopt a pet puppy. (I won’t admit to doing or having any of the above at any point in my life)
“Ben’s new teacher is a dog!”
Riff and Ellie lift their legs. But when Ben tries, he falls over.”
“What a good dog day!”