Pet Storytime

How pets are part of our lives, both as working animals and as family members.

Welcome/Opening Activity:

The Puppy
Call the puppy
Beckon with hand or finger.
And give him some milk.
Pretend to pour milk into hand.
Brush his coat
Pretend to brush dog.
Till it shines like silk.
Call the dog
Beckon with hand or finger.
And give him a bone
Hold two fingers as if holding a bone.
Take him for a walk,
Pretend to hold leash of dog.
And put him in his home.
Form shape of a dog house.

From I’m a Little Teapot! (Black Sheep Press, 1996) compiled by Jane Cobb.

Books:

Title: A Sled Dog for Moshi
Author/Illustrator: Jeanne Bushey; Germaine Arnaktauyok
Publisher/Date: Hyperion, 1994.
Comments:  Moshi longs for a pet dog like her friend Jessica’s terrier, but her family’s dogs are sled dogs for working, not playing. When the girls get lost in a whiteout Moshi’s father reconsiders the benefits of having a dog as a pet. This book does a pretty good job of conveying the purpose of dogs in Inuit villages as workers rather than pets. It also touches on the presence and transience of different cultures and ideas through remote villages. Moshi’s friend has come from New York City and is unfamiliar with the climate, culture, and customs of the Inuit.

Title: The Good Luck Cat
Author/Illustrator: Joy Harjo; Paul Lee
Publisher/Date:  Harcourt, 2000.
Comments: A gentle story about cats, their nine lives, and the people that love them. I like this book because it portrays a Native family through the lens of just one small part of their lives: their pet. It seems like so often books about Native families are focusing on a major cultural aspect, not just on every day, ordinary topics.

Title: Nutiq and Amaroq Play Ball
Author/Illustrator: Jean Craighead George; Ted Rand
Publisher/Date: HarperCollins, 2001.
Comments: Amaroq and his wolf-pup Nutiq search the summer tundra for their missing football. This book highlights the usefulness of dogs both as companions and guides.

Storytelling/Oral History:

I like to tell the story Bark, George (HarperCollins, 1999) by Jules Feiffer using puppets. When the vet begins to pull all of the different animals out of George I hold the dog puppet’s mouth open wide and reach behind it, slowly pulling out all of the other animals so that it looks like they’re coming out of George’s mouth.

Music:

Five Little Puppies (fingerplay)

Five little puppies playing in the sun.
This one saw a rabbit and he began to run.
This one saw a butterfly and he began to race.
This one saw a kittycat and he began to chase.
This one tried to catch his tail, and he went round and round.
This one was so quiet, he never made a sound.

From I’m a Little Teapot! (Black Sheep Press, 1996) compiled by Jane Cobb.

Crafts:

Paper-bag puppets of cats or dogs are easy to create using pre-cut eyes, ears, tails, and tongues.

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