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Friday, September 6, 2013

Interrupted Storytime

Just before the first graders arrived on the story steps this afternoon to listen to The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds, a retired teacher arrived with the service dog he has been training since December. Gauge is a handsome Golden Retriever, and he has been trained so well. With gentle words or hand commands, he does what he is asked, all in preparation for a new owner who needs him to help her in daily life. I could not resist the opportunity to introduce the first graders to Gauge.

There were gasps when he walked around the story steps. My friend talked to the children about what Gauge has learned to do and how they should behave when they encounter a service dog in public. The children watched in awe as the dog stayed in the same spot but carefully watched my friend walk around the library...and then immediately came to his side when given a hand command. He did not eat the treat placed in front of him until told it was okay to do so. The kids had many questions, like, "When he takes off his vest, is it okay to pet him?" Then it was time for Gauge to leave.

We settled in to read The Dot, a story about a girl named Vashti who does not think she is able to draw. I had to explain why it was funny that her teacher identified her blank piece of paper as a polar bear in a snow storm, but otherwise, they were captivated. Next week I know children will be bringing dots they have created for us to hang in the library. The book's illustrations are made with watercolor, ink, and tea (something I learned about Peter Reynolds in relation to his Judy Moody artwork). 


  1. What a treat for these kids! Watching this beautiful animal and hearing a story read to them. Riches!!

  2. Fantastic story!! (about the dog) Love The Dot & Peter Reynolds' art. Happy Back to School! (I see that it already is!)

  3. And you can bet they will remember everything about that dog! Good call, Library Jewel!