Book Cover Image:
Image Credit: Campbell County Public Library. (2015) http://www.ccpls.org.
Cowpoke Clyde has finished cleaning his house and is ready to enjoy a bowl of hot soup, when he notices that Dawg, his faithful companion, needs a bath. Clyde gathers the necessary supplies, alerting Dawg to his plan, and sending him scurrying out of the house into the ranch yard. On each double-page spread, Clyde tries to catch Dawg, but only succeeds in soaking the cats, the hog, the mule, and himself. Finally, Clyde gives up and decides he’ll just take a relaxing soak under the moon. As Clyde quits chasing and starts crooning, Dawg can’t resist jumping in the bath with his owner — causing Clyde to realize he doesn’t have to fight with Dawg to get him clean.
APA Reference of Book:
I thought Cowpoke Clyde and Dirty Dawg was an excellent book. It featured interesting illustrations and a fun rhyme. Each double-page illustration gives a small preview of what’s to come on the next page, helping children with prediction skills. The illustrations also lead off the right-hand side of the page – encouraging the page-turn to continue the story. The rhyme of the text is a second way that prediction skills are strengthened, as each rhyme concludes with the next page’s main word; it’s easy to imagine reading this with a child, and having them yell out the word to finish the rhyme – engagement! Finally, the ending of the story demonstrates a change in both Cowpoke Clyde, who gives up forcing his dog into the bath, and Dirty Dawg, who decides bathing with his master isn’t so bad, after all.
“At the end of a satisfying day, Cowpoke Clyde decides that the only thing he’d forgotten to clean was his “ol’ Dawg, his faithful, snorin’ friend,/all caked with mud from end to end.” However, corralling Dawg is definitely not a snap, and Clyde’s continued efforts result in a cumulative disaster of frantic chickens, flying feathers, spilled soup, biting fleas, a slippery hog, hissing cats, and a braying mule, all “gettin’ soaked” instead of Dawg. Even the hog gets a wide-eyed close-up here. Finely crafted acrylic scenes contain a wide range of angled perspectives and shadows within Clyde’s tiny shack and outside on the ranch. Cartoon figures cavort across the spreads and escape their frames. Rhyming couplets reveal a cowboy twang of missing final “g’s.” A first purchase for most libraries”
Read aloud with kindergarten students, allowing them to complete each couplet with the rhyming word. Tell them that, most of the time, a clue to the correct word can be found by carefully studying the picture on the preceding page.