Saturday, November 7, 2009

A Rose for Pinkerton by Steven Kellogg

I rediscovered Steven Kellogg the other day in my block a class and quickly remembered Pinkerton. I think that I will for sure have to purchase all Pinkerton books for my own personal collection because I just love them. Yes there is a bias at play here, I love dogs. That really isn't the only reason though. These books are very entertaining and funny! That giant Great Dane puppy is always getting himself into some kind of mess. In this story, Pinkerton's owner decides that he must be lonely, so she goes to find him a friend. Finally, she comes upon a kitten named Rose. Instead of becoming friends though, Rose soon takes over as the resident dog while Pinkerton begins to act like a kitten. When Pinkerton's owners go to find out why this has happened, they unintentionally cause chaos at The International Pet Show. Pinkerton heads right for the kittens, while Rose heads for a parade of poodles who are none too pleased to see her. In the end, Pinkerton saves Rose from the herd of angry poodles and their masters and they become friends, resuming their roles as puppy and kitten.

One very interesting thing that I noticed about this book is that there is no father present in any of the books. It is only Pinkerton, Rose, the little girl and her mother. Every now and then, the grandma comes to stay with them, but there is never a father. It doesn't take away from the story at all, but it is interesting that Kellogg chose to show a non-traditional family. I like that he chose not to show a "normal" family in this series. As we discussed during our unit on controversial books, what is normal for one child isn't whats normal for another. Showing only one kind of family, alienates students and families so it is important to read books like these to your class. This way, they can see that you can live with just one parent and its okay.

One last note, even if the text wasn't as entertaining as it is, the illustrations would be enough for me to pick up these books. They are so detailed and intricate. One of my favorite things that Kellogg does in his illustrations is that whenever there is text within texts (in books or on signs) he always takes the time to write little titles on the books. In some other books, illustrators simply put squiggly lines where the titles are supposed to be. Ages for this book? The library says 4-8 and I would agree but add that really anybody would enjoy these.

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