The Frightened Puppy

Authored by Holly Webb
Published by Little Tiger

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Another puppy story from Holly Webb, aimed at the newly independent reader. On holiday with her family, Avery finds a small, abandoned puppy whilst out on a walk. She is desperate to keep it but worried her family will say no. Inevitably, after a few hiccoughs, the puppy leads the family to the injured Avery, all is well and the puppy has a good home.

There are a lot of stories in this animal series – Holly herself has written over 100 – and whilst they are somewhat formulaic, they have a certain appeal to the child just beginning to enjoy chapter books: large print, short chapters, plenty of illustrations and a good narrative thread. Add a storyline on a puppy or kitten that is lost, stolen or missing to this supportive structure, and you will find a ready audience. Children will also identify with the holiday activities in the story: enthusiasm for kayaking and mixed feelings about visiting a stately home.

Whilst I would not recommend this as a class reader, there is merit in having it, and others in this series, from this author in the KS1 class library. It will support the recently fledged reader in developing confidence and stamina, discovering that independent reading is a pleasure and a joy.