Poor Puppy


Written and Illustrated by Nick Bruel

Roaring Brook Press, 2007

Puppy’s best friend is Kitty.  But Puppy is sad.  Kitty doesn’t want to play with him today.  Poor Puppy.

The plot in a nutshell:  Puppy plays with lots of other things instead of Kitty and then dreams of all the fun they could have together.

This book deserves an apology from me, so I’ll start with that.  I tried to get a copy of it during April, when I was reviewing alphabet books, because it definitely fit the criteria for it.  Unfortunately, there wasn’t an available copy in our library during April, so no luck.  Then it could have been part of July’s month of dog books, but before I got around to reviewing it, I realized I already had enough dog books to fill out the month.  So, Poor Puppy, I am sorry if you are feeling undervalued.  But you’re so awesome that I’m putting you out here on your own, so you won’t be lost in the shuffle of a theme month.

The Little Mermaid statue is doing a poor job of dodging.

The Little Mermaid statue is doing a poor job of dodging.

Truly, this is a dog book AND an alphabet book AND a counting book AND a geography book.  It also highlights the importance of play and covers many different types of fun activities.  When Puppy wants to play and Kitty isn’t interested, Puppy occupies himself by playing with increased quantities of different alphabetical items (1 airplane, 2 balls, 3 cars, etc).  Then, exhausted, he falls asleep and dreams of playing with Kitty.  Again, he follows an alphabetical path of activities and locations (apple bobbing in Antarctica, baseball in Brazil, etc).  He wakes up ready to play some more.

Author/illustrator Nick Bruel first introduced these characters in Bad Kitty, which featured alphabetical lists of Kitty’s favorite foods and the mischief she creates when she can’t eat them.  The artwork in both books is fun and cartoonish, with lots to look at.  Kitty is in every picture (not always in the foreground) and kids may have fun finding her.  Kitty has taken on a life of her own and there are several sequels out there.  I highly recommend Mr. Bruel’s website, as it is chock full of activities and games for fans of his books.

And what did we learn?  What I take away from this book is that dreaming about the fun times you can have with a friend is the next best thing to being there.


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