HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Puppy Love: Puppy Patrol #16
Author: Jenny Dale
Illustrator: Mick Reid
Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks, republished in 2002
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: Ages 8 and up
Rating: **** 4 stars (GOOD)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Dale, Jenny. Puppy Love: Puppy Patrol #16 (copyrighted in 1998 by Working Partners Limited and published by Macmillan Children’s Books, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd., 25 Eccleston Place, London SW1W 9NF, England; republished in 2002 by Scholastic Inc., 555 Broadway, New York City, NY 10012). Bob and Carole Parker live in the small northern country town of Compton, which is not far from Manchester, along with their children Neil, Emily, and five-year-old Sarah. The Comptons run the King Street Kennels. Sarah helps to rescue a little mixed breed mountain dog puppy that is trapped in a badger’s den on neighbor Harry Grey’s farm. She names him Digger and becomes very attached to him, even though the plan is to find another home for him.
However, there is danger on the loose in the Parkers’ community. Something vicious that is being called “The Compton Beast” is roaming the hills and fields outside of town and scaring people. What is it? Some people think that it might be Tank, mean old Mr. Mullins’s husky. Neil and Emily and their friends try to find out. Then Digger goes missing. What happened to him? Did “The Compton Beast” get him? Will he need to be rescued again? When I first saw this book, I assumed that it was just another of those “cute little animal pet” books for kids. There is an attempt at some cuteness in it, but I must admit that there is more to it than just that.
The mystery surrounding “The Compton Beast” gives the story an element of excitement and adventure. There is nothing major in the way of objections, including no bad language. Sarah’s attitude leaves a little to be desired at times, but we can be charitable by attributing it to her being only five years old and wanting to protect her puppy. Kids who like reading about animals should enjoy the book. There are fifteen previous books in the “Puppy Patrol” series: Teacher’s Pet, Big Ben, Abandoned!, Double Trouble, Star Paws, Tug of Love, Saving Skye, Tuff’s Luck, Red Alert, The Great Escape, Perfect Puppy, Sam and Delilah, The Sea Dog, Puppy School, and A Winter’s Tale. The next one is Best of Friends. Another book titled Puppy Love is #1 of “The Pet Patrol” series written by Betsy Duffey, illustrated by Susanna Natti, and published by Puffin in 1994.