Friday, October 29, 2010

A Pooch Parade

When I walk my dog in New York’s Riverside Park, no matter what time of day it is, I see a procession of pooches. Children constantly ask their parents and caregivers—and occasionally the dog owners themselves—“What kind of dog is that?” (Mine is a rescue dog of mysterious origins, so the answer is: Dachshund, Chihuahua, with maybe some beagle thrown in.) Walk the Dog by Bob Barner makes a terrific travel companion for these young minds curious about canines. The dogs on display in the oversize board book pages range from the familiar (“Hound Dog” and “Pug”) to the more exotic (“Queensland Heeler”).

Once a child takes an interest, you can encourage him or her to widen the investigation--with photographic books of dogs, books devoted to one breed, and wackier offshoots such as William Wegman’s fairy tales and adventures starring his pristine Weimaraners. This alphabetical introduction to dogs of all shapes, sizes, and colors is a great way to get toddlers started and to help them name the furry creatures they encounter in their daily routines.

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