CM . . .
. Volume XVI Number 7. . . .October 16, 2009
North Vancouver, BC: Walrus Books/Whitecap Books, 2007.
32 pp., pbk., $8.95.
English language-Alphabet-Juvenile literature.
Kindergarten-grade 3 / Ages 5-8.
Review by Carrie Subtelny.
Dogabet is an excellent alphabet book to explore the pure joy of words and to use specifically to teach "describing words" if that was a lesson focus.
Dog lovers will also delight in this collection that miraculously matches each letter of the alphabet to a breed of dog. My one caution is in regards to using this book as a teaching tool to teach letter/sound correspondence. Emergent learners need a consistent and singular connection to letter sounds –– beginning with consonants and then short vowels. This text showcases letters (what they look like) in a variety of places within words –– however, the sound of each is not always consistent (/g/, /c/, /a/, /i/) which can be confusing for some learners.
For example, with the line, "Chubby Chihuahuas cheerfully chew chocolate chip cookies,"some readers might ask if c makes a /ch/ or a /c/ sound? Or, with "Gluttonous Greyhounds greedily gulp gigantic green gherkins," does a g make a /g/ or /j/ sound? Of course, more sophisticated readers will know that g can say both sounds. However, this would be a great page to reinforce digraphs and blends! On another note, the melodic alliteration found on each page encourages sound awareness and good practice for phrasing, intonation and fluency.
The diversity of alphabet books makes them a "must" for each school and classroom library.
Carrie Subtelny is a Reading Clinician with the Inner City District in the Winnipeg School Division in Winnipeg, MB.
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