Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion is a delightful read aloud. Your little lambs will love the zany Harry who, in order to avoid a bath, buries the scrub brush in the backyard.
The little pooch heads off on a series of adventures starting with playing where men are fixing the street. His next stop is the railroad yard. His next stop is a construction site where he plays with other dogs. He stops to slide down a coal chute where a truck is delivering coal.
Each adventure gets Harry dirtier and dirtier.
Finally, Harry heads home, but his family doesn't even recognize him because he is so dirty.
The story and illustrations are whimsical. Children will relate to Harry's adventurous spirit. Gene Zion's writing is entertaining both for children and adults. In addition, Margaret Bloy Graham's illustrations are adorable--I love the little details--a bird on a tree branch, other little dogs, and toys in the wagon.
One thing I love to do is have little ones find all the birds on each page--they are everywhere--different kinds. Once children can count, you can count the birds.
Here are some additional learning activities you can do with your children after you read Harry the Dirty Dog aloud.
Give a dog a bath. If you have your own, wash him or her. If not, ask a dog owner if you can help bath his or her dog.
See if you can find a place where men are fixing the street. If not, watch workers fixing the street on YouTube. Be very careful if you visit a street being repaired.
Learn about how potholes are fixed, asphalt is repaired, and cracks sealed.
Visit a railroad yard where trains are stored, sorted, loaded, and unloaded. Be very careful!
You could also look at a Railroad Freight Yard model.
Look at pictures of rail yards.
Visit a construction site or look at pictures of a construction site. Be very careful if you visit a construction site.
Do you have coal delivered to your house or do you know of someone who uses coal for heating? Look at a coal chute. Look at pictures of a coal chute.
Watch a video of a truck delivering coal to a house.
List all the ways that you get dirty.
Talk about baths and why cleaning is so important.
Dishes get dirty and they have to be cleaned. Wash dishes together.
Cars get dirty and they have to be cleaned. Clean the family car together.
Clothes get dirty and they have to be washed. Wash clothes together.
Have fun reading aloud and learning!