Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Book Review: My Neighbor is a Dog

When a saxophone-playing dog moves in next door to a young girl, the girl is thrilled, but her parents, who do not like the noise or the other animals the dog attracts, feel otherwise. So says the catalog description of My Neighbor is a Dog.

But what if those other animals are an elephant who can help wash your father's car with his handy
trunk? Or an alligator who dresses up as Santa Claus and leaves presents for everyone in the apartment building? Not to mention the dog, who brought the girl's family their newspaper everyday.

The two surprises of this international picture book that was originally published in Portugal in 2008, and stateside in 2013? The reveal at the end of the story, when the little girl's family moves out of the apartment building. Her parents are - giraffes! The other surprise? We expect our picture books to always have happy and neat endings. This one ends with a dose of melancholy, as the little girl envisions that, "one day when I grow up. I'm going to surprise my old neighbors. I will stop in front of our old door with a big moving truck... and I will move back in. And I'm sure they won't find me strange!"

Looking for a sophisticated picture book worth discussing with K-3 students? Try My Neighbor is a Dog.

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