In this British import, a little boy named Max acquires his first pet, a large puppy named Monty.
As the story opens, Max is holding his favorite stuffed animal, a blue dog named Snuffly Poo. Max’s parents tell him that he is old enough now to have a real dog, but he will have to care for his new pet himself. Max chooses the largest puppy available, an energetic black-and-white dog as big as Max himself. Monty the pup is full of energy during the day and doesn’t want to sleep in his dog bed on his first night in his new home. Max tries repeatedly to get Monty to sleep, employing tactics similar to those used by parents to get their children to sleep. The exhausted boy finally crawls into the dog’s bed (along with the family cat) to cuddle up together with the big puppy. The final spread shows boy and cat asleep, with Monty still awake and winking at readers. And that’s pretty much it. An extra-large format and bright, cheery illustrations in citrus shades provide visual appeal, but the simple plot is predictable and the text, less energetic than the exuberant puppy deserves.
Attractive illustrations don’t make up for a less-than-compelling story. (Picture book. 3-6)