Review Blog

Dec 16 2019

The perfect puppy by Alyce Hall

cover image

Illus. by Katrina Fisher. Little Steps, 2019. ISBN: 9781925839173.
(Age: 3+) Recommended. Themes: Dogs, Puppies, Family, difference. Logan is one of a large litter and as people come along to select a pup to take home, he is rejected because he has one floppy ear. He tries very hard to look the same, to blot out his difference, but to no avail, he is still rejected by all the visitors. He ties his ear up with toilet paper, but that just looks silly, and so he decides that he will become another animal entirely. He goes to the farm and watches a cow chew grass and decides that is not for him. He watches the chooks laying eggs and thinks that is not for him. He looks at the ducks but feels the water is too cold and the hole the rabbits hide in underground is much too small for him. He rejects the pigs as he doesn't like the mud on his fur and he talks differently from the horse. At the end of autumn he is the last pup left and he does not know what to do. He has run out of ideas. But a young girl and her mother come along and see him, crying out that he is perfect because of his one floppy ear and he has found his home.
A sweet story of belonging, of being different, of accepting one's difference, this tale could be used in the classroom to look at the tricky subject of body image, difference and acceptance. The warmly sentimental illustrations will have wide appeal to the audience where dogs and pups are things to be admired and loved. The images of the dog being rejected will draw sighs of disappointment from the audience, but as with all good stories, they know there will a happy ending. From this story discussions could centre around dog ownership, finding a dog for your family, rescue homes and so on. The book lends itself to a variety of discussion points, and is a sweet read aloud as well.
Fran Knight

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