NEA’s Read Across America Day is March 2, 2015 and I found the perfect book for the K-2 crowd: Dog Loves Books by Louise Yates (Alfred A. Knopf, 2010). Dog not only loves books, he’s a perfect character for introducing or strengthening the love of books in children. You’ll note he’s a small dog and the books are usually bigger than he is, allowing children to feel comfortable venturing into the unknown territory a book may represent. Dog is so completely in love with books that it would be hard for a reader to not catch his enthusiasm.
As the author and illustrator, Yates has perfected the dance between text and art. Dog’s facial expressions and body language describe his feelings so well. He’s one darn cute dog! Children will relate with all of dog’s feelings from excitement and anticipation about his bookstore, to loneliness and boredom when he has no customers. And finally, to contentment when Dog remembers how books can solve his boredom problem.
I highly recommend sharing Dog Loves Books on Read Across America Day. Of course, we want children to be head over heels in love with their favorite books. Dog shows us it’s ok to love books. But we also want children to use that love to venture into a lifelong reading habit and to spread the magic of reading to others.