Picture Book Pair for a Fun Fall Story Time

by Rebecca J. Gomez Pairing two or more picture books with similar themes can open up a world of discussion possibilities, and those discussions are great ways to connect with your children or students. It can be fascinating to see how different authors and illustrators approach different topics and themes. Pairing books with similar themes during story time will help children learn that everyone sees the world a little differently, and it's good to see other people's perspectives. Read : Leaves by David Ezra Stein and The Leaf Thief by Alice Hemming, illustrated by Nicola Slater Discuss :  What is the main theme in each of these stories? How are these two books different? How are they similar? What were Bear and Squirrel both confused about?  Have you ever been confused or curious about something in nature? Talk about it! What is fall like where you live? Do you see leaves changing, then falling from the trees?  What other books about fall or leaves have you read? Are any of

CAN I BE YOUR DOG? Letter Writing Activity

In Can I Be Your Dog by Troy Cummings, a dog writes letters to various people on Butternut Street, hoping that one of them will be his forever family. Then, after a series of rejections, he receives a surprise note from someone who thinks he would be the perfect partner! This is funny and heartwarming, and it's the perfect book to pair with a letter-writing activity. 

Read: Can I Be Your Dog


  • Why was Arfy writing letters to people on Butternut Street?
  • What are some reasons why Arfy may not have had a family?
  • Have you ever seen a stray dog? 
  • What would the perfect dog for your family be like? If you have a dog, what makes him or her a great pet?
  • Were you surprised when you saw which person wanted to adopt Arfy? Why or why not?
  • When was the last time you wrote a letter or note to someone?

Do: Write a letter of your own. Choose one or both of the following options:

  1. Imagine that you are a dog in need of a home. Write a letter to someone who would be a good person for you. Try to think of ideas that are different from what's in the book. What makes your imaginary dog self special? How might you convince someone to adopt you?
  2. Imagine that you are a person who really wants a dog. Write a note to Arfy explaining why you  would be a perfect fit.
Bonus activity: Put your note in an envelope and address it with a made-up address. Then design your own postage stamp. Look at the end pages in the book if you need inspiration for your stamp.


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