Charley's First Night
  • Charley's First Night
  • Charley's First Night

Charley's First Night

4.0 2
by Amy Hest, Helen Oxenbury
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Two of our most beloved picture book creators team up to tell a classic story of a child, his new puppy, and a first night home.

On Charley’s first night, Henry carries his new puppy in his old baby blanket all the way to his house. He shows Charley every room, saying, "This is home, Charley." He says that a lot so that Charley will know

See more details below

  • Checkmark Kids' Club Eligible  Shop Now

Overview

Two of our most beloved picture book creators team up to tell a classic story of a child, his new puppy, and a first night home.

On Charley’s first night, Henry carries his new puppy in his old baby blanket all the way to his house. He shows Charley every room, saying, "This is home, Charley." He says that a lot so that Charley will know that he is home. Henry’s parents are very clear about who will be walking and feeding Charley (Henry will, and he can’t wait). They are also very clear about where Charley will be sleeping: Charley will be sleeping in the kitchen. But when the crying starts in the middle of the night, Henry knows right away that it’s Charley! And it looks like his parents’ idea about where Charley is going to sleep may have to change. With warmth, humor, and endearing simplicity, Amy Hest tells a tale familiar to everyone who has loved a puppy, while Helen Oxenbury renders each tender gesture and charming detail in a beauty of a book that children will be eager to take home.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times
Charley's First Night is one of those stories that are delicious precisely because they are not something new, but something familiar. Hest understands the way small boys think and what tugs at their heartstrings. She's got a pretty good feel for puppies, too, as does Oxenbury…who uses soft brush strokes and muted colors to give the book a warm, intimate, bedtime glow. There's really no question that these two companions will end up sleeping in the same bed. The sweetness is in how they find themselves there and how readers will recognize themselves in the story.
—Pamela Paul
Publishers Weekly
Skittish, curious, loving, and vividly adorable, Henry’s new puppy, Charley, epitomizes the idea that while being a fledging pet owner isn’t always easy, it’s entirely worthwhile. Charley is a bit overwhelmed by his new surroundings, but Henry patiently shows him around the house, makes him a cozy bed, and responds to nighttime howling in a heartbeat. Meanwhile, Henry’s parents want to make sure the boundaries of behavior—for both pet and owner—are crystal clear from the get-go (“I would be in charge of feeding Charley, they said, and I couldn’t wait to feed Charley every day forever”). Henry sees the job through thanks to his unconditional love for his canine charge, a budding sense of duty, and a little bending of the rules. With a voice that’s sweetly comic and deeply sympathetic, Hest (Letters to Leo) beautifully imagines a serious, careful little boy who’s juggling the needs of multiple parties. Oxenbury (King Jack and the Dragon), wonderful as always in chronicling the small dramas of domestic life, will have readers falling in love with this duo from the very first page. Ages 3–6. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
A book sure to be instantly beloved
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

With a design as soft and lovely as its message, it will be tough to keep children from heading out in the snow, looking for their own Charley.
—Booklist (starred review)

This gentle tale is the ideal gift for a new dog owner and every dog lover.
—Shelf Awareness

An unsentimental, yet adorable, recasting of an ever-reliable theme.
—Horn Book

Children's Literature - Heather Welsh
With one look, Henry knew that Charlie the puppy needed his love and a forever home. Luckily, mom and dad also understood how much Charley needed those things. Some of the rules, like daily walking and feeding, were easy for Henry to follow. Other rules, like no dogs sleeping in the bed, were tougher. When Charley's mournful cries fill the night, Henry is torn about what to do. Just like when they first met, Henry knows the puppy is calling out for the comfort of Henry's bed. No amount of rubbing Charley's belly or talking to him seems to do the trick. Will Henry be able to solve this problem without getting in trouble with mom and dad? Muted watercolor backgrounds allow the focus to be placed on the bright colors of the main characters. Developing and reluctant readers will enjoy the support of the large pictures on every other page. The large font and simple vocabulary is appropriate for young readers. Reviewer: Heather Welsh
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—This comforting, sweet story of a puppy's first night in his new home is simply told and as warm and cozy as a blanket. When Henry Korn finds Charley one snowy evening, the little boy just knows that the pup wants to go home with him. His parents capitulate to their son's desire to keep the dog, making sure he knows that the puppy is his responsibility. Although Charley wants to sleep in Henry's room (says Henry), Mr. Korn gently affirms that the animal will spend the night in the kitchen. Henry is tender and loving toward his new charge, and children who have looked after their family pets will see a bit of themselves in the protagonist. During the night the puppy cries, and his young master dutifully looks after him, stopping at his parents' bedroom only to find them sound asleep. Of course, Charley ends up in Henry's bed, but who could look at such a compatible pair and be angry? The pencil and watercolor illustrations are set within soft, muted frames. From Charley's adorable face and poses to Henry's mother's reflection in a mirror as she looks at the pair asleep, the pictures have a timeless quality and beautifully complement the story.—Alison Donnelly, Collinsville Memorial Public Library, IL
Kirkus Reviews
The tenderness a child feels for his new puppy seeps from the pages of a book sure to be instantly beloved. "I carried him in my old baby blanket, which was soft and midnight blue, and we were new together and I was very, very careful not to slip in the snow and I thought about his name." Charley Korn is the puppy; the young narrator is Henry Korn. Hest's stream-of-consciousness sentences are interspersed with short, declarative statements and bits of dialogue, creating a dreamy, lyrical cadence. Oxenbury's pencil-and-watercolor illustrations are infused with softness and warmth, depicting the loving bond between boy and dog. Even the design of the book, with text and pictures set within wide borders on each page, inspires a feeling of intimacy. Once home, Henry shows Charley around ("This is home, Charley") and recounts his parents' expectations, including the one where Charley will sleep in the kitchen--alone--forever. Henry dutifully arranges Charley's bed, but the nighttime crying begins. After the second rescue, Henry shows Charley his room, where Charley wants to be put on Henry's bed--or so Henry interprets. Thus the two spend the night, predictably the first of many, cuddled together. Be forewarned: Youngsters will find Charley as irresistible as Henry does and will no doubt beg for puppies of their own. (Picture book. 4-8)

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780763640552
Publisher:
Candlewick Press
Publication date:
10/09/2012
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
377,290
Product dimensions:
8.60(w) x 10.02(h) x 0.39(d)
Lexile:
AD940L (what's this?)
Age Range:
3 - 6 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
A book sure to be instantly beloved
—Kirkus Reviews

With a design as soft and lovely as its message, it will be tough to keep children from heading out in the snow, looking for their own Charley.
—Booklist

This gentle tale is the ideal gift for a new dog owner and every dog lover.
—Shelf Awareness

An unsentimental, yet adorable, recasting of an ever-reliable theme.
—Horn Book

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >