I always have a way-too-long list of things I intend to get done during summer break. One of my projects this summer is to frequent the "stacks" at LaGrange Memorial Library. I am going to pull picture books off the shelves arbitrarily, take them home, read and review them for you. My goal is to prove that almost any picture book can be used as a mentor text. I will be looking for books that lend themselves to teaching comprehension strategies, writing strategies, or language arts skills. There is a wealth of picture books ripe for the pickin' and I intend to search out the best ones for you. At the end of the summer, I'll compile an organized list that you can use as you teach next year.
So. Let's start this virtual party with Wet Dog by Elise Broach. What fun! This book initially caught my eye because of the cover illustration. David Catrow has illustrated such favorites as I Wanna Iguanna and Stand Tall, Molly Melon. (LOVE them!)
This is the story of a lovable, shaggy dog who just wants to "find himself some cool," but gets "shooed away" time and time again. It is a very rhythmic book, with lots of rich word choice and playful language. Broach uses some hyphenated adjectives, such as "too-hot dog" and "beating-down sun". I love this because it creates such a playful voice. You could use this book if you wanted to teach the "repeated line" writing strategy as well; there are several different lines repeated throughout the story.
Wet Dog is a fantastic book to read as a mentor text for more than one minilesson on voice and word choice. It's a fun read-aloud, and best of all, it will make you and your students smile.