MaiStoryBook Library: Gaston + *Puppy-dog Memory Game* Activity

Introducing a springtime puppy-dog read aloud featured in this week’s MaiStoryBook Library Collection:

“Gaston” by Kelly DiPucchio and Christian Robinson

Book Synopsis and Review

For Gaston, sipping from his water bowl, walking gracefully, and *yipping* softly didn’t come easily~ not like how it came naturally for his sisters FiFi FooFoo and Ooh-la-la. Then again, his sisters are poodles, and Gaston is, well, *not.* Whereas his sisters are small like teacups, Gaston is as big as a teapot~ and if you were to line them up *one of them* would not look the same. That may be cause Gaston is actually a *French bulldog.* But  Gaston, the bulldog puppy, works hard to fit in with his poodle sisters, learning to prance gracefully, bark delicately, and eat and drink with impeccable manners. He loves his sophisticated lifestyle. But when one day at the park, he and his family run into a bulldog family *with their own poodle puppy,* the two families realize there’s been a terrible mistake. Will the switched-at-birth puppies figure out where they truly belong?

In this bull dog and poodle filled read aloud, we learn what it means to be a family and to belong. Family ties and who you are are more than skin deep~ In a story that emphasizes *don’t judge a book by it’s cover*, we learn that it’s important to always be yourself; you can be whoever and however you want to be~ and family are the ones you love and care for, and who love and care for you in return.

Vocabulary List

  • Precious (p. 3) very special and valuable
  • Stroll (p. 11) walk slowly and calmly
  • Brutish (p. 22) tough
  • Adjusting  (p. 24) getting used to something new
  • Brood (p. 26) family of young animals

Themes/Main ideas

  • Have the courage to be yourself: you can be whatever and whoever you want to be.
  • Family can be anyone who loves and cares for you, and whom you love and care for in return.

YouTube Video: Guided Shared-Reading Read Aloud Example

Example of a shared-reading, interactive Read Aloud of “Gaston” – how to subtly introduce the vocabulary list words within the text, ask guided questions, and spark conversation!

*~Check it Out~*

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 Puppy-dog Memory Game Activity

When my brother and I were younger, our sole mission and top priority: *convince our parents to get a puppy* We spent afternoons coloring puppy-dogs on sheets of paper~ sheet after sheet showing a couple deliriously happy kids with a variety of adorable dogs. We would take our posters and covertly taped them around the house, pinning them to places we knew our parents were bound to look *the fridge, inside the closet, the bathroom mirror, the door to their bathroom.* We listed the benefits of getting dog anytime we had a listening ear. We hinted discretely and not so discretely throughout everyday, until *finally* ~ the glorious day came~ we were getting a dog! And what better place to get a dog then from the shelter~ Our dogs have always been rescue dogs and they have always been the sweetest pups possible. Our current dog *Rusty* is a gorgeous German shepherd chow mix~ his russet chow coat billows around him, while his keen eyes and sharp features show off the German Shepherd mix in him. He is my *gentle giant.* This week’s craft is all about puppy-dogs, and finding the *perfect matches.* Be prepared for an afternoon of some mind-challnenging activities and puppy-dog fun!



  • Glue the sheets to the 2 different construction papers.
  • Use scissors to cut out the game cards~ you should have 4 pairs for each set (8 cards in total for each set)

  • Flip face down, organize the cards into rows and columns, and flip over 2 at a time to try and match!

Enjoy your *Puppy-dog Memory Game* Activity

  • Play with one set at at time, and try and match the bull dog puppies or poodle puppies
  • For a challenge: Play with both sets at the same time, turning all 16 cards face down (hint~ the different dogs are on different color paper)
  • Play against a friend or family member and retell the story while you are playing.
  • Use the cards as character cards to retell the story or make different combinations of puppy families.

*~Overall, have fun creating your own *Puppy-Dog Memory* Activities,  and I hope you and your little ones enjoy this adorable puppy~family read aloud.  – tag me on Instagram @MaiStoryBookLibrary  – or post on FaceBook to share your photos of your own *Puppy-Dog Memory* Activities and your own reading adventures! I’d love to hear from you!~*

*Check Back on Next Friday for our New Reading Adventure*

*~Until next time, Happy Reading~*

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