Friday, November 13, 2009

The First Dog

When did a wolf become a dog? According to Jan Brett, in her book The First Dog, it was during the Pleistocene. Her darling tale of Kip the cave boy and the first dog demonstrates to children how the human/canine relationship was mutually beneficial. Humans gained protection from the dog's keen hearing, smell and sight and the dog was rewarded with a dependable food supply. The book ends by incorporating a fascinating detail. Unlike wolves, dogs wag their tails.

Jan Brett's works are always a visual treat and this one is no exception. You can practically smell the great outdoors. My daughter is a little old for this book and pointed out how unlikely it was for a cave boy to travel alone and to look like he had just been to Great Clips, but for the younger set, this is a book they shouldn't miss.

Ages 4-8

Activity: Paint your own First Dog, here's how. First find a suitable rock and make sure it's clean. Sketch your wolf in pencil. We used Jan Brett's sketch from the title page for inspiration. We then drew our lines with a black Sharpie marker. We painted everything but the black lines gray. If you don't have any cave wall paint around you can use craft paint like we did. We added white paint to the gray paint we already used and added some hair details. We painted the eye green and then added a pupil with black paint.


  1. We are so going to make this little pebble dog! I love it@

    Thanks for dropping by my blog. I'll speak to Santa about our map order this week. Do you think he'll listen?

  2. Well, I hope so....after all I am being VERY good :)

  3. I came over here from School for us, and I already know I will like this blog!
    We have a husky puppy and I know my kids would love to read another book by Jan Brett, so I will be looking for this book at our local library, and I am sure we'll be doing the rock dog.