THE DAILY BARK: THE PUPPY PROBLEM, by Laura James, Bloomsbury Children’s Books, Jan. 18, 2022, paperback, $7.99 (ages 7-10)
A dog creates his own newspaper to help a friend in need in The Daily Bark: The Puppy Problem, by Laura James.
Gizmo is a city dog, so when he moves to the village of Puddle with his journalist human, he doesn’t know WHAT to expect. Certainly not FLOWERS. Or BEES. And he couldn’t have even imagined MUD. Luckily he’s got Jilly, the wolfhound next door, to show him around.
But Jilly has a problem. Her puppies are going to be adopted by new owners who live far away — she’ll never see them again! Gizmo has got a nose for a story, and a great idea to help Jilly. What if the dogs of Puddle started a newspaper to get the word out and keep these pups closer to home? Stop the presses! —Synopsis provided by Bloomsbury Children’s Books
The Puppy Problem is the first book in Laura James’ new The Daily Bark chapter book series. The book is fully illustrated and features larger text. The chapters, paragraphs and sentences are accessible, boosting confidence of emerging readers.
The appeal of the book goes beyond reading ability. Though my second-grader has for the most part moved past early chapter books, the appeal of puppies was too much to pass up. She immediately took to The Puppy Problem and read all 128 pages in one sitting. Here’s what she had to say:
“The Puppy Problem is a fun book. I like how Gizmo makes up his own newspaper to help Jilly’s pups find a home. It was easy to read, and for bonus, I like how the illustrator used color. And I like Jilly’s rascal, Wolfie. I want to read more books in the series.”
Though geared for 7- to 10-year-olds (2nd and 3rd grade), I would suggest this series for more advanced 5- and 6-year-olds (kindergarten and 1st grade).