A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Nick Bruel's Puppy's Big Day -- part of the popular Bad Kitty series -- gets into the responsibilities of pet ownership and touches on the troubling issues of animal cruelty and euthanasia of unwanted animals. The overall tone is heartwarming, underscoring the importance of responsible pet ownership and promoting kindness toward animals. Even prickly Kitty warms up to thoughtful consideration. When a police officer shouts repeatedly at Uncle Murray for several infractions, Uncle Murray is respectful and deferential -- and the officer reappears in a much friendlier fashion late in the story. There are a few mildly coarse but funny bits, primarily having to do with dogs sniffing each other's "butts" and a dog relieving himself in the park.
What's the story?
Kitty is in a bad mood -- a very bad mood. She causes such a ruckus that Uncle Murray abruptly takes Puppy out of the house until Kitty can calm down. Unprepared to be out with a dog, he gets off to a rough start: An officer scolds him for walking Puppy without a leash, failing to clean up after him, taking him into the wrong area of the park, and not having a license. Uncle Murray fixes everything, but an encounter with another dog leads to mayhem: Uncle Murray hides in a tree and the dogs break loose. They wind up in a shelter with other lost and abandoned dogs. All hope seems lost -- until Uncle Murray arrives to help out these dogs in need.
Is it any good?
PUPPY'S BIG DAY -- as with the other Bad Kitty chapter books -- serves up smart information with a mix of mayhem and giggles. This time the cantankerous Kitty stays home, and Puppy takes center stage with Uncle Murray, whose sloppy, careless appearance belies a sensitive, generous soul. Nick Bruel, who has such fun with drawing Kitty, has his fun here with Petunia, a meaty-faced bulldog with romantic dreams and bows on her ears.
Kitty drops in to share "horrible but true facts about dogs" in two-page, text-heavy informational spreads that explain some fascinating (if a little gross) science without being dull.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how to be a responsible pet owner. If you have a pet, discuss ways you're taking good care of your pet and ways you could do better.
What do you think about a book that mixes a funny story with fun facts? What did you learn about dogs that you didn't know before?
Consider visiting a local shelter, volunteering there, or donating items for animals being cared for there.
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