This is a fun book for dog lovers! Older primary students will definitely appreciate the humor.
On a rainy day, Frank’s parents take him to the shelter to get a new dog. That’s how Frank finds Lucky, and from that moment on, they’re inseparable.
As Frank and Lucky venture out into the world around them, they discover they both have a lot to learn. Exploring their neighborhood teaches them about biology: Lucky learns all about squirrels, deer, and—unfortunately for Frank—skunks. Sharing a bed teaches them about fractions—what happens when one dog takes up three-quarters of the bed, or even the whole thing? They even learn different languages: Frank makes a friend who speaks Spanish and Lucky tries to learn Duck! Who knew you could learn so much without ever setting foot inside a classroom?
Frank and Lucky Get Schooled was written and illustrated by Lynne Rae Perkins, and published in 2016 by Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins.
“One day when Frank could not win for losing, he got Lucky.”
My Thoughts as a Writer:
This was a different take on the typical dog story, showing what dogs and people learn from each other with lots of humorous lines and speech bubbles to show show the imagined perspective of the dog. It was fun the way the book considered different school subjects such as math, science, history, arts, etc. so I really liked the concept of this book.
I enjoyed all the detail in the illustrations, and how everyday things are used to show concepts like fractions, etc.
My Thoughts as a Teacher:
As a teacher, I really liked the way this book shows how learning is part of everyday life—even for dogs! It also shows how different areas of learning are connected (useful for teaching purposes but mostly just fun!) and how you can learn different things, depending on your perspective. This book is also great for modeling inquiry, since it is full of questions that come up about real world objects and occurrences.
I think 2nd and 3rd graders would especially like this book. My one tiny quibble is that the first line is hard to understand if you’re not familiar with the expression, and that may put some kids off reading it. But it would be an excellent read aloud, especially for early in the school year. I think it’s also a book that kids will love to explore and revisit, because of all the details in the text and illustrations.
Ages: 4 – 8 (according to the publisher, but I think most of this would be beyond a kindergartener’s comprehension level)
Grades: upper primary to junior level
Themes: learning, dogs, school subjects, inquiry
Pick your favorite school subject and your favorite animal, and make a comic (or write a page) showing the different things you and your animals might learn in that subject.
Think of an everyday experience, such as what happens when you get home from school, a birthday party, a trip to the park, and write down three different questions about it. Share your wonderings with a partner!
Draw a picture of your pet (or a pet you’d like to have). Which school subject do you think they will enjoy the most? Explain why.