Cole's Perfect Puppy: Perfect Puppies Book One by Frances M. Crossno
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This children's book is as cute as the cover of the book showing that puppy dressed in a shirt! The target ages are 7-12 but everyone needs a reminder now and again and this book sure delivers it. This Christian book does refer to God, Jesus, and verses from the Bible in one part but it is not overwhelming the story by any means. It also shows traits we all need to learn and practice, including the following: caring, personal sacrifice, being responsible, and obeying your parents or other adult in charge. This is an animal story that is heartwarming as well as heartbreaking in parts that is narrated in the first person.
The main character is Cole and I don't recall his age being revealed however there are hints throughout the story about his age. He goes to school and is offered a job after school hours, he rides a bike but doesn't drive. He is to watch his younger brother when they are out and they can go to the mall alone. This leads me to believe Cole is a young teen.
The time period or year of the story isn't stated however reference is made to unrest in Egypt when Cole's and Caleb's parents had to leave and the fact that Rachel's dad was killed in Iraq which leads me to believe it could have taken place a few years ago or even yesterday. In reality, the 'time' really makes no difference to the story, just as the exact ages of characters or what town they live in makes no difference to the story.
Cole is determined to get a puppy he seen at the mall despite receiving a pot bellied pig as a pet for Christmas. He is willing to do what he has to in order to get that puppy which seems like a simple story but it is far from simple. Cole is faced with learning experiences, faith, friendship, compassion, and sacrifices. It is obvious through the story he grows in understanding that not all things are what they seem. Sometimes people are in situations that you would never expect and because of this, they may seem 'different' but once you get to know them, you realize how strong they really are.
Caleb is Cole's younger brother and also plays an important role in the story. I believe it is through Cole's actions and his explaining what is right and wrong that Caleb's character grows. At times Caleb even reminds Cole of important values and responsibilities.
Rachel is a classmate of Caleb's and she is essential to the story as well. Through Cole's and her friendship, her character teaches Cole many important lessons.
There are some minor characters which are all developed enough to fully understand what is happening and why. They move the story along in a very natural way, for example; Cole's and Caleb's parents, as well as Rachel's mother.
The story is very easy to understand and the lessons learned may not be that obvious at first since they are learned in such a natural way. Younger children may not even realize the significance of the events but to further their thinking and a discussion there are several questions at the end of the book to aid in this. Even if they don't understand these lessons and ignore the questions at the end, the book is still a very enjoyable story about a boy wanting a dog.
I highly recommend this story.
View all my reviews