Did You Say Pasghetti?

Dusty and Danny Tackle Dyslexia

Children - Educational
24 Pages
Reviewed on 08/22/2021
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Author Biography

Tammy Fortune is a tutor and author of educational resources who loves helping kids learn to read. She has a degree in education and specialized training in methods to help students with dyslexia and other learning disabilities. Her passion for helping kids reach their potential stems from parenting two amazing kids who faced some very special learning challenges. Her first children’s picture book, published in March of 2020, has won multiple awards for school issues, special needs/disability awareness, and first-time author.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Cheryl E. Rodriguez for Readers' Favorite

Did You Say Pasghetti? written by Tammy Fortune introduces the adventurous characters of Dusty and Danny. Dusty is Danny’s best friend and loyal dog. Dusty sees all the hidden talents of his boy wonder. Danny is great at soccer and gives the best hugs ever. One day Danny returns home from school very sad. Crying, Danny tells his mother, “I hate school!” Sometimes the letters get mixed up, he often forgets things or says the wrong word. His classmates laugh at him, and Danny becomes frustrated. Dusty knows that Danny is really smart, and wants to help Danny. After visiting a special reading teacher, Danny and his mom find out Danny has dyslexia. With the help of a tutor and Dusty, learning becomes easier for Danny. Danny and Dusty learn that with practice and hard work you can learn anything.

Tammy Fortune uses her years as a special education teacher to pen an amusing and educational children’s book. Did You Say Pasghetti? Dusty and Danny Tackle Dyslexia removes the stigma of learning differently. Using Dusty the dog to tell the story is a brilliant touch. The relationship between a boy and his dog is always one of a kind; dogs see and sense what others do not. It is obvious the author is a dog lover! The title brought a smile to my face, so many little ones say “pasghetti.” Fortune educates the reader in a fun-loving manner on a serious subject. The theme of “never give up” when you are challenged speaks volumes to both young and old. The illustrator, Pieter Els, did an awesome job. The colors are bright and bold and follow along with the text perfectly. The Discussion Questions and the hidden mystery puzzle are wonderful inclusions as well. We can all use the devotion of a trustworthy friend and the self-confidence that comes when overcoming and learning new things. Did You Say Pasghetti? reminds us that sometimes learning is hard, but if we take the time to train our brain we can accomplish anything.

Jack Magnus

Did You Say Pasghetti? Dusty and Danny Tackle Dyslexia is an educational picture book for children written by Tammy Fortune and illustrated by Pieter Els. Dusty is a dog who has the greatest kid for a best friend. Danny is his best pal and buddy. Dusty loves to hang out, play games, and share hugs with Danny. Dusty also wants to cheer Danny up whenever he has problems, but one day, after school, Danny came home especially upset. He told Dusty that he hated school. He explained to Dusty and his mom that he couldn’t read the words right when Mrs. Maloney asked him to read aloud, and he had problems with spelling words. Danny felt embarrassed, especially when the other kids in class laughed at his mistakes. When his mom takes him to a reading specialist, they learn that he has dyslexia, and his mom hires a tutor who shares special tricks to help him succeed in reading. His teacher is also on board with extra help. Danny realizes that he can do this. He just has to work a bit harder.

Did You Say Pasghetti? introduces the subject of dyslexia to young readers. They’re also given a challenge by Dusty to find the 11 hidden bones, copy down the letter found within each one, and figure out the hidden message. Tammy Fortune also provides a link for a free puzzle game and a list of discussion questions for after reading the book. I loved how simply and directly the subject of dyslexia is approached and how the solutions are shared with young readers. Discussion question 8 is particularly important as it addresses kids who aren’t dyslexic and makes them feel included in the conversation. Like Dusty, friends and classmates can make a big difference in helping kids with dyslexia feel good about themselves and their progress in school. Pieter Els’ colorful illustrations bring best friends Dusty and Danny to life. Each panel works perfectly with the story and enhances it. Did You Say Pasghetti? Dusty and Danny Tackle Dyslexia is most highly recommended.

Marta Tandori

Did You Say Pasghetti? is a wonderful picture book, written by Tammy Fortune and creatively illustrated by Pieter Els, that deals with the topic of dyslexia in a very positive way. Dusty the dog introduces readers to Danny, his best friend in the world. Danny is great at giving hugs and playing soccer. Dusty is his permanent shadow, following Danny wherever he goes and doing everything that his best friend does. Most importantly, Dusty is Danny’s cheering section so no one is more upset than Dusty when Danny comes home from school one day and he’s not at all happy because he had problems reading. The week doesn’t get much better as Danny experiences other problems with solving math problems and mixing up letters. Things get so bad that even homework becomes difficult. Dusty wants to help his best friend but doesn’t know how. Luckily, Danny’s mother knows exactly what to do…

Tammy Fortune reminds us that no child likes to feel different from his peers. Her young protagonist does his best to do what’s required of him but when he fails at it, he pretends to laugh along with everyone else but inside, he feels anything but happy. What’s particularly great about Did You Say Pasghetti? is the positive message it conveys to a child who has dyslexia, bolstering the way a child feels about himself. Fortune’s emphasis is that the dyslexic brain learns differently and it’s a matter of finding a different way to train that brain. It also brings home the message of having a positive mindset, not giving up, and that with the right kind of help (from those with tails and those without), anyone can overcome learning challenges.

Els’ illustrations are colorful and complement Fortune’s story beautifully. He’s mindful of giving due attention to Dusty, the canine narrator, and depicts Danny’s dog in a playful and engaging manner, sure to please a young child. The hidden bones with the letters on them that spell a message is a nice touch that will also keep young children engaged not only in looking for the bones but also identifying the letter on each one. Did You Say Pasghetti? is both a fun book and a great learning tool that imparts just the right positive message to help young children to overcome their learning challenges.