Danny is having some trouble in school, and his best friend Dusty wants to help. The only thing is, Dusty is a dog, and he's not the quickest learner either.
Join Dusty and Danny on a humorous adventure as they learn to train their brains, understand dyslexia, and tackle their learning challenges.
This book for kids on dyslexia and learning differently will help ALL children develop a positive mindset towards learning and kindness towards others.
The story, which is told by Danny's best friend, Dusty the dog, gives kids a fun yet realistic look at some of the struggles associated with dyslexia and other learning challenges – like frustration, low self-esteem, and negativity.
Dusty provides quiet, consistent support, which helps Danny build a positive mindset and the confidence to overcome his learning challenges. He realizes that everyone learns differently and that’s okay. Everybody has a special need of some kind.
As a literacy teacher educator and trained reading specialist, I really appreciated Tammy Fortune's Did You Say Pasghetti? A children's picture book illustrated by Pieter Els, this book needs to be on early childhood teachers' and reading specialists' shelves!
Young kids will adore the narrator: Danny's dog Dusty. Dusty helps to normalize Danny's dyslexia, which can be so challenging for those who have it. And for those who are trying to help someone with it when they don't have personal experience. This is surely a book for kids with dyslexia and kids who may have a classmate who is dyslexic.
Fortune paints a clear picture of what dyslexia is and how one can overcome it with the help of people who care, like reading specialists and tutors, and hard work. The frustration about school presented at the book's start dissipates as Danny learns more about himself and how to mitigate some of the challenges. The book ends with Danny having a whole different perspective of himself and his schooling experience, something that is really wonderful for little readers to see.
Els's illustrations are sure to excite young readers with their fun designs and pops of color. The book's font was selected with those who have dyslexia, a wonderful component to a book that at its core is about accessibility.
My critiques have less to do with the what of this book and more about the how. There were times when I wanted the story to move at a quicker pace, perhaps by starting the narrative right in the middle of Danny's struggles. The book's extended explanations make this book more suited for read alouds with a very particular purpose rather than a general read aloud title or a book that students would choose to read over and over again.
A book that will help many kids, which is indeed its ultimate purpose, Did You Say Pasghetti? earns three stars.
I am a book blogger and literacy professor who wants to share children's, middle grades, and young adult titles with parents and teachers.