So, No Room for a Pup by Elizabeth Suneby and illustrated by Laurel Molk is a good/bad story. On the one hand, it’s a really cute tale about a little girl who wants a puppy in her life, but on the other, it’s a slightly problematic tale about a kid and her grandmother who go behind the backs of parents and reasonable logic all for the emotional desire of having a dog.
The book follows young Mia as she requests and mulls over her desire for a dog. Of course, as she and her family live in a rather small apartment, getting a dog isn’t really all that feasible. But when Mia’s grandmother sees how much she wants a puppy, she sneakily assists Mia not only in getting a puppy but hiding it in her parent’s apartment without even consulting with them. The end result is that, naturally, they now have no choice but to keep the dog.
The truth of the matter is that this is an incredibly adorable story with wonderful and excessively cute artwork that a part of you can’t help but adore. But then it’s also worrisome in its message. It suggests that it’s okay to sneak behind your parent’s back in order to force their hand on getting you that dog you so desperately want. While parents can certainly supplement this book with a discussion about the issues that the story brings up, but even then…why should they?
In so many ways, this book should have been more about Mia’s hard work to prove to her parents that she can take care of a dog and finding logical solutions to the fact that there’s little room for a dog in an apartment. It even could have been about the Grandmother getting a dog that Mia would help out with since she lived in her own apartment. What it should not have been about was a Grandmother helping a child to sneak a dog into the apartment.
I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.