Fleabag by Helen Stephens was another irresistible book I picked up on my recent book shopping jaunt. Why? One reason. My 12-year-old. I immediately thought of her when I picked this one up!
My daughter has been begging for a dog since she was old enough to point! She devours books about dogs. There's an audible "Ahhhhh" each time we see someone walking a dog. Once, when she was about five, she got a heart-shaped pad of sticky notes from Granny (Thanks, Granny) and left at least 75 notes around the house--refrigerator, toilet lid, bookbag, computer screen--"Dad, a dog would be nice! Woof, woof! I think we need a dog! Have you seen my puppy?" And, I won't even mention every dog we've seen online on Big Dogs, Huge Paws or at the pound that is looking for a home. Trouble is... much to her chagrin, we still don't have one (although we came close with a Newfoundland puppy last year)! Instead, I buy great books about dogs... it's a long story! I know what you're thinking... I may just have to give in soon (No mean dad comments... it's just that two of us can barely breath now)!
Fleabag is a quaint story about a homeless dog that is "found" by a little boy named Bob... "A boy without a dog and a dog without a boy meet each other in the park." I loved this story, it almost tugged hard enough at my "we need a dog" heartstrings to consider getting one... almost! The illustrations are wonderful and full of whimsy... who knew you could say so much with two little black dots on a scruffy puppy!
Hasn't every child at one time or another gotten a puppy, found a lost animal, "ran away" from home, or looked longingly in the pet shop window--this is the perfect book to activate a "memory" write for young writers. The premise is familiar and weaves a wonderful tale that I think could inspire young writers to do some writing in their writer's notebooks. Fleabag will be the perfect nudge.
Fleabag ended up getting a permanent home with his new family in the book and Fleabag will be the perfect addition to your permanent collection of "Books about Pets" in your classroom!