Sunday, September 09, 2012

Reading With Lilah: Amy and the Missing Puppy

AMY AND THE MISSING PUPPY by Callie Barkley (Critter Club): I've been requesting more children's books to review since Lilah's interest in chapter books has grown. I read this one to her at bedtime, and it was a hit. She immediately asked me to put it on her wishlist for when it comes out in January (we read an e-galley on my (non-color) Kindle, and she would love to see the illustrations in all their glory. AMY AND THE MISSING PUPPY is billed for ages 5-7, and with Lilah at 5 1/2 or so and obsessed with animals, it seemed perfect. And so it was! During spring break, Amy is helping out at her mom's veterinary clinic. One day, mean old Mrs. Sullivan brings in her puppy, Rufus, who later goes missing! Amy follows clues (with the help of her friends and lessons gleaned from Nancy Drew books) to locate the missing puppy and, along the way, learns that she may have misjudged Mrs. Sullivan. This adventure introduces the girls' Critter Club, which helps animals.

It's hard to think of a more perfect fit for a child who loves both animals and mysteries than AMY AND THE MISSING PUPPY. As a mystery, it's very well-done; Amy follows clues and uses solid reasoning to help find the puppy. As a story about a group of friends, it's also successful: Amy and her friends are a genial, cooperative group, each with her own interests, but adept at compromise. The only odd note in a book billed for ages 5-7: it opens with the girls playing MASH to find out the name of the boy they'll marry, which seemed odd to me. It's the only age-inappropriate note in an otherwise spot-on adventure. The values espoused in the book are admirable: don't judge a book by its cover; helping others; working together. My daughter and I enjoyed this book.

Available January 1 from Little Simon.

Source disclosure: I received an e-galley of this title from the publisher.

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