4 out of 4 stars
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Puppy's First Night, Featuring Sparkle De Barkle and her Favourite Furry Friends is a beautifully illustrated Children's Book written by Bec McGregor. It is an instructional manual detailing how to take care of dogs right from when they are born. This information is aimed at children and other people who wish to adopt a furry friend.
The book begins by introducing the reader to a litter of newly born puppies with the protagonist being Sparkle, a Havanese dog. It states how to take care of the young ones through various stages of development. This information includes the behavior of the puppies, the kind of care they need and what is best for them to eat as they begin to wean themselves from their mother's milk. The author also describes what to look out for when adopting a puppy, how to and reasons to puppy proof a home plus the ideal routine to follow to make the animal adjust seamlessly to his or her new surroundings.
What impressed me most is that the book is written in three perspectives: The author's instructional perspective, the adoptive family's perspective, and the dogs' perspectives. These three perspectives blended and intertwined beautifully and provided a dazzling richness to the storyline. The language is simple and the story is well paced, with an almost comic book effect to it. I appreciated that the author provided a glossary at the end explaining words that might elude children. This is done in a child-friendly way, with explanations like
This made me chuckle.Breed (verb) – To put a mommy dog and daddy dog together to make puppies.
The author also goes out of her way to provide information about different dog breeds, detailing their nature and characteristics. This section was especially enjoyable to read because it was written in the first person point of view, from the dogs' perspective and felt like each dog was sending out a resume to prospective families to consider them for adoption. This segment will greatly amplify children's analytical and decision-making skills.
As a dog owner, I was pleased to learn valuable information about how to improve the quality of life for my pet. I was quite shocked to discover all the things I have been doing wrong, especially when it comes to food. While the author mentioned foods that aren't suitable for dogs, she didn't mention what dogs should eat. Saying that dogs should be fed with "high-quality dog meal" wasn't enough. It would have been helpful for her to list the ingredients to look out for when buying dog food. The author recognizes her shortcomings and informs readers that this is not a definitive guide and they are free to seek additional information.
That said, I highly appreciate that the book seems to be professionally edited and I couldn't point out a single flaw in the writing. That coupled with the lovely illustrations and the aesthetic appeal of the pages makes me award it a rating of 4 out of 4 stars. It is a book I would recommend to children of ages 4-10, parents, prospective dog owners and dog lovers.
Puppy's First Night, Featuring Sparkle De Barkle and her Favourite Furry Friends
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