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Author: Lori Ries

Illustrator: Frank W. Dormer

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Publisher: Charlesbridge,

Material: paperback

Summary: When Dad takes Ben to the pet store, he must decide what kind of pet he wants: a A bird? a mouse? a cat? No, a dog. Aggie. Once Aggie is home, she and Ben are inseparable. Ben follows her every move and Aggie follows Ben everywhere. Aggie has a lot to learn, and Ben is happy to teach her ... even when he hears a growl in the dark. This is a semi-chapter book easy reader for emerging readers.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, read aloud book, learning to read, illustrated chapter, easy reader

Recommended Age: read together: 4 to 8; read yourself: 6 to 9

Interest Level: 4 to 8

Reading Level: 1.5

Age of Child: Read by 7-year-old girl.

Young Reader Reaction: Even though this is a book about a boy and his dog, our daughter immediately saw herself and HER dog in the stories. Reading was sidetracked several times while she told her own doggy tales. Since that first time when we read the book together, she has picked it up herself to read.

Adult Reader Reaction: Ben and Aggie are adorable. The author effectively not only speaks with a child's logic, but has their sense of humor, too. The illustrations fill most of the pages, helping to keep the text to a minimum. Although the book is three separate stories, the image-to-text balance make it enticing to read the whole thing in one sitting.

Pros: Puppy-loving children will see themselves in this book for emerging readers.

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. Because of the text-to-picture ratio, this is an excellent story for reading with preschoolers. They will enjoy listening to the story just as much as emerging readers.


Educational Themes: The boy-and-his-pet theme is timeless, and the author gives us a refreshing set of stories. Parents who want to talk about the responsibility of owning a pet might find this helpful, though it would take a little stretching. This is a must-have book for building reading confidence.

Literary Categories: Fiction - animal characters, short stories, easy reader series, humor

Date(s) Reviewed: March 2009

Other Reviews: See Critics' Reviews and reader feedback at and


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