One Dog and his Boy discussion guide



Author: Eva Ibbotson

Illustrator: Sharon Rentta

Publisher: Scholastic

Suggested Year Group: Year 4



All Hal had ever wanted was a dog. But a dog would damage the expensive carpets in Hal's glamorous home, and his wealthy parents refuse to consider one. Then they discover Easy Pets, a convenient dog-rental agency. Terrier Fleck arrives on Hal's birthday, but when he discovers that his dog must be returned, he runs away.

Rationale for Selection

'One Dog and His Boy' is a modern classic and Eva Ibbotson has written an exciting adventure story with humour and sadness. There is much to discuss in this engaging adventure story which is best suited to high attaining year four readers in the context of guided reading.

Discussion Points:

Before reading

  • Why do you think the book is called One Dog and his Boy rather than One Boy and his Dog?
  • Talk about the differences between the titles and the meaning of each one.
  • Have you ever asked for a pet? If your parents said no, what were their reasons?

After reading

Use the following statements to discuss the text:

  • Hal’s parents only care about money.
  • Adults and children have different ideas about what is important.
  • Dogs choose their owners.
  • Pippa should not let the dogs out.
  • Pippa and Hal are wrong to run away with the dogs.
  • Animals should not be in a circus.
  • Eva Ibbotson dislikes the adults in this story.

Further Questions:

  • Who learns the most during the time Hal is away from home? Hal, his mother or father?
  • If they could go back in time do you think his parents would have done anything differently?
  • Do you think being a dog owner is easy?
  • Can anyone have a pet?
  • Are there any adults in the story who you think should not be allowed to look after animals?

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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