Great Books

with Dachelle McVey

We believe in the power of story.
In our Great Books column, you’ll find suggested titles for preschool, elementary, and secondary students—along with a book synopsis, why you’ll want to read it, discussion questions, and related books.
“When you read a book, you are in a mind-to-mind encounter with its author, whether he lived 1000 years ago or lives today. This is the wonder of real books—all kinds of books, not only the serious and factual. Your mind grows through these encounters.”
—Dr. Ruth Beechick
The Poky Little Puppy
Life Outside the Fence
Based on The Poky Little Puppy by Janette Sebring Lowrey
Book Description:
The Poky Little Puppy is a classic book by Janette Sebring Lowrey and is the top selling US children’s book of all time. It was first published as part of the original Little Golden Book series. This series has been well-loved by millions of children and adults for eighty years this year!

When the poky little puppy and his four siblings dig a hole under the fence in the yard, he finds so many interesting things that he can’t make it back home in time for dinner. Their mother isn’t very happy that her sweet little puppies disobeyed her and left the safety of their yard. So, she makes them go to bed without dessert. But the poky little puppy is so late getting home that he sneaks in and eats the dessert that his siblings left in the bowl.

Not to spoil the story for you, but the poky little puppy finally does learn his lesson after many escapades into the wild, wild world outside the fence.

Why You Will Want To Read This Book:
You will want to read this book for the memories of your own childhood and sharing those with your children. Your preschool and early elementary student will enjoy the adorable story of a little puppy who misbehaves but is truly just a curious puppy interested in things outside the confines of his home.

The book is a classic that teaches a moral but also makes you root for the little puppy just a little. He’s like all of us, especially those of us with a curious mind. He wants to learn about the world but must learn to be safe in his adventures.

This story is a great way to introduce additional engaging learning activities about dogs and the reasons they act so silly to us. So, study the household dog or your friend’s puppy and learn how to treat man’s best friend.

Discussion Questions:
Take this story further and turn it into a nature adventure. Spend time researching dogs. Why do dogs dig holes? Why do they sniff so much? And why do they sniff each other’s bottoms?

When you’re walking your dog, why does he stop many times to “mark his territory”? Can dogs hear things humans can’t?

Or learn about some of the other creatures in the book like the fuzzy caterpillar or the big black spider. Take out a magnifying glass and be a poky little puppy for the day and see what you discover in your own backyard!

More Books Like This:
If you like this book, check out other classic books in the Little Golden Book series like The Little Red Hen, Scuffy the Tugboat, Tootle, and The Shy Little Kitten.
For more fun with our literary adventure, check out the The Poky Little Puppy Online Book Club from Literary Adventures for Kids.
Dachelle McVey

achelle McVey is a working homeschooling mom of 3 in the South. She is the owner of, a blog about her adventures in homeschooling and parenting. She is also the author of dozens of online book clubs for kids from preschool to high school at her site Literary Adventures for Kids. You can often find her reading a good book (or even sometimes just an okay book) and enjoying a jar of Nutella — don’t judge. ;)

iPhone Mockup
Activity Guide
For fun, hands-on activities for each of the Great Books, check out our Summer Activity Guide! …>
iPhone Mockup