Author: Mark Simont

3-Year-Olds Storybooks

Two young children fall in love with a stray dog that joins them during a family picnic at the park. They play with him all day and even give him a name: Willy. The children want to take Willy home, but their mom and dad say no. What will happen to Willy?

Before, During and After Reading

Oral Language

Introduce the book. Tell your child the title and author of the book. Explain what it means to be a stray dog. Look at the pictures on the cover. Tell your child that you see a problem on the cover! You might say, Knowing that the dog is a stray, what do you think the man with the net might be doing? See if your child can make a prediction.

Oral Language

Talk about the illustrations. As you read this engaging story, take time to talk about the pictures on each page. For example, the first page of the story shows a cityscape, cars going over a bridge and boats in the water. Ask your child where he thinks the family lives – in the city or in the country. How does he know? What clues does he see on the page?  

One of the pages has the words, “During the week all the family had Willy on their minds.” Ask your child to tell you how the pictures show that the family members were thinking of Willy. There are many clues in the pictures.  

The little boy and girl trick the dog catcher. Ask your child to explain how they did that.   


Beginning Writing

Extend the story. The last page of the book shows Willy settled in his bed at his new home. Give your child unlined paper and crayons, colored pencils or markers. Ask him to pretend to be the author and to add another page to the story. What might Willy and the two children do when Willy wakes up?  What other adventures might they have? Invite your child to draw a picture of what Willy might do next with his new family.  

When you have a few minutes to yourself, take the Preschool Reading Screener to see how your three-year-old is progressing on the path to reading success. Or, find more activities and recommended preschool books to help strengthen your child’s reading readiness skills