Black Dog discussion guide



Author: Levi Pinfold

Illustrator: Levi Pinfold

Publisher: Templar

Suggested Year Group: Three

Book synopsis

One by one the Hope family see the Black Dog outside their house and attempt to shut it out. Only Small, the youngest member of the family, is able to confront it.

 Rationale for selection

This multi-layered picture book has rich and detailed illustrations which support newly independent readers in their interpretation of the story. The theme of overcoming fears is perfect for this age group and 'Black Dog' is an ideal choice for guided reading.

Points for discussion

  • Why is the smallest and youngest member of the family the least afraid? 
  •  Does the story remind you of any others where the youngest or weakest character save the day?
  •  What do you notice about the pictures on the left?
  • Are there any patterns as the story progresses?
  • Which of the characters would you be if you were in this book?

 Focus on the single page spread of Maurice.

  • Can you tell anything about his character from the objects in his room?
  • Where and when do you think this story is set?
  • Would the dog have been as frightening if it was a different colour?
  • What do you do when you are afraid of something?
  •  Was Small brave or foolhardy to go outside?
  • Do you notice anything interesting about the names of the characters?


Copyright: Just Imagine Story Centre Ltd

All rights reserved.

These notes may be printed freely for use in classrooms but may not be reproduced in any other format without the permission of the author.

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