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Last updated Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Author: Kelly DiPucchio
Date of Publication:
ISBN: 1442451025
Grade Level: 1st    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Feb. 2019

Synopsis: A bulldog and a poodle learn that family is about love, not appearances in this adorable doggy tale from New York Times bestselling author Kelly DiPucchio and illustrator Christian Robinson. This is the story of four puppies: Fi-Fi, Foo-Foo, Ooh-La-La, and Gaston. Gaston works the hardest at his lessons on how to be a proper pooch. He sips—never slobbers! He yips—never yaps! And he walks with grace—never races! Gaston fits right in with his poodle sisters. But a chance encounter with a bulldog family in the park—Rocky, Ricky, Bruno, and Antoinette—reveals there’s been a mix-up, and so Gaston and Antoinette switch places. The new families look right…but they don’t feel right. Can these puppies follow their noses—and their hearts—to find where they belong?

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Looking at this book's cover, what do you think this story is about?
•  On the book's cover, how many dogs can you count?
•  Does anyone here have a dog? What do they look like?


•  Precious- Of great worth or value
•  Awkward- Difficult to use, deal with, or manage
•  Brutish- Being brutal or savage
•  Adjusting- to change or adapt
•  Burly- Having a large, husky body

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  What makes Gaston so different from his brothers and sisters at first? (example: He "ruffs" instead of "yips.")
•  Like Gaston, when you sip a drink, do you try not to spill everywhere?
•  Have any of you every worked and practiced very hard at something, the was Gaston works so very hard at his lessons?
•  Fi-Fi, Foo-Foo, Ooh-la-la, and Gaston taught the bulldog puppies a thing or two about being kind. Have you ever taught a friend something new?

Craft ideas:
•  Make Gaston: Easy origami dog/puppy paper craft.
•  Make Fi-Fi, Foo-Foo, or Ooh-la-la (draw a poodle and glue cotton balls on it).
•  Check our February craft ideas on Pinterest!

Special activities:
•  On each page, who can find the grey squirrel?
•  Let's count the dogs found on each page. How many are there?
•  Game- Pin the tail on the dog!

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!