11. The Whingdingdilly by Bill Peet
Topics: dogs, witches
Units of Study: Fantasy, Character
Tribes: Appreciations/No Putdowns
Reading Skills: inference, prediction, making connections
Writing Skills: using a balance of description and dialogue, using interesting verbs
My Thoughts: I really felt for Scamp in the beginning of this book. I’m a sucker for dogs who are down in the dumps. Unfortunately Scamp’s owner, Orvie calls him a “silly old dog” when he catches his dog pretending to be a horse. Though calling someone ‘silly’ may not be the worst putdown heard at school, I can still see using this book as a way to discuss the damage brought about by insults and putdowns. Scamp begins to feel better, and his luck begins to change when he hears how much Orvie appreciates him. The Whingdingdilly also teaches the importance of appreciating ourselves for our strengths rather than putting ourselves down for our faults. This could also be used as a mentor text during a unit on Fantasy writing. The story has a few fantastical elements but is mostly based on reality.