Friday, September 17, 2010
Review: Alphabet Woof! by Sherrie Ann Madia; illus. Patrick Carlson
Alphabet Woof! is the story of Moxy the dog who eats magic soup and his wish comes true: He can talk! This gift leads Moxy and his family to some exciting adventures, but in the end, he realizes his greatest gift is not his ability to talk but rather, his ability to talk with the people he loves, who love him back. The story is fun and whimsical, but carries an important underlying message-of family values and of understanding what really matters.
The Elliott Review:
The first thing that endeared me to this book was the rhyming - the infectious rhythm that follows the reader throughout the story. As we hear of Moxy the dog's interesting adventures as he talks, the rhyme flows wonderfully. This would be ideal for little kids and big kids alike.
The story is a simple one about Moxy suddenly speaking after eating some magic soup that will grant him his wish, which is to speak. Moxy loves talking to his family and even, in time, on his own talk show. Eventually he realizes the important reason for his voice is not for the fame he has achieved but to speak to those he loves.
The pictures in the book are bright and engaging with plenty of details that younger kids would like to point out. They are very bright and cartoon-ish, which is a major draw to some.
If I were to build a lesson around this book, I would probably focus on the concept of wishing for something that is important. I would have students brainstorm about some wishes they have and then choose one of the most important ones. The story could be fanciful - how was their wish granted? What was the result of the wish being fulfilled?
Since the kid-lit spectrum is full of interesting stories about dogs with special abilities, I would probably pair this or at least compare this with one of them to build background knowledge for the kids. I would suggest pairing it with: The Night I Followed the Dog by Nina Laden or Walter the Farting Dog by William Kotzwinkle.
Alphabet Woof! is available for purchase through Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”