My Neighbor is a Dog by Isabel Minhós Martins

Would you like a dog who loves saxophone music as your neighbour? Or finding  sheets belonging to an elephant on the washing line?

Life in an apartment building can be exciting, especially when your neighbours include characters such as crocodiles, elephants, dogs, and bears. The little girl in the story is delighted with her neighbours, but her parents find the new neighbours a little strange. This is a great book for exploring different perspectives. Exploring different perspectives encourages a child to consider emphatically the thinking of other people or animals. “I didn’t think about mum getting tired?” Or to prevent situations where “I am right and dad is wrong!”

  • The little girl loves hearing the saxophone music – Her parents complain about the dog leaving hair all over the stairs.
  • The little girl likes it when the elephant helps to wash the car – Her parents complain about the huge sheets on the clothesline.
  • The little girl shows her love and appreciates the diversity of her neighbours – Her parents moan and look down on everyone.

Madalena Matoso uses a limited palette. The clever use of white spaces suits Isabel Minhós Martins’deep story about how hard it can be for some people to open their hearts to change.  Parents are resisting the change, while the little girl thrives on it. Hmm,  plenty of things to discuss. . .

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