Let's Get a Pup Literature Guide

Grade Level: 
K, 1, 2, 3
Animal Welfare
by Bob Graham - A guide for parents, teachers, and group leaders to accompany the reading of this picture book. The guide below provides before, during, and after-reading discussion questions. Choose from activities and discussion questions to build children's understanding of generosity, community, and caring for animals.

In this story, Kate and her thoroughly modern parents yearn for a dog after the loss of a beloved cat. They visit an animal shelter and find Dave, who is “everything that a pup could be.” But they are sad to leave behind an older dog named Rosy who tugs at their heartstrings. Each family member has a wish for Rosy to be comfortable in a loving home. After one night at home with Dave, the family goes back and rescues Rosy. This book may inspire you to rescue a pet or to help out needy shelter animals in any way you can.

Before Reading

ASK: Where can we go to find a pet? We can rescue a pet from an animal shelter. This is a place where pets live until a loving family adopts them.

SHOW: Look at the pictures of the dogs at the rescue center. Look at all the different dogs. Can you find happy, sad, excited, and quiet dogs?

CONNECT: There are as many different dogs as people. What makes the people in your family unique and special? What kind of pet do you think would fit best in your family?.

During Reading

ASK: What are the family’s three wishes for Rosy? Why do you think they wish these things for her?

SHOW: Look at the picture of the family walking away from Rosy’s kennel. How do you think the family and Rosy feel?

CONNECT: Have you ever seen a person or animal in need and felt bad because you didn’t or couldn’t help them? If you didn’t help them, what could you do now to help? Just feeling for a person or animal is a great start. This is called compassion. Look up this word in a dictionary and think of ways to show compassion to others.

After Reading

ASK: Why do you think Kate’s family goes back for Rosy? How does this make Rosy feel? How do Kate and her parents feel in the end?

SHOW: Look at the picture of the family at the animal shelter. What does it mean to be a family?

CONNECT: Who are the people and pets in your family? What do you like best about being a family?


  1. Even if your family can’t adopt a pet right now, you can help the pets at animal shelters. To find a local animal shelter near you, go to the ASPCA website and locate their “Find a Shelter” Web page by clicking on the “Adopt” bar on the left side of the home page. Click on the link to find out how you can help.
  2. Volunteer to help an elderly or sick neighbor walk their animal.
  3. Dogs at animal shelters can always use a treat to let them know they are loved. Make the dog biscuits below and take them to your local animal shelter for the dogs.

    Makes 4 to 5 dozen dog biscuits
    Make sure there’s an adult to help you use the oven, and read the entire recipe before you begin baking.
    • 1 package dry yeast
    • 1/4 cup warm water
    • 2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
    • 3 1/2 cups unbleached flour
    • 2 cups whole wheat flour
    • 1 cup rye flour
    • 2 cups cracked wheat or wheat germ
    • 1/2 cup dry milk
    • 1 teaspoon salt (optional)
    • 1 egg
    • 1 tablespoon milk
    1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
    2. Dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup warm water. Add to vegetable or chicken stock. Next, combine all dry ingredients in a separate bowl; add stock mixture.
    3. Knead mixture on a floured surface for about 3 minutes, working it into a stiff dough. Roll out to a thickness of 1/4 inch. Cut the dough into bars or use a dog-bone cookie cutter.
    4. Beat 1 egg with 1 tablespoon milk. Brush each biscuit with a little of the egg/milk mixture and place on cookie sheets. Bake for about 45 minutes.
    5. Turn off the heat in the oven, but leave the biscuits in the oven overnight. This makes them hard and crunchy.
    6. Give a biscuit to a dog and watch it munch away!
    [Recipe courtesy of the ASPCA—see www.aspca.org and follow this path: “Humane Education” to “Service Learning” to “Make a Cat Nip Toy and Bake Dog Biscuits”]