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  • 2013 Wanda Gág Read Aloud Book Award

    Silly Doggy! written and illustrated by Adam Stower and published by Orchard Books, an imprint of Scholastic, 2012.

    Silly DoggyOne day Lily looks out the window and sees something big, brown, and hairy: a doggy! But this wasn't just any dog; it's actually a loveable bear from the zoo! Her doggy is so silly: he doesn't eat his dog food; he doesn't do any dog tricks, and he never does what Lily tells him to, but as Lily puts it, "his favorite thing is scratching. My favorite thing is him." When Mom wouldn't let Lily keep Doggy, Lily was forced to create "found" posters, advertising her silly friend. She secretly hoped no one would see it, but unfortunately, a zoo keeper did come to claim Doggy. Luckily for Lily, another zoo friend found its way into her backyard . . . a "kitty"!

    Stower's colorful illustrations range from double page spreads with doggy's huge body taking up both pages to vignettes showing the antics between doggy and Lily. The pictures greatly extend the text with facial expressions and body language that make these characters endearing.

    This book was a huge success with younger children. They were laughing throughout the story, requesting repeated readings, and wanting to keep the book for their own collections. Readers enjoyed telling the story, pointing out that the language allowed them to use a lot of expression. The illustrations were a hit as well; many commented on the bright color and large pictures, perfect for reading aloud. Students noticed the endpapers as well, which showed newspaper articles about lost zoo animals and Lily and Kitty winning a pet competition. Students were overwhelmingly positive about "Silly Doggy!"

    Adam Stower lives and works in Brighton, England. BRITTANY LAZUR