I was honored this morning to be part of the world premiere of Debra Frasier's 2013 book SPIKE: UGLIEST DOG IN THE UNIVERSE. The F&G copy was bright in color and felt bold in my hands as I read it aloud to a 4th and a 3rd grade class. Debra listened to her story read aloud by someone else for the first time and observed how the young listeners reacted to the story.
We talked a lot about voice, listing things about Spike's voice gleaned just from the first page of the story. He is direct. He has a heart. He is hopeful despite his circumstances. The children imagined how a dog's bark would sound if it were joking or tired. They considered Spike's intrepid character and how he persevered in the face of uncertainty to save a friend.
And then, Debra told them the most amazing thing. "I brought a dog for each of you!" Those dogs were in folders, their biographies and photographs taken from petfinder.com. They proceeded to make miniature books, filling them with drawings of their dogs and words to describe how those dogs were unique. On Monday, we will all learn more about each other's adopted dogs and begin to write stories about them.