Holub, J. (2009). Shampoodle. New York: Random House, Inc.
First off, how fun is the name shampoodle? I can already feel that I'm going to start wandering around, saying I have to shampoodle my hair today. And then people will have yet another reason to think I'm crazy.
Appetizer: This early reader is a Step into Reading step 2 book. In it, it's bog picture day, so a young boy and girl (both white, in case you're on the search for more racial representation in early readers) take seven dogs to be groomed before they have their picture taken.
The grooming process is complicated when a few curious cats show up, causing chaos.
The story uses a lot of rhymes to help students with the sounds (but there is no clear rhyme scheme, so it may not be that helpful).
The illustrations will help provide visual cues, but not enough for new readers to figure out all the words on a page for themselves. The illustrations do include a lot of action though and quite a bit of humorous imagery. I personally liked that a sheepdog was included among the many dogs getting groomed (I had one when I was growing up).
Despite those plus sides, I didn't like most of the text of the story. I read the book out loud (as a teacher would most likely ask a beginning reader to do) and I was regularly stumbling over the words. The phrases are very clunky. While I suppose some might argue that this will help new readers to be aware of the sounds, I think the text may be too frustrating for that.
"At the park,
it's picture day.
Dogs need grooming
"We do dog-dos."
Out for fun.
Puppies spot them.
Run, cats, run!"
gets a care.
Dogs end up
with wacky hair."
To Go with the Meal:
Before or after reading the book, a teacher could have a child draw a picture of their favorite type of dog, encouraging the student to have some fun with the colors they choose. As the child draws, a teacher could encourage the child to narrate about a pet or dog they've seen. If the child's helped care for or clean a dog or other animal, they could talk about that. As a show and tell activity, kids could also bring in photos of their pets or their favorite animal to share with other students.
Tasty Rating: !!