Missouri Building Block: Dog in Boots

When my son was a preschooler, he wore a dashing pair of boots with a cowhide print. They were ankle-high, with zippers, and nothing could surpass their awesomeness. So I understand the central character of Greg Gormley’s “Dog in Boots,” a well-read, boot-loving pup, inspired by a pair of truly fantastic boots worn by the cat in his favorite story. After a quick trip to the shoe store, Dog’s new boots don’t work out so well, so he makes several return trips to find the perfect footwear to meet all of his doggie needs, like digging and swimming and scratching and running. Luckily the shoe salesman has a pure heart and helps Dog discover that the perfect thing has been right under his nose all along.

This adorably illustrated book can initiate conversations with children about canine behavior. (What can dogs do? Can you do that, too?) It’s also fun to for kids to predict what will happen with each new pair of shoes.

You might also read “Puss in Boots” or other books about animals that wear clothes, like “Three Little Kittens” or “Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing” by Judi Barrett. This could lead to a spirited debate: is there *ever* a time that animals should wear clothes? Why do people wear clothes anyway?

A couple of things you can do after you read the book:

  • Take a look at the different types of shoes in your closet or dress-up area. Is there a job the shoes can help you do?
  • Create a story together about Dog’s adventures with Red Riding Hood’s hood and cape. Might fur be the best thing for him to wear in the end?

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