Review of ‘Let’s Get a Pup’
Review of ‘Let’s Get a Pup’
Written and Illustrated by Bob Graham
Age Range: Lower Primary – Adult
Publisher: Walker Books
Themes: dogs, belonging, home, family
Awards: 2002 Children’s Book Council Book of the Year: Early Childhood – Winner
2002 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Picture Book Award – Winner
To add this book to your home, school or library collection please click on cover images or title links.
Yesterday we took part in the RSPCA Million Paws Walk. The RSPCA do a fabulous job in Australia, rescuing and re-housing all kinds of feathered and furred creatures. ‘Let’s Get a Pup’ is one of PudStar’s favourite books and will have you racing out to your nearest pound/rescue centre to add a creature to your family.
‘Let’s Get a Pup’ gets me every time with the beginning line ‘The end of Kate’s bed was a lonely place’. That line transports me back to the many nights I hid my much loved but very stinky childhood dog Phoebe on the end of my bed, hoping she’d be allowed to sleep there all night. Now that I am a proper grown up adult who is allowed to do possibly unhygienic things like have a dog in my bed, Rex keeps our feet company at the end of the bed.
Bob Graham knows dogs well. He has written a number of books featuring fabulous dogs, and the main canine characters of this book are Rosie and Dave, rescued by Kate’s family from the pound. As always Bob Graham lets the illustrations tell as much of the story as the text, the pierced and tattooed parents are fabulous, the messy kitchen is realistic and the double page spread of dogs of all shapes, sizes and temperaments in cages makes the reader want to rush down to the local dog pound and adopt the lot.
This is a book that begs to be read aloud, over and over. I know the text by heart, but even on a first reading you will know where to use the dramatic pause, the hushed ‘oh my goodness I need that dog’ voice and the plod, plod, plod voice as the family walk away from the pound ‘with many a backward glance’. I get all teary just thinking about it!
This is a book that celebrates family life with dogs. It’s a story of acceptance of the sometimes overlooked – the not so beautiful, not so youthful, not so clean.
And please don’t forget that Bob Graham nearly always starts and finishes his stories on the endpapers of his books…and I do so love a good endpaper.
‘Kate’s feet are no longer lonely under the blankets. It seems like Dave and Rosy have always been there. Their weight is comfortable and reliable, and will stop Kate’s bed floating away into the night.’
Follow it up in the home, classroom or library:
Write a list, or draw a picture of all the things you need in order to look after a dog, use the illustrations for ideas.
Look at all the dogs at the rescue centre. Some families go the rescue centre to choose a dog for their family. Look closely at the illustrations. Can you find a dog that is super excited? Mean? Sad? Quiet?
What were the families three wishes for Rosie?
Read Bob Grahams ‘The Trouble with Dogs’ as a dog follow up book.
Draw your own dog, or draw a picture of a dog you’d LIKE! Write a list of the characteristics which make him or her such a wonderful part of your family. Look at the words Bob Graham uses to describe the dogs in his books.
List the people in your family, including your pets. Draw them. Write or talk about what makes a family.
For more after reading comprehension questions see here.
Meet our ADORED Rex…
and my parents ADORED Flint (actually maybe more so mum is the adoring one!)…these boys are very much a part of our family!
EDIT – RIP beautiful boys. My ‘eulogy’ to them is here.
My all-timefavourite dog books are here.