My Puppy Patch
My Puppy Patch
“Patch, sit,” I say. And she sits.
“Patch, down,” I say. And she lies down.
“Patch, stay,” I say. And she doesn’t move.
But before I can give her a treat…
Patch discovers dandelions!
Patch, the newly adopted puppy, is preparing for her first walk beyond the gates of her backyard. Her owner, a little girl who takes the responsibility of pet ownership very seriously, works with the small puppy to get ready. They practice basic commands, but Patch is a little too excited and distracted to focus for long. On their walk, they explore nature and compare progress with a neighbourhood friend. The outing is a success – except for one small run-in with a really muddy puddle! After Patch and her girl clean up at home, they celebrate a job well done before supper and a nap.
My Puppy Patch is a wonderful story that introduces, or reinforces, how to care for and train a new puppy. It takes patience, consistency, and love on the part of the little girl to ensure that her new pet will be safe on an excursion beyond the gate. The language and pacing is perfect for the very young, and Patch’s antics throughout keep the story engaging and not overtly didactic. The girl is supportive of Patch’s progress but also sympathetic to the puppy’s struggle to focus when confronted by distraction after distraction in the yard and beyond.
Alice Carter’s illustrations are a delight. The blend of coloured pencil, water colour, and digital media strikes just the right balance between soft and sharp. The vibrant oranges of the girl’s hair, the big splashes of greens in the background, and the protagonist’s abstract splatter dress combine to radiate energy. Especially cute are the puppies, whose personalities come out through the soft fur and expressive faces.
My Puppy Patch would be a great choice for a family looking to bring a new dog into the home or for any child who loves pets. Just enough tension, adorable pictures, and a sweet and simple story make it perfect for multiple read-throughs.
Amber Allen is a librarian in Guelph, Ontario, with a passion for children’s literature and writing.