My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Arfy is a dog in need of a place to stay, so he emBARKS on a mission to find a forever home by writing letters to everyone who lives on Butternut Street; asking the question, one house, one fire station, one butcher shop at a time, “Can I be your dog?” He truly is one persistent pooch! Without much persuasion, I bet that Arfy would have you convinced that he’s the dog for you. Each letter will simply make your heart melt.
Can I be Your Dog? was a pure joy to read and it made me want to snuggle with my own fur-baby Schnoodle, Susie-Q, who my nephew used to call “Susie Cute.” She was given to us by my aunt and she has been the sweetest little addition to our family. She is often my reading buddy at night before I go to bed. We are her people as much as she is our dog and we love her to pieces. Much like what we have, Arfy just wanted a family that he could call his own and with each letter he writes, the reader likely will be vying for Arfy to send a letter to them, in which case he would have no problem finding a home because every child is going to want to take him in. When I introduce this book to my students this school year, they are sure to fall in love the same way I did. Something tells me that I’m going to need to get my hands on more than one copy for our library.
In this book, Troy Cummings is both author and illustrator and as you flip through the pages you will quickly adore Arfy as a playful, cheerful, determined dog. Here are some of the reasons I really enjoyed this book:
- The cover! – Our students love dogs and will be drawn to Arfy’s adorable face. Also, note that the forever stamp on Arfy’s envelope is a forever home (LOVE this!)
- The front matter – There is a collection of awesome stamps to start the book of varying color, price, and size.
- The letters – Arfy is a pretty persuasive writer. His letters are so sweet and filled with hope. I like the different paper that he finds to write on and the various responses he receives. Some nice, some not so nice…but it only takes one yes!
- The ending – It will melt your heart (no spoilers, so that’s all I’m going to say).
- The final letter from Arfy – Arfy provides tips on how to help homeless animals, including links to the ASPCA and the Humane Society.
I can think of at least two activities to try with students after reading this book:
- Have students write a response letter to Arfy. Would they have said yes to him and invited him into their home? Why?
- Have students write their own persuasive letter as Arfy. What might they want to say that would convince someone to be his forever family?
Have you read the book? What else will you plan to do with your students? Maybe a service project to help homeless animals?
Be sure to check out Troy Cummings’ other books. I would highly recommend his Notebook of Doom series as it has been a HUGE hit at my school. There are 13 books in total and it is the sort of story that will hook all readers. Check out the trailer on Scholastic’s Branches website (link below in the Shout-Outs).
Can I Be Your Dog?
Troy Cummings | http://www.troycummings.net/
Scholastic Branches Notebook of Doom series | http://www.scholastic.com/branches/doom.htm
Random House Children’s Books | http://www.rhcbooks.com/