In 10 Dogs, Emily Gravett delivers readers yet another visual feast with this humorous tale of ten dogs salivating over ten sausages. Each double spread depicts the various playful attempts of the dogs to secure a sausage from the bowl on the table and of course we are left waiting until the final page to discover whether or not they are successful! If you can’t wait until then, the frontispiece and endpiece provide clues.
As we have come to expect, Gravett’s depiction of the dogs hold much character. Each animal is a different breed and their enjoyment of the game they are engaged in, is literally written on their faces. If you look closely, you might notice the author’s own dog Dilys, whom the book is dedicated to, is somewhere in the mix.
Beyond the entertainment factor of what is on the face of it a simple tale, there is much to explore making this a useful addition to any Reception classroom. Each turn of the page is a ripe opportunity for prediction and even for creating your own double spread. What might the dogs do on the next page? As the placement of the dogs and the sausages is key and changes on each page, children might be encouraged to use prepositions to describe what they see where.
Just as a previous offering from Gravett, 10 Cats introduced young readers to counting and some mathematical principles, 10 Dogs is jam packed with maths vocabulary and concepts, for example, more and less. But principally it provides an entertaining context for examining number bonds to ten, as the relationship between the dogs and the sausages are explored on each page, e.g., ‘6 dogs play with sausages 4 dogs try to catch them’. This is a book with plenty of teaching potential.
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