If You Give a Dog a Donut

Common Sense Media says

Latest in fun series features adorable if demanding pooch.

Age(i)

2
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Educational value

Shows cause and effect in a simple, fun way. 

Positive messages

You can accommodate someone else's needs when you're playing together, but be aware that his or her requests may never end. 

Positive role models

The little boy is helpful, kind, and generous with his time and effort.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is this ninth book in the series that started with If You Give a Mouse a Cookie (1985). Each book follows the same appealing format, and thanks to adorable art and characters, it somehow doesn't get old. 

Parents say

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Kids say

What's the story?

One thing leads to another in this latest in the If You Give a ... series. "If you give a dog a donut, he'll ask for some apple juice to go with it. ... He'll go outside to pick apples. When he's up in the tree, he'll toss you one. Throwing it will make him think of baseball. He'll want to play." And so it goes till they circle back to the house for another donut on the last page. The patient, accommodating little boy works double-time to keep up with his four-legged pal, flitting from one activity to the next, sometimes leaving a mess behind. Sound familiar? It will to some parents who face the same dynamic with their active little ones.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Fans of the series have their own favorites among the seven books, but IF YOU GIVE A DOG A DONUT stands up to the others by comparison. It's hard to resist the unabashed exuberance of the dog -- when he does a "happy dance" to celebrate hitting a home run or wraps a bandana over one eye to impersonate a pirate. Felicia Bond's illustrations are uncluttered and utterly winning. And author Laura Numeroff captures the fun-seeking spirit of kids in her canine character.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what it's like to play with someone who is always changing his mind about what he wants to do. Is it fun or frustrating to play with someone who has a big imagination and lots of energy? 

  • The little boy gets the dog everything he asks for. Is it kind of like what happens with a real dog -- like when he barks to go out and begs for you to throw the ball or rolls over to get his tummy rubbed? 

  • This is the seventh book in a series that shows different boys and girls getting stuff for different animals, from a mouse to a moose. Do you think the series is still fun? Do you look forward to the next one? Do you remember this dog from If You Give a Pig a Party?

Book details

Author:Laura Numeroff
Illustrator:Felicia Bond
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Balzer + Bray
Publication date:October 4, 2011
Number of pages:32
Publisher's recommended age(s):4 - 8
Read aloud:3 - 8
Read alone:5 - 8

This review of If You Give a Dog a Donut was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 10 years old February 23, 2012
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