Cute Puppy Love 

By Amy Hest & Helen Oxenbury

Candlewick Press 15.99 32pages

Charley’s First Night is the sweet tale of Henry getting his first dog, Charley. Henry’s parents make it very clear to him that he will be feeding and walking Charley every day. Henry does not mind the responsibility; he is excited to be able to take care of Charley “forever”.  Henry’s parents also reinforce that Charley will sleep in the kitchen at night. Henry even gives Charley Bobo, Henry’s bear that he used to sleep with when he was younger.

Henry goes to bed thinking about all the things he will do with Charley, including going to the park in the snow. In the middle of the night, Charley cries and Henry rushes to his side and eventually, Henry brings Charley to his bedroom. Not meaning to, they both fall asleep on Henry’s bed. And so Charley sleeps in Henry’s bed on the first night.

Amy Hest’s tale reminded me of when I brought my daughter home for the first time. You might have the greatest intentions to have your baby sleep in her crib, but inevitably the baby lands in your bedroom. This is a story of love and wanting the one you love to feel at home and be comfortable. This is also a story of learning responsibility and having boundaries. The pictures help tell the story and your child will easily follow along and probably guess that Henry and Charley will end up in Henry’s bed after all.

Reviewed By Seniye Groff

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