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"Let's Get a Pup!" Said Kate

by Bob Graham

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New from the creator or MAX—a PUBLISHERS WEEKLY Best Book—a funny, warm story for every child who's wished for a puppy.

There are lots of dogs of all shapes and sizes at the animal shelter. But Karen and her mom and dad know they want Dave the moment they see him. He's small and cute and a perfect fit for the end of Kate's bed. But then they see


New from the creator or MAX—a PUBLISHERS WEEKLY Best Book—a funny, warm story for every child who's wished for a puppy.

There are lots of dogs of all shapes and sizes at the animal shelter. But Karen and her mom and dad know they want Dave the moment they see him. He's small and cute and a perfect fit for the end of Kate's bed. But then they see Rosy, who is old and gray and broad as a table... How can Kate and Mom and Dad take home just ONE dog when there are so MANY wonderful animals who need a home? Bob Graham creates an original endearing family in a touching story that will appeal to animal lovers everywhere.

Editorial Reviews

The Barnes & Noble Review
A little girl's dream comes true -- twice -- in this outstanding picture book from gifted author/illustrator Bob Graham. After her cat, Tiger, dies, Kate needs another companion to love, someone to keep her feet warm at night. "Let's get a pup!" she proclaims as she bounces in bed with Mom and Dad. The young parents are quite cool with the idea and scan the papers until they find a Rescue Center. There they find a wide assortment of pooches: "sniffers, sleepers...fighters and biters...happy dogs, sad dogs." And then they see Dave. Dave is perfect -- small, cute, and brand-new. Content to leave with the new member of the family, they spot another dog, Rosy, who is old and gray and can barely stand up. But, as Graham so beautifully states, "she radiated Good Intention." Now they want Rosy too, but they can't save every dog, right? So, they reluctantly leave. That night the family can barely sleep, and only due in part to Dave's crying. They know what they have to do -- they go to the shelter and get Rosy.

Graham uses pen-and-ink and watercolor to reveal the close-knit and very hip family. With Mom's tattoo and nose ring, and Dad's ear-pierced, funky look, this parental duo reflects the times. And their house, filled with the tiny details that make up our lives, makes for cozy reading. Uneaten toast on the counter, with shoes and toys strewn on the floor, will be familiar to young readers who don't have Donna Reed as a mother. Graham's signature watercolors are a perfect match for this easygoing and loving group. The text also complements the pace of the story. When they see their new pup, the name "Dave" is in bold, and is the only word on the page. And when they leave Rosy behind, white space and a minimum of words convey their heartbreaking decision.

With expert storytelling and humorously endearing illustrations, Graham once again creates a loving family with unconventional folks. Their love of pups, and each other, is sure to tug at the heartstrings of every young reader. (Amy Barkat)

Publishers Weekly
Dog lover Graham (Max) adds another tail-wagging treat of a picture book to an oeuvre that includes the canine-inspired titles Benny and Queenie, One of the Family. Following the death of her cat, young Kate has grown lonesome for a new pet. Mom and Dad quickly catch Kate's enthusiasm when she suggests, "Let's get a pup!" and the family heads to the local animal Rescue Center. After looking over "fighters and biters, growlers and snarlers, short dogs, dogs long and thin, and dogs with their cheeks sucked in" they see a smallish, frisky puppy that's just right. As they exit the Rescue Center with their new pup, Dave, the family sees a large, sweet-natured older dog that tugs at their hearts. A sleepless night passes for everyone and the next day Kate's family rushes back to the shelter and expands their brood by one more the older dog they now call Rosy. Graham once again depicts common family situations with abundant humor and tenderness. His jaunty pen-and-ink and watercolor artwork captures universal themes with a contemporary spark thanks to his renderings of unconventional-looking parents (Mom and Dad both have piercings; Mom sports a tattoo). Throughout, copious white space and spot vignettes give the proceedings a breezy pace. Ages 3-6. (Aug.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
In answer to Kate's suggestion, Mom and Dad take her to the Rescue Center. Among the many kinds of dogs detailed by Graham, they find Dave, who seems just what they want—small, cute and excitable. They also see Rosy, who is quite the opposite—old, polite, radiating Good Intention. But they feel they can't take her as well, and reluctantly leave. After a sleepless night, back they all go to bring Rosy home to complete Kate's happiness. Graham's colored drawings tell a story sure to charm any dog-lover's sensibilities. Mom has a tattoo and nose ring, Dad has an earring, and the open cereal box is on the kitchen table in this very real family that goes about choosing just the right dog in vignettes and large spreads. Dave is great fun, but we are also drawn to Rosy, the irresistible hairy, plump, aged canine. 2001, Candlewick Press, $14.99. Ages 4 to 8. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-When Kate and her parents visit an animal shelter, they first bring home a precious puppy, then return to adopt an older dog that had also captured their hearts. Graham's cartoon-style, plump figures include a Mom with a tattoo and nose ring, and a disheveled Dad. The cozy domestic scenes include typical particulars like a forgotten piece of toast, toys on the floor, and cleaning gear in the bathroom. With the comprehensive characterization chronicled in these pen-and-ink and watercolor panoramas, readers easily embrace this family whose affections extend to include pets on the bed. This endearing book successfully compels those previously pledged to pedigree puppies to try an alternative route.-Gay Lynn Van Vleck, Henrico County Library, Glen Allen, VA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Preschooler Kate and her parents are just getting over the loss of the their cat when Kate realizes that what they really need is not another cat, but a dog. Off to the animal shelter they go, where they adopt a puppy named Dave and reluctantly leave behind a large, older dog named Rosy. Dave settles in with the family, but they can't forget Rosy, and the next day, they return to the shelter to bring her home as well. Graham (Max) paints quirky people and perky pups in watercolor with pen and ink in an oversized format, and his story is filled with evocative language and the emotions that four-footed friends can elicit. The mother and father in this story are not Ward and June Cleaver: Dad has stubbly cheeks and two earrings, and Mom has a flower tattoo and a nose ring that unfortunately looks a bit like a mini-moustache. Sharp-eyed kids (or concerned parents) may notice that Dad wears a T-shirt sporting a design of a lit cigarette on one page, although Mom wears a T-shirt with a compensatory anti-smoking symbol on a later page. Graham also uses thick, sausage-shaped motion lines to indicate the puppy jumping or Rosy wagging her tail, and several of those motion lines behind a dog's rear will be gleefully (if incorrectly) pointed out by preschoolers as something other than motion lines.

Product Details

Candlewick Press
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
10.50(w) x 9.60(h) x 0.39(d)
AD350L (what's this?)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Bob Graham is the author of such well-loved children's books as QUEENIE, ONE OF THE FAMILY; ROSE MEETS MR. WINTERGARTEN; BENNY: AN ADVENTURE STORY; and MAX. "LET'S GET A PUP!" SAID KATE grew our of his own experiences. "Our family once went to a dog shelter, looking for a small pup, and we came away with not one dog but two," he says. "Since we are now sadly dogless, we are tempted to repeat the process."

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