Katie Gets Her Spots


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A journey of self-discovery and an interesting mode of introducing children to new vocabulary

The structure of the story is very cleverly built, it is episodic in nature such that the narrative breaks off at odd intervals to allow the parent dogs, Chief and Sassy to introduce a new skill to their young puppy Katie. But keeping our readership in mind, Katie is the protagonist who everyone relates to, and when she learns new words in the story, naturally it is the book's way of encouraging the children reading it to also pick up the new words and learn them like Katie did. This structural ingenuity may be a common trope but it always works for children's stories where repetition and patterns are an accepted norm.

It is important to note that while the whole story is written with an objective of motivating children to learn new vocabulary, the characters are not humans but dogs. This shows how growing up, learning new things, humans might not be so different from other animals, like dogs. Learning new words is like learning new modes of expression, and whether one is human or animal, it is essential to be able to express your emotions. That is what makes the story kind of a quest for self identity. The words are nothing but markers to figure out who we are and which words describe us the best.

Throughout the whole story, Katie is impatient and excited to get her new spots, that signifies her coming of age, her puberty. Finally when the spots appear, she becomes a complete Dalmatian, before which one wouldn't have been able to recognise her at all. Realising one's own potentials comes after a huge journey and quest, but what you ultimately decide to live as is the choice that matters. Katie has so many kinds of potentials but in the end, she chooses to be the helpful kind of dog and it's as noble a type as any others.

Using simple language and gently spinning the tale with the help of beautiful characters like Chief and Sassy, the story has the power to keep you engrossed in it. Undoubtedly it's a treasure for children who wish to learn some new words in a fun way. Recommended for both children and parents who love reading aloud stories to their children.

Reviewed by

Published Indian author, Editor for Spellbinder Magazine and an Educator, currently reviewing books here. Love reading poetry, short fiction and children's books. Stripe is unavailable in India, so kindly PayPal me @shrubaboti if you wish to support me, thanks! 📚💜


About the author

Deborah is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and has published three books to date with many more in the works. Through the Paul and Deborah Albers Foundation, she and her husband have supported many charities that served as an inspiration for her books. view profile

Published on July 10, 2021

6000 words

Genre: Children's

Reviewed by