The Helpful Puppy

The Helpful Puppy

by Kim Zarins
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

What can the puppy do to help? He can't crow like the rooster; he's too small to pull like the ox; and he can't give his fur as the sheep give wool.

Playful text, with rhymes that punctuate each one of the puppy's encounters, and exuberant illustrations by Emily Arnold McCully follow a puppy as he finds the job that no other animal on the farm can do.

Overview

What can the puppy do to help? He can't crow like the rooster; he's too small to pull like the ox; and he can't give his fur as the sheep give wool.

Playful text, with rhymes that punctuate each one of the puppy's encounters, and exuberant illustrations by Emily Arnold McCully follow a puppy as he finds the job that no other animal on the farm can do.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Veronica Bartles
All of the other animals on the farm help in some way, and puppy wants to help too. He can't lay eggs like the hen or crow like the rooster. He can't give milk like the cow or give people rides like the horse. He is even too small to help herd sheep with the bigger dogs. The poor puppy can't find any way to help out around the farm. But when his boy comes home from school, the puppy discovers that he can play and romp and frolic, and most importantly, he can give love to the little boy who needs him. Zarins spins a sweet tale all about recognizing and celebrating the unique talents of each individual. McCully's soft, watercolor illustrations provide a peaceful backdrop to the puppy's growing frustration as he searches for his niche and highlights the comforting feeling as the puppy realizes that he can help his family best by giving love. This book would be appreciated by any children who struggle with feelings of unimportance from time to time. Reviewer: Veronica Bartles
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—A white puppy with brown spots wants to help out on the farm. He can't pull a heavy cart like the ox or carry people around like the horse. He isn't quick enough to chase mice like the cat or old enough to help the sheepdog. Laying eggs and giving milk are quite beyond him, and he would look silly sheared like the sheep. Yet when he hears his boy's whistle, he knows just what to do. "His boy was home from school./It was time to play!/He jumped and licked and dashed/and wiggled for the rest of the day." And best of all, at bedtime the puppy snuggles with his boy, giving him love. McCully's signature watercolor illustrations bring to life one idyllic day on the farm. The curious pup is everywhere with ears flapping and tail wagging, but nowhere is he better than in the eight small scenes against white backgrounds when he is with his boy. This gentle story, reminiscent of an earlier era, has wide appeal and is a good choice for most collections.—Mary Jean Smith, formerly at Southside Elementary School, Lebanon, TN
Kirkus Reviews
A simple, old-fashioned story about a puppy adjusting to life on a family farm is complemented by sweetly nostalgic watercolor illustrations from Caldecott Medalist McCully. The unnamed male beagle puppy wants a job on the farm like the other, more mature animals. He tries to crow like the rooster, push the farm wagon like the ox and chase mice like the barn cat. He realizes that he can't lay eggs like the hens or carry people like the horse. A female farmhand (who looks rather like a clown in costume, minus white greasepaint) tells the puppy he can't make milk because he is a male. At last, the puppy hears a familiar whistle as his young owner arrives home from school. For the rest of the day, the boy and the puppy play together, until the boy's mother tucks her son and his dog into bed together; then, she describes the puppy's contribution as love for the family. The short text, simple plot and amusing illustrations make this a fine choice for preschoolers who are just transitioning into real stories. The earnest puppy doesn't chart any new territory, but cute little ones who want to be helpful like the big guys have a natural and enduring appeal to the preschool set. (Picture book. 3-7)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780823423187
Publisher:
Holiday House, Inc.
Publication date:
09/01/2012
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.60(w) x 11.10(h) x 0.50(d)
Lexile:
AD400L (what's this?)
Age Range:
3 - 6 Years

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Kim Zarins teaches medieval and children's literature at CSU Sacramento. When she's not teaching or taking care of her son, she is writing. She enjoys reading children's books aloud in goofy voices, as well as listening to audio books in the car.

Emily Arnold McCully won the Caldecott Medal for Mirette on the High Wire. The New York Times called her illustrations for In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb "animated" and "delightful." She lives in New York City and Chatham, New York.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >