The Paperboy by Dav Pilkey


“The mornings of the paperboy are still dark and they are always cold even in the summer. And on these cold mornings the paperboy’s bed is still warm and it is always hard to get out — even for his dog…but they do.”

While a young boy sleeps with his dog at his feet, a truck delivers the day’s newspapers to his house for distribution. The boy wakes and gets to work, his dog at his side the entire time—a loyal companion and co-worker.  As the boy goes about his morning routine, his actions convey not only his sense of duty, but also the joy and satisfaction that comes from a job well done.  By the time the first rays of golden sunlight begin to peek out of the darkness, the paperboy crawls back into bed with his canine friend, ready to fall back into a peaceful slumber.

This 1997 Caldecott Honor book, written and illustrated by Dav Pilkey, follows a young boy and his dog on their early morning paper route.  Pilkey, better known for the Captain Underpants series, remains brilliantly understated in this story.  Carefully chosen words accompany muted tones in the illustrations, producing the magical aura of early morning.  Indeed, Pilkey perfectly captures the thrill of being out early, seeing the newness of the day and having it all to oneself.  As mentioned, Pilkey won Caldecott recognition here for his beautiful acrylic paintings, accented with India ink.  This peaceful story would be wonderful for a read-aloud in a lower-grade classroom or to read with a child before bedtime.

Forest Whitaker provides wonderful narration in this short video adaptation of the book.  Check it out here:


Happy reading!

Amelia Cornish


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