- Age Range: 3 - 7 years
- Grade Level: Preschool - 2
- Hardcover: 40 pages
- Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers (March 13, 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0399554521
- ISBN-13: 978-0399554520
- Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 0.4 x 10.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 41 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,034 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Can I Be Your Dog? Hardcover – March 13, 2018
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From School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—Arfy, a floppy-eared mutt on Butternut Street, is on a mission to find his forever home. He writes a letter listing all of his admirable attributes (he is potty trained and has his own squeaky toy) to the people in the yellow house. The mail lady delivers Arfy's letter. Unfortunately, the people turn him down. Arfy keeps trying, writing more letters delivered by the mail lady. All write him back and decline his offer. Feeling sad and dejected, Arfy cries himself to sleep in his soggy box. When he wakes he finds a letter from the mail lady asking to be Arfy's person. Arfy, full of glee, sprints to the mail lady with his reply letter. Vibrantly colored digital illustrations, with no white space, captivate readers from the first page. Loosely placed shapes and textures artfully create Butternut Street. The story is told in illustrated, personalized letters. Arfy's are written in crayon and signed with a paw print. Readers will be cheer Arfy on and feel relief when he finds a person to love. The last page lists ways readers can help a homeless animal. VERDICT No bones about it; this humorous picture book will be a hit with storytime audiences and emergent readers.—Mindy Hiatt, Salt Lake County Library Services
"This story is a warm hug in book form, and reminds readers that there's a friend out there for each of us." —Vicki Wright, Cape May County Library
"Sure to win the hearts of dog-lovers, this big, colorful picture book is fun for reading aloud." —Booklist
"A large format and bold, exuberant illustrations are well-matched with Arfy's enthusiastic personality and can-do attitude. The letter format makes this a fine choice for early-elementary students learning to compose letters. Persuasive writing by a persistently pleasing pooch." —Kirkus Reviews
"No bones about it; this humorous picture book will be a hit with storytime audiences and emergent readers." —Mindy Hiatt, Salt Lake County Library Services, School Library Journal
"It's an instant classic in our household." —#1 New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas
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The message: This book can be read as a simple A-Z story, but, it's even better when you use it to create a dialog with your child/children. We were able to talk about reacting to your environment, never giving up, why we help others and treating everyone with respect and dignity. At the end of the day, it is a wonderful little story.
If you get it now, you can brag to all the other parents how you "discovered" it before it won a Caldecott Medal...
Can I be Your Dog? was a pure joy to read and it made me want to snuggle with my own fur-baby Schnoodle, Susie-Q, who my nephew used to call “Susie Cute.” She was given to us by my aunt and she has been the sweetest little addition to our family. She is often my reading buddy at night before I go to bed. We are her people as much as she is our dog and we love her to pieces. Much like what we have, Arfy just wanted a family that he could call his own and with each letter he writes, the reader likely will be vying for Arfy to send a letter to them, in which case he would have no problem finding a home because every child is going to want to take him in. When I introduce this book to my students this school year, they are sure to fall in love the same way I did. Something tells me that I’m going to need to get my hands on more than one copy for our library.
In this book, Troy Cummings is both author and illustrator and as you flip through the pages you will quickly adore Arfy as a playful, cheerful, determined dog. Here are some of the reasons I really enjoyed this book:
The cover! – Our students love dogs and will be drawn to Arfy’s adorable face. Also, note that the forever stamp on Arfy’s envelope is a forever home (LOVE this!)
The front matter – There is a collection of awesome stamps to start the book of varying color, price, and size.
The letters – Arfy is a pretty persuasive writer. His letters are so sweet and filled with hope. I like the different paper that he finds to write on and the various responses he receives. Some nice, some not so nice…but it only takes one yes!
The ending – It will melt your heart (no spoilers, so that’s all I’m going to say).
The final letter from Arfy – Arfy provides tips on how to help homeless animals, including links to the ASPCA and the Humane Society.
I can think of at least two activities to try with students after reading this book:
Have students write a response letter to Arfy. Would they have said yes to him and invited him into their home? Why?
Have students write their own persuasive letter as Arfy. What might they want to say that would convince someone to be his forever family?
Have you read the book? What else will you plan to do with your students? Maybe a service project to help homeless animals?
Be sure to check out Troy Cummings’ other books. I would highly recommend his Notebook of Doom series as it has been a HUGE hit at my school. There are 13 books in total and it is the sort of story that will hook all readers. Check out the trailer on Scholastic’s Branches website (link below in the Shout-Outs).