Children’s Book of the Week: The Complete Adventures of Big Dog and Little Dog

The Complete Adventures of Big Dog and Little Dog by Dav Pilkey

Oh, Big Dog and Little Dog, how we love you. These are great, great books, which we’ve gotten separately from the library, and then several years ago were happy to find as a collected volume, which we own. These books work on about 12 different levels. They are very simple, so I’d say any kid from 8 months on up appreciates the illustrations and the straightforward plot. But as the children get older, they start to see that there’s more going on. Big Dog and Little Dog get into trouble, sometimes by mistake (that kitty is, in fact, a skunk) and sometimes from realistic dog boredom that will be painfully familiar to any dog owner (they want something to play with, so they eat the couch). Funny situations, and also situations in which the average child will recognize his own antics. And it will be very reassuring how Big Dog and Little Dog’s owner continues to love them, even if they come home covered in mud.

I also like that this is one of those books that will be a good one to practice reading on, since the text is simple and repetitive (in a good way). Henry, in fact, has read the first story on his own, and knew all the words except for one, and it was very exciting. I think he was really happy to be reading something other than Hedgehog is Tired, which is the book he reads every day at kindergarten (I don’t think they’re forced to read it every day or anything, I think he reads it every day because he can.) I’m not sure I’m properly conveying how fun Big Dog and Little Dog actually are, and silly, and endearing. But they are. You’ll love them.

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