The Puppy Problem (The Daily Bark, book 1) by Laura James, illustrated by Charlie Alder

Published by Bloomsbury Children’s Books

Summary:  When Gizmo the dachshund moves from the city to a small village called Puddle, he’s a little nervous about meeting new dogs.  Fortunately, his neighbor Jilly is a friendly Irish wolfhound with four adorable puppies.  Trouble is soon on the horizon, though, when Jilly learns that her humans are sending the puppies to new homes that are far away.  Jilly is desperate to find local places for her pups, and she and Gizmo set out to enlist the help of the other village dogs.  They hit one dead end after another until Gizmo has an idea inspired by his newspaper editor owner.  He writes up a notice for the other dogs to post, and in no time, new owners in Puddle have been found for all the puppies.  The dogs are so pleased with their success that they decide to start their own newspaper, The Daily Bark, which will undoubtedly be further explored in book 2 of this series. 128 pages; grades 2-4.

Pros:  Early chapter book readers will find it difficult to resist the four adorable puppies and the watchful dachshund on the cover of this charming book.  Filled with colorful illustrations and written in a large font, this would make a great first chapter book.

Cons:  If it takes Gizmo all night to write a 60-word notice, he’s going to have a heck of a time putting out a whole newspaper.

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