Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Children's Book Review: Natalie Wants A Puppy

I received Natalie Wants a Puppy (That's Nat!) by Dandi Daley Mackall as a free download on my Kindle.  This book is also available in paperback format.  The book is part of the "That's Nat!" series of Christian fiction books published by Zonderkidz (Zondervan) Press. 
This book is a short chapter book that would be appropriate for beginning readers.  It would also be a good read-aloud book for younger children. 
Natalie is starting her last week in kindergarten.  She becomes Detective Nat because strange things are happening around her house.  Her parents are whispering, secretive and acting extremely happy.  Natalie believes something is going on and she is determined to find out what is happening.  She listens to her mother talking on the telephone and hears the word "adopt".  She remembers a boy in her school went to a place called "Adopt-A-Pet" and came home with a new puppy.  Natalie believes she has solved the mystery...she is going to get a new puppy!
Natalie soon finds out that her parents are using the word "adopt" because they are going to fly to China and adopt a baby boy.  This little boy has had a rough start in life and has had surgery on his mouth to correct a cleft palate.
At first, Natalie is not happy that her parents are getting a new baby.  She has been "Only Natalie" for a long time.  To make matters worse, her parents are going to China and leaving Natalie at home with her grandmother.
This is a good story to share with children who will soon be getting a new brother or sister.  International adoption has become fairly common so this story is something that many families could benefit from.  The story portrays the family praying together and trusting God to show them the right things to do.  The story has a happy ending and Natalie gets a baby brother AND a new puppy.
This book is illustrated with several pictures in each chapter.  The book works well on the Kindle.  The black and white illustrations are large and humorous.  This book will please young Kindle users.  The story might remind you of the popular Junee B. Jones series.  Parents should note that the author writes the way children talk.  She sometimes uses incorrect grammar to make the conversation more realistic.  Some people will like this and some people won't.  This book will definitely fill a need for parents and teachers who are looking for books on adoption.
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