Doggone Feet! A Toe-tappin' Guide Full of Fun

You know what a sucker I am for dogs, especially my dog, Tripod. So when my good buddy Leslie Helakoski started telling me about her latest picture book about a lonely pup who finds a home, I couldn't wait to get a look at it. And then, when she asked me to make a guide for it - well, I was tail-wagging happy! This book couldn't be cuter, and to think that she both wrote this and illustrated!

Doggone Feet is a story told from the point of view of a stray who finds a home with a long-legged, tambourine-totting musician. Because this "tail" is told from the dog's perspective, our vision is limited to that of the dog's - FEET! As time goes on, the dog's beloved master finds a wife and kid upon kid upon kid. As the family grows, the activity level in the home becomes very hectic. All the while, the dog is working hard to keep a sense of order in his world under the kitchen table. In the end, he surrenders to fact that, at the foundation of the chaotic craziness of family life lies joy, acceptance, a great love.

Because the story line offers so many charming angles to explore, I found creating the CCSS Annotated Discussion and Activity Guide a blast to do. Along with an extensive discussion question component, poetry writing, and story sequencing cards, the lesson that makes this guide extra special is a skip-counting activity. As a sparking plus, I was able to use Leslie's charming illustrations to add a little bit of pizzazz the the piece.

It's a fun guide for a delightful book. Pick it up. Pet it and give that pup a scratch behind the ears, while you're at it.

Doggin' and Horsin' Around

I just finished creating the coolest guide ever! First of all, you must check out Jeff Crosby's and Shelley Ann Jackson's b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l non-fiction picture books, Little Lions, Bull Baiters & Hunting Hounds and Harness Horses, Bucking Broncos & Pit Ponies. Not only are the illustrations amazing and the facts fascinating, you need the books to complete most of the activities I created in their Research and Activity Guide.

However, there are two anatomy lessons that you can do without the books. Look though the guide to find them. Did you know that both the dog and horse have a muzzle, stifle, a fetlock, and pasterns? And that a horse has a coronet? (I'm not talking the rootie-toot-toot type of coronet, mind you. I'm talking anatomy here.)

So, go get yourself some scissors and glue, look through the guide, print out pages 15 to 17, and have some dog and horse fun!

I tell you, it takes good books to be able to make good guides. And, my dear Simple Saturday friend, Jeff and Shelley have created two masterpieces. Don't take my word for it. Check them out and see for yourselves!!!

Simple Saturday Prep: The Ultimate Dog Toy

 This week I am going to show you how to make the simplest dog toy in the world, one that will give your pup hours and hours of pleasure. Paula, Tripod's trainer at Dog Boys made one for him as a reward after he passed a grueling (or rather a fooling) obedience test. He loves this thing, I tell you. And your dog will, too.

The only supplies you need to make the Simple Saturday Ultimate Dog Toy is a piece of fleece fabric about foot wide and some scissors. That is IT!

 Okay...while we're on the subject of dogs - in particular my dog - let me take a moment to tell you about the fun Tripod and I had last weekend. He and I strutted  a little over 3 miles in the Mighty Texas Dog Walk, a fundraiser for the Texas Hearing and Service Dogs. He did such a good job. Good Tripod. He deserves a Simple Saturday Ultimate Dog Toy, don't you think?