Thursday, April 2, 2009

Two Dogs Swimming by Lynn Reiser (Greenwillow Books, 2005)

Spot and Whistle are poodles who like doing everything together. They live near a pond and enjoy running around it and playing fetch near it. They are very competitive and sometimes Spot is faster and sometimes Whistle is. Every time they go swimming Whistle swims the length of the pond, but Spot does something quite strange—he pretends to swim while remaining in one place so that he can jump out just before Whistle completes his return lap. Spot always wins this way by being the first out of the pond. One day, however, while the two are playing fetch, they have to dive into the water to retrieve the stick in the middle of the pond. Spot cannot pull his famous trick and has to swim with all his might to fetch the stick. From then on, Spot does not pull his funny trick but enjoys swimming in the pond beside Whistle.

This is an adorable story of competition and friendship. If you can say that you and your best friend are not somewhat competitive I would argue that you are lying. I know my best friend and I were always competing with our grades and at sports. It may not be seen as competition due to the closeness of our relationship but we will both admit that we are. This story can also serve as a "cheaters never prosper" lesson as well.

My only reservations about this book are the fact that the dogs are depicted as a black and a white poodle who are always competing. Some may have problems with this viewpoint. I don't but it is just something to think about.

Intended audience: Preschool to 2nd

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