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Puppy Club: Coco Settles In

Authored by Catherine Jacob
Illustrated by Rachael Saunders
Published by Little Tiger Press

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Puppy Club: Coco Settles In is perfect for dog loving children who are ready to move from picture books to basic chapter books with playful illustrations to break up the text. This is the second book in the Puppy Club series that follows six puppy mad children who have convinced their parents to take on new puppies. All six come from the same litter and like their new owners all have different characters and different needs.

Elsa is Coco’s owner and things don’t go so smoothly at first with the new puppy causing Elsa’s mum to become stressed with Coco’s antics. This leads to some anxiety for Elsa who fears her mum may send Coco back. There are some useful puppy facts throughout the book such as food that is not safe to eat, visits to the vet and the importance of training.

Themes to draw out of the story include patience, anxiety, jealousy and lack of attention. How do you get attention when you feel a little left out? What is the best way? The story presents an opportunity to explore these sorts of questions and to help children understand and come to terms with their own feelings.

There is some good role modelling within the story as the six friends support and help each other in various ways throughout the book. Collaboration and friendship are key as the children are able to demonstrate how working together is a positive way to tackle problems. They work hard to plan and organise a range of activities including a puppy party, a class presentation and some poetry writing. All these ideas could present effective resources and motivation for classroom activities.

This book would sit well in a Year 1 and Year 2 and even a Year 3 library. There is an extra bonus at the end of the book with some fun exercises including a Puppy Club Personality Test and some simple guidance on how to draw a puppy.