I Want a Dog: My Opinion Essay by Darcy PattisonI Want a Dog: My Opinion Essay by Darcy Pattison

I Want a Dog: My Opinion Essay

byDarcy PattisonIllustratorEwa O'Neill

Hardcover | December 30, 2014

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The Dog of His Dreams!

When cousins Dennis and Mellie decide to get a dog, they consider carefully what breed would be best for each family. For example, Dennis wants a big dog, but Mellie wants tiny. He has no other pets, but she has other pets that a dog must get along with. They consider different dog personalities, family situations, and personal preferences. Dennis writes an opinion essay for his teacher, Mrs. Shirky. But will his essay convince his parents to get the dog of his dreams?

This story takes a popular subject—kids getting a pet—and adds dogs of all sizes and shapes: all writing lessons should be this much fun. In the end, it’s cousins and the dogs that keep a reader turning the page. What kind of dog will Dennis choose? Will Mellie want the same kind of dog?

This story hits many notes:

  • A family story about cousins, Dennis and Mellie
  • Information on dog breeds
  • Responsible dog ownership
  • Mentor-text for teaching writing
  • Model opinion essay for elementary students
  • Models the writing process, especially the importance of pre-writing or planning before you write
  • Completes the writing process by showing the results of Dennis’s essay

I WANT A DOG almost makes opinion essays look too easy. But it works on many other levels, as well. Younger kids will be excited to learn the differences between dogs and will laugh at the antics of the dogs. Elementary kids will rejoice in a story of cousins (and will write the best essays ever!). A universal dream - a great pet - becomes an engaging writing lesson.

See other books in THE READ AND WRITE series:

  • I Want a Cat: My Opinion Essay
  • My Crazy Dog: My Narrative Essay
  • My Dirty Dog: My Informative Essay (forthcoming)


This 20-minute video explains how to teach opinion essay writing using this book: mimshouse.com/writing-opinion-essays/

Ewa O'Neill (ewaoneill.com) live in England with her husband and twin sons.Published in nine languages, children's book author and writing teacher DARCY PATTISON has been published with Harcourt, Philomel/Penguin, Harpercollins, Arbordale, and Mims House. Her books received recognition for excellence with starred reviews in Kirkus, BCC...
Title:I Want a Dog: My Opinion EssayFormat:HardcoverDimensions:36 pages, 8.5 × 8.5 × 0.25 inPublished:December 30, 2014Publisher:Mims House LLCLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1629440124

ISBN - 13:9781629440125


Editorial Reviews

Classroom teachers will appreciate this breezy and engaging introduction to genre writing. The story outlines the development of an essay as two cousins, Dennis and Mellie, share what type of dog each would like, covering factors such as size, disposition, grooming requirements, and so on. Facts about various breeds are woven throughout their written communications, and charming pastel illustrations help portray canine physical and personality traits. Dennis' efforts not only earn him an A but also reward him with the pet of his choice: a Bernese mountain dog. The model essay can be used across multiple genres (informational and narrative nonfiction in addition to opinion). The action only covers a couple steps in the writing process (prewriting and publishing), but his picture book is not intended to be a textbook. Students will likely relate to the content, character, and the happy ending. Useful as an introduction to series such as Norwood House's Writing Builders, this can also be useful for teachers showing early elementary students the relevancy, power, and importance of effective writing. Booklist June 2015