The Adventures of Taxi Dog by Debra and Sal Barracca

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Summary of the Story

A taxi driver rescues a stray dog in New York City, and then takes the dog along on all his fares.

Introducing the Story
  • Read the title of the book on the cover, pointing to each word as you say it. Have children repeat the title as you point to each word.
  • Point to the picture on the cover. Ask: Who do you think Taxi Dog is?

Reading the Story for the First Time

  • Read the story, moving your finger under the words as you read.
  • As you read, tell children to listen to the words that rhyme. Point out examples, such as Maxi/taxi, day/way, Jim/him.
  • After reading, ask: What kind of job does Jim have? Who does he take to work every day? (Jim drives a taxicab and takes Maxi with him every day.)

Recalling the Story

  • After you have finished reading, ask children the recall questions below. Continue to ask these questions when you reread the book, until he or she knows the answers.

Reading the Story Again and Again

  • Give open-ended prompts on each page. For example, ask: What is happening in this picture? Where is Maxi going? Do less reading each time you read, leaving more and more of the "reading" or retelling to the child.
  • Give prompts about objects or activities in the pictures. For example, ask: What does Maxi wear? (He wears a red bandanna around his neck.) Use your finger to point to what you are asking about. Evaluate the child's response. Expand it by giving more information. Ask children to repeat the answer. If he or she needs help answering a question, ask that question again the next time you read the book.
  • You may wish to discuss the prompts shown below.

Extra Activities

  • Children can read The Adventures of Taxi Dog to each other.
  • Help children draw simple maps of the school neighborhood. They can add places they think people might take a taxi to, such as a store, a hospital, or a train station.

Recall Questions
Ask the following questions to check the children's understanding of the story.

  1. What is the title of this book? (The book is called The Adventures of Taxi Dog.)
  2. Who are the main characters in this book? (The main characters are Jim, the taxi driver, and Maxi, the dog.)
  3. How does the dog come to live with Jim? (Jim finds the dog wandering lost in the city looking for food.)
  4. What do Jim and Maxi do each day? (Jim drives a taxi. He picks up people who need rides and takes them where they need to be.)
  5. Who do Jim and Maxi pick up first? (They pick up an opera singer.)
  6. Who do Jim and Maxi pick up next? (They pick up a husband and his wife, who is about to have a baby.)
  7. Who do Jim and Maxi pick up next? (They pick up clowns who are late for the circus.)
  8. What happens at the end of each day? (Jim drives the cab back to the garage, and his boss, Lou, gives Maxi a dog biscuit.)

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Excerpted from Read Together, Talk Together, the Pearson Early Childhood research-based program that makes reading aloud even more effective!

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