I Have a Dog

(An Inconvenient Dog)

Charlotte Lance
AUD $19.99

A new puppy can be the perfect new playmate. Or it can be IN THE WAY ALL THE TIME. But even the most mischievous of puppies can grow up to become a very best friend. This adorable and funny picture book will charm dog-lovers of all ages.

I have a dog. An inconvenient dog. When I wake up, my dog is inconvenient. When I'm getting dressed, my dog is inconvenient. And when I'm making tunnels, my dog is SUPER inconvenient. But sometimes, an inconvenient dog can be big and warm and cuddly. Sometimes, an inconvenient dog can be the most comforting friend in the whole wide world.

Author bio:

Charlotte Lance has illustrated several children's books including Click Go the Shears, The Incredibly Boring Monotonous Family & A Really Super Hero. Her illustrations are magical, colourful and lively. She creates detailed worlds that have stories within stories.

As the mother of two wild boys she often draws on her everyday life for inspiration and hilarity. She also has the uncanny knack of creating scenes that truly come to life. With that in mind, the next book she plans to write is about a very rich and beautiful woman who moves to Paris.

Category: Picture books
ISBN: 9781743317815
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Imprint: A & U Children
Pub Date: May 2014
Page Extent: 32
Format: Hard Cover
Age: 3 - 6
Subject: Picture books

Teachers reviews

This endearing book is about the trials and tribulations of owning a dog. The simple repetitive text relies on the detailed illustrations to explain the difference between inconvenience and convenience.The reader will be delighted and entertained by the inconvenient behaviour of the dog; muddy footprints, messy bedroom as all the sheeting is pulled off and unwanted help with breakfast resulting in broken dishes and spilt food everywhere. Getting dressed is a problem too when your inconvenient dog steals your socks. Even playing outside, the dog is always getting in the way. And it is really annoying when going to the bathroom, your dog becomes an inconvenient hurdle when the toilet paper disappears out the door.

But all is resolved when the reader is invited into the times when the dog is less inconvenient. It is handy having a dog to blame for unexpected breakages, for adding weight when required and for getting rid of unwanted food. A dog is great for cuddling up to when watching scary movies but the best thing about having a dog is bedtime when you can snuggle up together and fall asleep with something that loves you unconditionally. (Perhaps the name for the next book in the series...I have a dog ...an unconditional dog.)

For the preschool and early primary classroom this is an ideal book for readers 3+ to lead into discussions about dogs, loyalty, responsibility of caring for your pet or just for that special time when a little laughter is needed in the day. Charlotte Lance uses just enough text to inspire the reader to think about all the things a dogs life entails and her intricate illustrations aptly portray the frustrations, humour and tenderness that is involved in owning a dog.
Jill Howard, ACT

Wow, this story reminded me of my own naughty dog, who still likes to chew up everything however still manages to melt my heart. I Have a Dog is a very funny and clever story that lots of children in my class could relate too. Many of the children had their own dog stories to share. I Have a Dog (an inconvenient dog) is about a young boy and his day with his dog. The dog is very inconvenient and likes to chew up toilet paper and ruin anything he can. The book also shares the love the boy has for the dog and the convenience the dog creates, such as eating the boy's unwanted dinner. The illustrations are very humourous and paint a colourful picture of all the mishaps and inconvenience happening in the story. I Have a Dog, is great for all young readers aged 3 and up as it is repetitive. After reading the story we had our own pet week and made colourful pet pictures to hang in the class and had some special animal visitor, even a pet snake came along.
Claire Evans, Palmwoods Kindergarten, QLD

This is an amusing story and the illustrations are fresh and tell their own story.
This book will encourage much discussion with young children after reading and looking at the story of illustrations.

Some topics for classroom discussion:

  • Pets that live inside / pets that live outside, and why.
  • Convenient and Inconvenient
  • Pets and their ways
  • Friendship with pets
  • Comfort and discomfort
  • Tidy rooms / untidy rooms
  • Pet training
  • Does the boy in the story play with other children or is his companion his dog?
  • This story will evoke stories from children about the convenience and inconveniences of their own pets.
  • Encourage your students to draw some pictures about their pets. They can see from the book, I Have a Dog, that not many words are needed in a picture story.
  • Children could even make their own book about their pet or someone else’s pet.
  • If the child cannot write they could talk about their story of pictures and someone else could write the story for the child. (This is all part of the process of language development.)
  • Some children may like to write a poem or a song about their pet.
  • You could go to a zoo and watch animals and write imaginary stories about the animals.
  • You could go to a park and watch people with their pets.
  • You could go to a nature reserve or national park and watch the native animals moving around and after some research write a story about an animal.
  • Children could make up a play about their pet and put these into a class concert.
  • This book will elicit many dog stories from the children.
  • There is no text from the dog in this story. Children could write a narrative from the Dog’s view.

Diane Lucas, The Milkwood Steiner School, Darwin, NT

Charlotte Lance’s I Have a Dog will appeal to all children who have, or wish they had, a dog. The richly detailed illustrations tell a lot more of the story than the short, fairly repetitive sentences that children will quickly memorise and “read” back once they have heard this story a few times. Our school recently had the delta dog safe program visit, where children are taught how to safely approach dogs and the way responsible owners care for their dog. This book fits brilliantly with dog safety and dog welfare programs because the central character, the dog, is through most of the book ”inconvenient”; he gets muddy, destroys things, demands attention and tracks mud through the house, but he is also an integral , much loved member of the family. The book will generate classroom discussion about keeping pets, about being responsible for them and loving them. In an era when pets are sometimes treated as disposable items, as evidenced by the numbers taken to shelters in winter because they are muddy, this book allows discussion of the responsibilities that come with pet ownership. I can see it leading well into “list” poetry, where, descriptions of what dogs do, taken from the book and made into lists and added to as a whole class modelled writing exercise.
Wendy Fletcher, Bellerive Primary, TAS

“I have a dog. An inconvenient dog.” I loved the concept of how the dog grew up throughout the book with the family and the notion of how the dog changed from being inconvenient to a convenient member of the family. The child conveys how having a pet has many pit falls but can also hold lots of fun as well, he loved the idea of having a pet when it meant he could give him his dinner if it was disgusting. This dog does lots of naughty things in this story like eating socks, taking balls and tramping dirty paw prints everywhere. However we all know a pet can sometimes be our best friend and companion, even when it is in the way some of the time. The drawings are beautifully presented, colourful and interesting and convey all the feelings in this book. 

This is a warm and charming book which can be used wonderfully with pre-schoolers or as a book for independent readers as there is a repetitive nature to the story line. The subject of pet ownership can be discussed with children and the ideas of how to care for and train a pet so it is well cared for and behaved. We all can sympathise with any family when they get a new pet and how hard it can be. As the back covers explains it is a funny story which will charm dog-lovers of all ages.
Felecia Phillips, Tasmanian eSchool

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