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Title: Taylor-Made Tales/The Dog’s Secret
Author: Ellen Miles
Age Range: 7-10 years
Grade Level: 2-5
Taylor-Made Tales/The Dog’s Secret is an easy read chapter book that blends two stories into one. Cricket doesn’t want to be labeled “rambunctious” by the new teacher, Mr. Taylor, so she goes out of her way to follow rules and not stand out. In fact, her whole class is hesitant about the new teacher, until Mr. Taylor engages them every afternoon in a story made up from items the kids had lost. The story he tells is about a girl named Maisie and her dog Jack. Jack is a very special dog with a secret talent and one day he disappears. Maisie is afraid the secret is out and she will never see Jack again.
I picked up this book at a local thrift store after checking the reviews for it on Amazon (you’ll find this is a very common thing for me to do!). Apparently, there are several more in the series, all which tell different tales made up by Mr. Taylor and include five things chosen by the students. The Dog’s Secret is a fun and light-hearted read. Even though Maisie experiences loneliness and sadness over a missing pet, the situation is not traumatic for sensitive readers.
The chapters integrate both story lines of Cricket and Maisie seamlessly. Jack seems like that perfect dog companion that many kids dream of having growing up. Themes of patience, helpfulness, empathy, and acceptance can be found throughout the story. This is a must for any dog lover!
Resources for Teaching
- Coping with a missing pet
- Tips on how to find a lost pet
- Create a flyer for a lost pet
- Teaching proper pet care
- Wash the Dog Sensory Activity
- Watch the movie Far From Home or Homeward Bound
- Dog coloring pages
- Indoor games to play with your dog
- How to be a respectful neighbor
- Helping your child adjust to a new teacher
- Teaching children to be helpful