By Ellen Miles
Published by: Scholastic Paperbacks
Available in: paperback, library binding, audible audio, Kindle, NOOK
At the time of this review there were 33 books in this series, with more scheduled to launch later this year.
A strong bark with a soft mouth.
Just like any good dog, The Puppy Place series is loyal and steadfast. An easy read for serious dog lovers, each book is centered on the same human family and the young protagonist Charlie. But, because Charlie’s family fosters dogs, the series deftly introduces a new pup in each book, and thus lives up to its promise of “Where every puppy finds a home.”
I’m a dog lover, so this was an easy call to enjoy. And yet, I wish the writing were a bit more inventive and succinct. Even more, I really wish this series included illustrations. In every other way, these are chapter books. But by not including illustrations at all, I fear the text-only pages will intimidate those who can’t quite muster the strength to read text-heavy pages. And the potential for cute, lively, cuddly, dramatic, emotional illustrations is so strong, it’s just a shame they are not included. I’m guessing budget and timing are the issues here, but this is a huge mistake and/or bad call.
Still, a plus is that each book includes sound and responsible ownership facts, as well as good behavior info—for both dogs and how people should behave around dogs to keep both safe.
The fact that the protagonist is a young man also is worth mention. An easy choice would have been to let this become a very sweet, girl-centric animal series. Young Charlie is a good egg, and a nice way for boys who are dog lovers to find a series they can relish.
What do you say teachers, parents and writers? Use the comment below and let’s chat….