Hudson and the Puppy: Lost in Paris: Paris-Chien, Book 3

Book review by
Regan McMahon, Common Sense Media
Hudson and the Puppy: Lost in Paris: Paris-Chien, Book 3 Book Poster Image
Dog helps homeless pup in charming Paris adventure.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Shows various sites around Paris, both famous landmarks and neighborhood haunts the locals know. Weaves in French words and phrases, either translated or easy to get in context, and also listed in a glossary at the back. References in the art to Charlie Chaplin movies A Dog's Life and The Kid and Jacques Tati films Jour de te and Mon Oncle

Positive Messages

Be kind to someone who needs help. If someone is lost, maybe you can help him find his way. Have empathy for those who are homeless. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Hudson is kind and empathetic and goes out of his way to help the puppy who seems lost but is actually homeless. When Hudson is blue, he knows how to cheer himself up: He goes to the movies. 

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Hudson and the Puppy: Lost in Paris, is the third book in Jackie Clark Mancuso's Paris-Chien series about the adventures of an American expat terrier. Here Hudson meets a dachshund puppy who appears to be lost and takes him around Paris to see if any of the neighborhoods are his. When Hudson realizes the puppy is homeless, he asks his human "mom" if their apartment can be his home, and they take him in. This sweet, fun tale of empathy and friendship has lots of colorful Paris scenery and French vocabulary, and includes a petit dictionnaire of French words and phrases used in the story. 

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What's the story?

When Hudson goes to get his daily baguette, take in a movie at le cinéma, and catch the Métro to the Jardin des Plantes, he gets a feeling that someone's following him and spots a little brown dachshund. Hudson asks him if he's lost, but the dachshund says nothing. "Maybe he's shy, or scared," Hudson speculates. "I think he's just a puppy. Maybe he doesn't know how to talk yet." Hudson tells him, "I know Paris pretty well. I can help you find your way home. Let's look for a neighborhood you recognize." They travel all around the city, from the Jardin du Luxembourg to Montmartre, and then, to cover more ground more quickly, they switch to a motorbike and Hudson drives them through the streets. Then they hop on a boat on the Seine. "In the middle of the ride," says Hudson, "I have a scary thought. Maybe he doesn't have a home. Maybe he never had a home." Hudson puts him in a box on the street labeled "free puppy" in French, but all the passersby have a reason they can't take him. Finally Hudson brings him home to his apartment and asks his human "mom" (offstage) if they can adopt him and she agrees to. "Maybe that's what he wanted all along," Hudson concludes. He names the puppy Pierre, "and now we eat baguettes, ride the carousel, and see lots of movies, together."  

Is it any good?

The Paris-Chien series is fun for anyone who loves France and dogs, but this adventure is especially charming as Hudson crisscrosses Paris to help a lost puppy. His search drives the action as they pass though different neighborhoods, with subtle labels (in French) identifying landmarks such as the stairs leading up to Montmartre, the Tour Eiffel, and the Jardin des Plantes, "a beautiful garden with a zoo and merry-go-round." There are also some spots not on all tourists' radar, like the graffiti-splashed Maison de Serge Gainsbourg and the Porte Saint-Denis neighborhood, which "has food from all over the world. Curry, kebabs, and Turkish pizza." Hudson asks the puppy, "Does it smell familiar?"

Author-illustrator Jackie Clark Mancuso's exuberant gouache street scenes capture the bustling city life, and she doesn't skimp on showing the dogs' changing emotions, conveyed through their expressive faces and body language. Whether they're whizzing by on a scooter, with fur and ears flying in the wind, or walking slowly with slumped shoulders and lowered heads, we always know exactly how they feel. Kids will delight in seeing the newly adopted puppy finally smiling on the last page. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Paris looks in Hudson and the Puppy: Lost in Paris. Does it look like where you live? How is it different? Would you like to visit Paris someday?

  • What do you think of the author mixing real situations and made-up ones? Did it surprise you to see a dog driving a motor scooter or going to the movies? Why do you think the author decided to have Hudson doing things people do? 

  • Has your family ever adopted a pet? Would you like to adopt one? What do you think of the reasons the grown-ups on the street give for not wanting a free puppy? 

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love animals and travel

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