Comfortably old-fashioned illustrations help to tell the simple story of the brown-and-white puppy who lives on a farm and wants, more than anything, to help out. After all, the other animals have jobs to do! This puppy will try anything, and in page after page he does.
Maybe he can crow like the rooster.
Nope! He can only yelp!
Surely he can help haul the cart like the ox.
No. The wheel is too big, and the cart too heavy.
The chickens lay eggs.
Even this mightily- determined little pup doesn’t try that.
Young children understand this kind of ambition and disappointment and will sympathize with the pup and root him on, even as he tackles other farm jobs they know he can’t possibly accomplish. Just in time, before the puppy and readers might be ready to give up, there is THE WHISTLE. Puppy’s boy comes home from school. Now our canine hero can get to work -- running, playing, chasing, and having fun with the boy. Then, as bedtime approaches, there’s no one else who can cuddle up and give that lucky farmer’s son so much love.
Gentle rhymes in the storytelling will have kids anticipating the words of this satisfying picture book and returning again and again to spend a day with The Helpful Puppy.
Reviewed by: LLW
Themes: Dogs; Pets
Holiday House, 2012
Pages: 32 pages
Suggested Ages: 2-4