By Bianca Schulze, The Children’s Book Review
Published: April 23, 2009
by Kate Feiffer (author), Tricia Tusa (illustrator)
Reading level: Ages 8-12
Hardcover: 208 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books (February 24, 2009)
What to expect: Dogs, Lost and found possesions, Family
Kids that enjoy reading will have a lot of fun with this one. Kate Feiffer has developed a story jam-packed with entertaining word play. She has done a great job of providing an endearing tale of a dysfunctional family. Mr. and Mrs. Puddle can not agree on anything — not even their daughter’s name. Mrs. Puddle calls her Emily and Mr. Puddle calls her Ferdinanda, but she is known to the rest of us as Baby. You might believe that this is in actual fact the problem with the puddles. You’re not wrong in assuming so, but the problem in this story is that they have lost their dogs who both happen to be named Sally. You guessed it, Mr. and Mrs. Puddle could not agree on names for the dogs either. The twists and turns of the story lead to a surprising and happy ending.
Throughout the story Feiffer often directs questions to the reader, which allows us to feel a greater connection to the story. Illustrator, Tricia Tusa, has done a wonederful job of furthering that connection with her quirky and very suitable illustrations rendered in pencil, crayon, and watercolor. There is almost a picture on every page making it a great choice for kids that are new to the more serious layout of chapter books. Sarah Pennypacker, author of the Clementine series, said, “The problem with the Puddles is a blast from first page to last. My only complaint is that I didn’t write it!”
Excerpt from chapter one:
Every day clouds zipped across the sky until they got to the Puddle property. No one knew why. All anyone knew was that when a cloud did get to the Puddles’ house, it stopped. It took time out of its busy schedule to hang out for a while and practice its shape-making. It was as if the cloud suddenly forgot it was heading to a hurricane in Florida or an important blizzard in Canada. Perhaps it knew a family named Puddle lived below, or perhaps, as Baby Puddle believed, there was a big sign in the sky above their house that said STOP FOR PUDDLES.
Add this book to your collection: The Problem with the Puddles