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Author: Leslie Patricelli

Illustrator: Leslie Patricelli

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Publisher: Candlewick Press,

Material: hard cover

Summary: It's raining, and the four Patterson puppies are bored. Instead of wishing for sun and fun, Petra suggests they pretend they are at the beach. That's a great idea ... until Andy tipped over the teacup with water. Wait a minute! An ocean. We can make an ocean. What will happen next? This picture book describes the adventures of four creative puppies.

Type of Reading: playtime reading, read aloud book, learning to read

Recommended Age: read together: 3 to 6; read yourself: 8 to 9

Interest Level: 3 to 8

Reading Level: 2.8

Age of Child: Read with and by a nearly 8-year-old girl.

Young Reader Reaction: "Uh-oh!" was the call when the puppies started pouring water on the floor. Our daughter loved the illustrations and how the story moved from summer to winter. She was disappointed in the ending though, and wanted to know about how they cleaned up the "snow."

Adult Reader Reaction: I have very mixed feelings about this book. The story is clever; and the illustrations are great for young children: not busy, expressive, and brightly colored. [Think: Maisy books.] I was a little taken aback, though, by the puppies pouring water everywhere to the point that Mom and Dad had to set up fans to dry it out. If they wanted to play in water, why not send them OUT in the rain to use their imaginations?

Pros: Lots of imagination and cute, mischievous puppies will have kids asking to read this again and again.

Cons: You need to know whether/not your child will act on some of the suggested activities illustrated in the story before you read it. With very young kids, you definitely want to talk about it.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow. This is a cute story, but you'll want to preview it before you read it with your child.


Educational Themes: In addition to the story itself, one of the underlying themes of the story is the water cycle. You have rain, you have ocean, you have snow. You can talk about using your imagination and pretend play; making choices when mom and dad aren't around; and dealing with boredom. Using popcorn and fans to create a snowstorm, in the right environment, could be a fun activity.

Notes: The Reading Tub read a pre-release version (galley) of this book). The Reading Tub® received this book at Book Expo America 2009.

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, animal characters, creative problem solving

Date(s) Reviewed: October 2009

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