Saturday, May 28, 2011

One Dog Canoe by Mary Casanova

by Mary Casanova

I just shared this with Kindergartners. I have read this book countless times - and every time it makes me smile, and every time kids clamor to check it out... so I had to add it here.

What it's about:
A young girl goes out for a canoe ride with her dog, larger and larger animals keep asking to come along (ending with a little frog), until they capsize and end up having a "good swim".

What I love:
One Dog-Canoe just feels good to read out loud - it's like a meal of good words - the writing flows with lyrical rhyming and onomatopoeia.  
I love good repeating lines and predictable patterns that students can join in on. Each new animal arrives on the scene asking "can I come too?" And the girl's response becomes a pattern of all the animals met along the way.

My favorite line:
"and with a push-a-swoosh --glide-- ..." - because not only is it a perfect description of pushing off with the canoe, it's just darn fun to say.

Other connections:
The Kindergartners at my school "research" Minnesota in the spring, this book is great to share during that time because its MN connections. Since the students learn about native animals, we end up talking about the bear - which is brown and not black in the book (brown or grizzly bears are no longer native to MN).

I like to pair One Dog-Canoe with Jan Brett's The Umbrella, set in a Cloud Forest. The pattern of the story is similar, but the setting makes a nice contrast for a discussion of "what's the same?" and "what's different?"

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