Today's Fabulous Picture Book

Pinkerton, Behave! cover Pinkerton, Behave!

written and illustrated by Steven Kellogg

Pinkerton the Great Dane has all his owner's commands mixed up. Then he flunks out of obedience school. What will happen when a burglar sneaks into Pinkerton's house one night?

Pinkerton defeats all the attempts to teach him to behave. He misinterprets every simple command from "come" to "fetch" and seems to consider a "bad guy" his best friend. When other students in his dog obedience class start to follow his example he is dismissed from the school. But Pinkerton does save the day when he successfully chases a burglar out the window as his young owner shouts "Come!" The colorful illustrations are full of details that add to the confusion and the humor. The facial expressions of Pinkerton and his people are wonderful.

Related activities


Have fun with words that have opposite meanings. Brainstorm a list of words and their opposites. Divide the group into partners and have each set of partners choose a word pair to demonstrate. One of the partners gives a direction or command and the other, “Pinkerton”, and does the opposite action. For example, one child is holding a box of blocks. He tells his partner to “Take some blocks OUT of the box” and his partner immediately puts some more blocks IN the box. A girl tells her partner to be QUIET and he immediately starts using a (NOISY) loud shouting or singing voice.

After the presentation the rest of the group should be able to name the pair of opposite words. You could also have some discussion on what the partner should tell Pinkerton to achieve the desired response.

It is usually good to have each set of partners act out at least two word pairs so that each has a turn to be both the command giver and Pinkerton.

Featured art

A painting of a small seedling sprouting from a buried nut

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