Tag Archives: Jan Thomas

The Doghouse. Dun dun DUN!!!

27 May

Jan Thomas is my new favorite picture book author.  She (?) wrote the Rhyming Dust Bunnies book I reviewed earlier, plus What Will Fat Cat Sit On and others.  My new favorite, though, is The Doghouse. In the simple (but highly effective) story, Duck, Pig, Cow and Mouse are playing ball when Cow accidentally kicks the ball into THE DOGHOUSE.  Who will be the brave soul who goes in to get it out?  None of the animals looks thrilled at the prospect, but Mouse convinces Cow that he must go first: “Cow is big!  Cow is brave! Cow is strong!” (Cow’s response? A rather not-so-big-and-brave “Moo!”).  One by one the animals go in, but they DO NOT COME OUT!  What happened?

When I read this to preschoolers, I added a “Dun dun DUN!” after reading the title (in a suitably dark and scary voice).  After a few more of these drama-heighteners, the kids picked up on it and started adding their own “Dun dun DUN!”s.  LOTS of fun.

Reinforcing print awareness skills are words emphasized in big letters and colors (which, after repeated readings, kids will be able to identify on sight), and kids will have fun predicting what will happen.  I can’t wait to see what Jan Thomas comes up with next — surely another simple, but VERY creative, crowd-pleaser.

Thomas, Jan.  The Doghouse. Orlando, FL: Harcourt, 2008.  ISBN: 9780152065331

Fab new book: Rhyming Dust Bunnies by Jan Thomas

4 Mar

Who thinks of making dust bunnies, those pesky piles of household fluff, into the heroes of a picture book?  Jan Thomas, the author of What Will Fat Cat Sit On? does.  Ed, Ned, and Ted are dust bunnies who like nothing better than to find words that rhyme.  A fourth, Bob, however, keeps coming up with words that do NOT rhyme, much to the annoyance of his friends.  But Bob persists — and for good reason!  He’s trying to warn them.  This is a short, silly, delightful book that will reinforce phonological skills and perhaps you and your child will want to follow it up by finding some rhyming words of your own!  What rhymes with silly?  Hilly, pilly, willy, nilly, chilly…

Thomas, Jan.  Rhyming Dust Bunnies. New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2009.  ISBN: 9781416979760

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