Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Dear Mr. Trump, Trick or Treat!

Dear Mr. Trump,

Trick or Treat! (a little bit late – or early!)

Trick or Treat is also the title of our Book of the Day that DogEvals is recommending for you and Barron, your son.

If you have time: if you don’t, DogEvals encourages you to make time!  You’ll be glad you did and it will only ‘cost’ you about 30 minutes.

Trick or Treat? (Puppy Patrol: Ghostly Goings-On!), by Jenny Dale (Scholastic, 107 pages, 2001, ages 9 and up), 41st in a series of 45.

Mr. Trump, according to the Washington Post of 27 July and Marc Fisher, you have “no shortage of strong opinions even about books. . .[you have] not read.”

Hopefully you will make known your opinion about this great book to the children of our great country and challenge them to read it before next October (before Trick or Treat time). What a super plot for a children’s book or an adult’s book, one that will keep even you guessing.

The Story

Our young hero Neil is back at home in England, at the King Street Kennels and Rescue with sisters Sarah (‘Squirt’) and Emily, Border Collie Sam, and his family. Just in time for Halloween (does England really have Halloween?), little Emily has a secret friend (Misty). The Kennel is boarding poodle Sapphire when a girl, Helen, brings in a puppy she found who becomes Trick. Unfortunately, Helen and her dad are only in town for a year until he is transferred again and thus can’t keep the pup but she spends as much time with Trick at the kennel as possible and is really good with Trick.

But, . . . .

Strange things start happening. Dogs change kennel runs. Mom’s purse is taken upstairs, the laundry is transferred from the washer to the dryer. By whom?

Training Comments from a Trainer

Granted, these books were written several years ago before positive reinforcement, reward-based, clicker training took hold all over the world, so we can excuse the author for writing about pushing down on a dog’s rear to get a Sit and many other small but old-fashioned ways to train.

However, Trick or Treat is such a super story not only for introducing clicker training* but also for the plot resolutions – good enough to keep an adult interested and one that ties up all the loose ends so well – the strange goings-on, and a solution for both Helen and the puppy she found (which even I didn’t guess).

Go For It!

Mr. Trump, this a really good book for kids, and for adults, and for kids and adults to share: the lessons learned are ones that you and your family can easily implement as role models for the entire nation. And Trick or Treat will only take a half-hour out of your day!

Go for it!

Yours Truly,

Tomorrow: The Boxcar Children

Caveat: You can probably find this book at your local public library. Or try a used-books store.

*“We never actually punish our dogs – instead, we show them what we do want, and reward them.” (page 93). Kudos to author Jenny Dale!

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