Good Boy, Fergus! – a lovable terrier makes trouble

thFall in love with mischievous little Fergus on his daily routine and witness a lot of playful troublemaking.

Bibliographic Info:  Shannon, David  Good Boy, Fergus!  Blue Sky Press (2006)  Formats:  Hardcover ISBN:  0-439-49027-8,  Paperback, Audio CD  32pp.  Price: $16.99  Reading Level / Grade Level Equivalent: 1.1  Interest Level: preK-3  Genre: Comedy and Humor  Major Themes:  Dogs, Mischief, Pets, Unconditional Love

th-4Summary:  In Good Boy, Fergus!, spend a day with the mischievous, funny and lovable West Highland terrier owned by the book’s author and illustrator, David Shannon.  The story begins as Fergus springs up to chase a cat.  His daily activities also include not listening to commands, scratchinth-7g (and being scratched), breaking a flower-pot, hiding from bath time, begging for meatballs, peeing on parked cars, etc…  In the end, our little canine antihero, tired from his daily antics, falls into a happy and dreamy sleep.

StorytimeWow_FinalLogo-1Good Boy, Fergus! was given the StorytimeWOW Marquee Seal on March 30th, 2015.  This book meets the StorytimeWOW Standards and has been selected for the PictureBookWOW collection.  Read the Storytime section below for tips on using this picture book in your storytime.

th-1Review:  Good Boy, Fergus! is a delightful story that accurately depicts a dog’s life.  Kudos to David Shannon for capturing the unique and subtle ways dogs communicate.  On the book’s cover, Fergus is pictured with eyes wide open as he rests his chin on the arm of a sofa, as if to say “Look at me, I’m cute.  Ok, what’s next?”  As he does with all his picture book, Shannon uses color and line to communicate emotion.  When Fergus breaks a flower-pot, the background is an alarming red.  Jagged lines are used to draw Fergus in this scene and several others in which he causes a stir, such as when the pooch is triggered to chase birds, a cat and a motorcycle.  Soft and round lines are used to portray Fergus’s restful sleep at the end of the story.  What’s great about Shannon’s picture books is his ability to match emotion with action.  From kinetic mischief to calm breathers, you can feel the character’s feelings in each scene.  In Good Boy, Fergus!, we get to know and love the little white doggie as Shannon takes readers and listeners on yet another fun, entertaining and humorous ride.

Storytime: th-3 Kids love dogs and they will especially love Fergus.  Any dog owner will easily be able to read this book aloud with emotional truth because it is literally written with the language we use to communicate with our furry friends.  Ask children what the story and pictures are about.  Ask what Fergus is doing on each page as you read the text.  Invite and cue children to say “Good boy, Fergus!” throughout the story.  This line is repeated in a handful of places.

Bibliotherapeutic Usefulness:  Like Shannon’s No, David!, this story is about unconditional love.  Fergus’s owners love and adore him despite the mischief he creates.  Due in large part to its undercurrent of love and emotional truth, Good Boy, Fergus! could be the perfect story to help calm the upset after a tearful time out.

th-9Read-alikes:  No, David! (1998),  David Goes To School (1999), Alice the Fairy (2004)

Links:  Author’s Website   Scholastic   Lesson Plan 

Awards:  2006 Parent’s Choice Gold Award winner
2007 ALA Notable Children’s Book winner

Other Reviews Links:  ALA Booklist  Goodreads  Kirkus

Why I chose it:  I chose to review this book because it inspired me to adopt my dog, Joey “bag of donuts.”

3Make Reading More Fun

Written by Tom Schween, founder of storytimeWOW!  Use your local library to check out books for free.