Frazee, Marla. 2012. BOOT & SHOE. New York: Beach Lane Books. ISBN 9781442422476 [Suggested Grade Levels PreK-3]
Little dogs Boot and Shoe share a house, a bowl, and a bed. But, one spends his days on the back porch and the other on the front porch, each in his perfect spot. “Until one day, for no apparent reason, a squirrel started some trouble.” After a seemingly endless chase of the trouble maker, the two exhausted pups collapse … but each on the wrong porch. They search for one another over a long, lonely afternoon and night looking “under things, over things, around things, and between things”, and finally the forlorn friends are joyously reunited in a hilarious way.
Author and illustrator Marla Frazee brings her distinctive originality and humor to this charming tale that celebrates friendship and furry companions. The pencil-and-gouache illustrations of the shaggy dogs and their cozy cottage are accented by the effective use of white space. Young readers will enjoy this book again and again, poring over the double-page spreads and delightful artwork.
After reading, discuss the phrases used in the book such as “a back porch kind of dog” and what these mean. Encourage listeners to describe themselves in a similar turn of phrase. The discussion of the author’s word choice can be extended to focus on prepositions which are emphasized throughout the text.
Additionally, the tale can be used to practice making inferences and predictions. Readers can look for clues about Boot and Shoe’s owners who are never introduced in the story. Children can also ponder, describe, and illustrate their favorite spots around their own homes.
Other books celebrating friendship through man’s best friend:
Goodrich, Carter. SAY HELLO TO ZORRO! ISBN 9781416938934
Sidman, Joyce. MEOW RUFF. ISBN 9780618448944
By Jill Bellomy