The Carrot Seed
A Day with No Crayons

Harry the Dirty Dog

by Gene Zion

Illustrated by Margaret Bloy Graham

 Hello everyone!

Don't you love picture books from the 1930s through 60s? We are particularly fond of these books on Off the Shelf, having featured books like MadelineAnatoleA Tree is Nice, and The Snowy Day. What is it that makes them so charming? Their perfectly imperfect illustrations? The stories themselves? Whatever it is, I'm glad that there are so many more to explore like Bread and Jam for Frances, Curious George, Millions of Cats, and this week's book, Harry the Dirty Dog

Join Harry as he avoids his bath by having adventures all over town while getting thoroughly dirty in the process. But does his family miss him? Will they even recognize him? Full of the unmistakable charm of mid-century books, Harry had been delighting readers for almost 60 years! Enjoy!


In this Issue


Spotted Yogurt Cups 

In honor of Harry, the white dog with black spots, here's a yummy recipe to try that is spot on! 

Spotted Yogurt Cups

Young Readers in the Kitchen

Little hands will have fun mixing the chocolate dough with their hands and pressing into the muffin pan. Once the cups are baked, kids can stir chocolate chips into the yogurt and spoon the yogurt into the cups before serving. 

Spotted Yogurt Cups

Makes 6.

Adapted from Alpha-Bakery Children's Cookbook.


  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoons water
  • 3/4 cup vanilla yogurt (we used Greek)
  • 2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Stir together the flour, cocoa powder, and sugar in a medium bowl. Pour in the melted butter and water and mix to form a dough. It will feel similar to Chocolate Playdough
  3. Divide dough into 6 equal pieces. Press one piece of dough into and up the sides of each cup of an ungreased muffin pan. 
  4. Bake for 9-11 minutes. Let cool about 10 minutes; carefully remove from pan and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack.
  5. Stir together yogurt and chocolate chips and divide among cups. Sprinkle a few more chocolate chips over the top. 

Art Explorations:

What's Black and White and Spotted?

Once again drawing inspiration from white-with-black-spots (and black-with-white-spots) Harry, our art activity is all about exploring black and white and, as it progresses, gray, and the way these colors pop and mix. There's something almost magical for kids about limiting the paint and paper choices to black or white. It makes their art seems more powerful, more dramatic, and lends itself to further exploration!  

Black and White Art Explorations - Harry the Dirty Dog - Off the Shelf Black and White Paint Explorations - Harry the Dirty Dog - Off the Shelf


 1. Hanging Around

Kids will love to see the hanging shapes slowly twist and spin throughout the day, changing from black on white to white on black, just like Harry.  


  • Black paper
  • White paper
  • Black paint
  • White paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Hole punch
  • Yarn
  1. Encourage your young readers to freely explore painting with white paint on black paper and black paint on white paper, and even what happens when the colors mix. It doesn't matter what or how they paint just so they have fun! To make the hanging, you will need at least 3 pieces each of black and white painted paper. Let dry.
  2. Glue together one piece white and one piece black paper, painted sides out. Repeat with other sheets. Let dry. 
  3. Cut out random free-form shapes. 
  4. Punch a hole in the top and bottom of each shape, except the piece that will go on the bottom which only needs one hole. With lengths of yarn, tie shapes together. In the top piece, tie another length of yarn for hanging. Hang in a spot where daily movement will cause the hanging to twist and spin!


2. Having a Ball with Spots

Tennis Ball Spot Painting - Harry the Dirty Dog - Off the Shelf

The fun of this activity is working in a larger scale. Filling a piece of poster-board with black spots is much grander than filling a sheet of construction paper. Even cutting a shape from a piece of poster-board encourages the imagination to work in a different way than cutting a shape from a smaller piece of construction paper. 


  • Poster-board
  • Black paint
  • Tennis ball
  1. Pour black paint in a wide, shallow container. 
  2. Dip the tennis ball in the paint and 'stamp' all over the posterboard. Let dry. 
  3. Cut into desired shape. 
Tennis Ball Spot Painting - Harry the Dirty Dog - Off the Shelf Tennis Ball Spot Painting - Harry the Dirty Dog - Off the Shelf
Tennis Ball Spot Painting - Harry the Dirty Dog - Off the Shelf Tennis Ball Spot Painting - Harry the Dirty Dog - Off the Shelf


More Dogs on Off the Shelf

One Year Ago: Sky Color by Peter Reynolds

Two Years Ago: The Wind Blew by Pat Hutchins and Olivia by Ian Falconer 



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