Mentor Text Review: Let’s Get a Pup!

  • Author and illustrator: Bob Graham
  • Publisher: Walker Books Australia

Let’s Get a Pup! by much loved Australia author/illustrator Bob Graham, is a touching book about the special spot in their heart many people have for their animals (me included!)

Suggestions For Using This Mentor Text To Teach Writing:

The text is so beautifully written and Bob Graham’s WORD CHOICE is the real highlight of the book. Anyone who has ever owned a dog (or even a cat) will relate to the ‘gurgles’ and ‘squeaks’ and ‘pump, pump, pump’ of their heart when they sleep near your head. There are lots of metaphors and beautiful descriptions in this text.

The SENTENCE FLUENCY in this book is another highlight. Graham even includes a bit of rhyme in between the prose and it adds to the overall tone and VOICE of the text.

When it comes to ORGANISATION, this text is great to look at to see how and when the author slows down certain scenes and speeds through others.

Another thing to note in this text is that the story begins before the title page (Um-mah, surely that isn’t allowed!?) There is plenty of punctuation in this book so it would be very useful to keep pulling it back out to keep looking at CONVENTIONS as well.

Suggestions For Using This Mentor Text To Teach Reading:

This book lends itself so well to work with PREDICTING (drawing on your own experiences to help make predictions about the story), QUESTIONING (Why do you think they went back to get another dog? How do you think they were feeling? What makes you think that?) and VISUALISING (the pump, pump, pump of the dog’s heart).

As with most of Bob Graham’s books, this one is written about a very relatable event that many readers will have experienced. It would be the ideal text for discussing activating background/prior knowledge to help with predicting and inferring and relating to the characters. These discussions could also lend themselves well to character explorations in reader’s notebooks.

Finally, the images in this book are a real highlight of the text: A mum with a nose ring and a tattoo!? A family with a messy house!? Wow! These are real people. (Finally!)

The ADVANCED Writing Traits Masterclass is finally here!