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Let's Get a Pup #1

"Let's Get a Pup!" Said Kate

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The Barnes & Noble Review
A little girl's dream comes true -- twice -- in this outstanding picture book from gifted author/illustrator Bob Graham. After her cat, Tiger, dies, Kate needs another companion to love, someone to keep her feet warm at night. "Let's get a pup!" she proclaims as she bounces in bed with Mom and Dad. The young parents are quite cool with the idea and scan the papers until they find a Rescue Center. There they find a wide assortment of pooches: "sniffers, sleepers...fighters and biters...happy dogs, sad dogs." And then they see Dave. Dave is perfect -- small, cute, and brand-new. Content to leave with the new member of the family, they spot another dog, Rosy, who is old and gray and can barely stand up. But, as Graham so beautifully states, "she radiated Good Intention." Now they want Rosy too, but they can't save every dog, right? So, they reluctantly leave. That night the family can barely sleep, and only due in part to Dave's crying. They know what they have to do -- they go to the shelter and get Rosy.

Graham uses pen-and-ink and watercolor to reveal the close-knit and very hip family. With Mom's tattoo and nose ring, and Dad's ear-pierced, funky look, this parental duo reflects the times. And their house, filled with the tiny details that make up our lives, makes for cozy reading. Uneaten toast on the counter, with shoes and toys strewn on the floor, will be familiar to young readers who don't have Donna Reed as a mother. Graham's signature watercolors are a perfect match for this easygoing and loving group. The text also complements the pace of the story. When they see their new pup, the name "Dave" is in bold, and is the only word on the page. And when they leave Rosy behind, white space and a minimum of words convey their heartbreaking decision.

With expert storytelling and humorously endearing illustrations,
Graham once again creates a loving family with unconventional folks. Their love of pups, and each other, is sure to tug at the heartstrings of every young reader. (Amy Barkat)

32 pages, Hardcover

First published June 4, 2001

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About the author

Bob Graham

98 books75 followers
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.

An Australian children's author and illustrator. His books include Max, which won the Nestlé Smarties Book Prize Gold Award, Jethro Byrd, Fairy Child, which won the Kate Greenaway Medal, and "Let's Get A Pup!" Said Kate which won the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award

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5 stars
243 (41%)
4 stars
221 (37%)
3 stars
110 (18%)
2 stars
13 (2%)
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4 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 151 reviews
Profile Image for Laima.
207 reviews
June 28, 2013
Great story!
I really like that the family is more representative of what people are actually like today. Mom has a tattoo, dad wears t shirts; the house is messy, not perfect. These laid back and understanding young parents take their daughter Kate to a shelter to adopt a pup. They end up adopting two dogs; a young spirited pup named Dave and an old, big dog named Rosy.

Kate is happy now that she has two new friends to keep her company since her cat Tiger died.

I like the message that this book sends. Adopt a dog that needs a home. Initially Kate wanted a pup. She got Dave but Rosy seemed so perfect for them that the family returned to the shelter the next day and adopted her too.

I used to volunteer at an animal shelter and I've seen it happen. The animal chooses the owner. It's difficult to explain but an animal can have a positive reaction with some people and not with others. I see this happening in the story with Rosy. Overall, a feel good story with a happy ending.

Profile Image for Kathryn.
4,250 reviews
March 15, 2011
I love this book so much it's difficult for me to write a review. It is, for me, absolutely perfect. It's the story of Kate, who wants a puppy and gets one. But it is so much more than that. It's about loving something so much you will never get over missing it, but you will come to realize your can love again. It's about having expectations for what you want in your new companion--and finding it. And then being surprised that you might still need more. It's about realizing that the heart can hold endless amounts of love and compassion--and that all beds feel more secure when a sweet, furry creature curls up at the foot of the bed to anchor it.

The book will create many emotions but for me the one most paramount is joy. The ending is wonderful! What may have been a rather melancholy subject (animals in shelters) is treated with the utmost respect and a sense of gravity without being depressing and Kate and her family are inspiring in extending their love and compassion to animals who would be overlooked by those seeking purebred perfection. Also, the story is full of gentle, delightful humor. I love the illustrations; this family is so wonderfully "real" from the places the family holds conversations to the toys scattered around on the floor of the kitchen (not in a messy way but in a, hey, this house is meant to be lived in and loved sort of way) it just seems so natural and such warm and loving family.

Highly recommended and I'm so grateful my GoodReads friend Lisa recommended it to me! :-)
Profile Image for Lisa Vegan.
2,763 reviews1,218 followers
January 26, 2011

From the incredibly lovely and poetic last line all the way back to the start of the book, this story is wonderful. It’s about a family who had a cat that died, and now go to adopt a dog, and end up with somewhat more than they bargained for.

The story and pictures are very poignant and also funny. Great rhyming too!

This is a wonderful book about dog adoption and it’s also about a wonderful and normal family, but a slightly unconventional one too. And the author-illustrator made some unusual choices that I love. For instance, in one picture Kate is sitting on the toilet, a perfectly normal activity but one that isn’t seen that often in picture books.

I love the illustrations of all the dogs, the interiors, and the people were okay enough, actually quite interesting although not my favorite aesthetically. But overall, perfect pictures to match the story.

I have the sequel at home too and I’m excited that I’ll get to read it immediately.
Profile Image for Karen Witzler.
477 reviews157 followers
October 8, 2018
Great story about a family searching for the perfect pet at a Dog Rescue Center. I love the messy family, the deep understanding of the dog-family bond, and that wonderful cliffhanger moment written into the middle of the story; Kate finds her pup, but will Rosy the big old lonely dog find her home? Of course, she will! This book ends with a deep surge of contentment and joy.
Profile Image for Abigail.
7,116 reviews186 followers
September 11, 2019
The end of Kate's bed had been a lonely place, since the death of her cat Tiger the winter before. Then one morning, the irrepressible young girl jumped out of bed, careened into her parents' room, and shouted: "Let's Get a Pup!" And so began the family's journey toward a new animal companion, as they set out for the local Rescue Center, where they found the perfect little puppy: adorable, enthusiastic Dave. They also found a winsome, sweet older dog named Rosy, but sadly, had to leave her behind. Or did they...?

I enjoyed this delightful picture-book about finding the perfect canine companion(s), and found the conclusion, in which Kate, Mom, Dad, Dave and Rosy are all one happy family, immensely heartwarming. I note with some amusement that Bob Graham's excellent artwork, which I particularly loved because it depicts a contemporary family - Mom has a tattoo, and a nose ring, Dad is a little scruffy, and has a few earrings - and a realistic home (various belongings and toys everywhere), has apparently stirred up some controversy, amongst those who are convinced that Dad's t-shirt, in some of these illustrations, features a cigarette, or even a joint! I have to wonder about the eyesight of some of these concerned readers, as the image is clearly that of a match - one that is lit up when he is enthusiastic, and sizzles out when he is sad. Of course, there's always the reviewer that can see it's a match, but objects anyway, as this might give children the wrong idea about playing with matches! Ha! I guess her child won't ever be reading The Little Match Girl - who knows what dangerous habits that might encourage?!?

Leaving aside these curious (and seemingly willful) misinterpretations, "Let's Get a Pup," Said Kate is a just an engaging family and animal story, one which emphasizes the joys of canine companionship, and the importance of compassion (note that the family goes to a rescue shelter to find a pet). Recommended to all young dog lovers, or to any children who like dog stories.
Profile Image for Kelly H. (Maybedog).
2,496 reviews222 followers
October 27, 2015
This book has received numerous awards and it's no surprise why. It stars off as a typical book about a kid who wants a dog but ends up a loving tribute to dogs in shelters everywhere.

Here's the gist of the story and why I think it's so great:

As a rescuer of I am thrileld by this book and it's message. Suitable for all ages.
Profile Image for Carolinee.
22 reviews
May 19, 2015
Even though this picture book seems to depict an ideal story because of the happy family who easily agrees to adopt two dogs, it also presents the ordinary side of life. Parents have easy-going attitude towards life, they have tattoos and piercings, wear baggy clothes and their house is quite messy. However, they create a loving family for their daughter. They care about each other, spend a lot of time together and hug quite often. I think that the book presents a good attitude towards animals which should be followed by everybody—instead of buying a small puppy, the family decides to take it from the shelter. I think that children may learn a lot from this book because it presents a lot of positive values e.g. responsibility for others. When it comes to illustrations, the characters are usually standing close to each other which emphasizes their close relationship. I like the distinct style of drawing characters—they are not perfect and thanks to it the book is more realistic. The colors are bright and they evoke positive emotions which accompany the family throughout the whole story.
Profile Image for Peacegal.
9,945 reviews90 followers
January 3, 2011
Let’s Get a Pup! Said Kate is a wonderful book for humane education, dealing with pet loss, shelter adoption, and adopting older pets. Every animal shelter with an outreach program needs this gem on their bookshelf.

Let’s Get a Pup!’s illustrations are unique in that they are very real, in a way not normally seen in children’s picture books. The family’s home is cluttered in the way that homes tend to be. Dad has an earring, and Mom has a flower tattoo on her arm. (Considering that 40 percent of Americans between the ages of 26 and 40 have at least one tattoo , there are no doubt quite a few tattooed Moms out there.)

The book has caused some hand-wringing because the father at one point has what appears to be a picture of a cigarette on his t-shirt. A closer examination reveals that the image is actually a lit match (his t-shirt changes to match his mood) meant to signify the family’s sudden idea.
March 18, 2012
Great story with thoughtful illustrations. Brought my 5 year old son to tears, not sobbing tears, but tears that mean the story touched his heart. He recently lost a pet fish and just generally loves animals.

I recommend this book to all pet lovers.
Profile Image for Kristine.
26 reviews
August 31, 2017
What to do when you've come to the Rescue Centre, chosen your perfect young pup, Dave... and then you spot Rosy?

"She was old and grey and broad as a table... she stood, it seemed, almost politely. Her eyes watered, her ears went back, and she radiated Good Intention.
'My wish for you,' said Dad, 'is that you could lie on someone's living-room floor.'
'Or on their couch,' said Mum.
'Or on someone's bed,' said Kate.
Mum's voice shook.
'We would take them all if we could, but what can we do?'

* * *
During a clean-out of my teenage son's room, my husband and son and I came across this childhood book, and reviewed it together with our own adopted senior dog at our feet. Like the tale's lovely Rosy -- like this book itself -- our dog radiates Good Intention. Brilliantly warm and compassionate, without being the least bit preachy, and with a lovely down-to-earth portrayal of a modern family, this book would get ten stars from me if Goodreads would let me give it that many. Heartwarming <3
305 reviews3 followers
November 16, 2020
This is a great story about Kate who longs for a new puppy. The next morning, she goes to the dog rescue centre with her family and they find a puppy, Dave, to rehome. However, they also see Rosie who really needs a loving home too. Even though they all love Dave, they keep thinking about Rosie so the next day they go back to the rescue centre and bring her home too. They end up being a happy, loving family completed by the two dogs. I think this is really nice as lots of children would love a puppy but showing that rescue dogs are also lovely and make great pets is great. The illustrations are colourful and help to depict the busy family life which adds to the story really well. I think this could be enjoyed by children in FS and KS1.
Profile Image for Shelley.
81 reviews
April 28, 2018
A heartwarming story of a little girl's family quest to add a shelter dog to their family. I particularly love reading this story to classes because of it's none "Ozzie and Harriet" family members who many children can identify with. It lets them know that every family can rescue a shelter dog, even theirs.
Profile Image for Neda.
429 reviews77 followers
July 31, 2018
A very heart-touching picturebook! I mean you really feel for the dogs and how they are lonely.
Plus the illustrations are also very special and typical of Bob Graham! I just loved them.
Profile Image for Jo ☾.
247 reviews
April 28, 2010
Kate wakes up one morning and decides she wants a pup to keep her feet company at the end of her bed (her cat Tiger used to do this but Tiger died last year) so the family heads off to The Rescue Center. The center for dogs without a home. The center for dogs all alone. There they find all kinds of different dogs but fall in love with a pup named Dave and he's all that they want.

Until they see Rosy. An old, gray dog who struggles to her feet and stands politely looking at them. Now this is the part that breaks my heart into a million pieces. Mom and Dad tell Rosy their wishes. "To lie on someone's living room floor," says Dad. "Or on their couch," says Mom. "Or on someone's bed," says Kate ... and with many a backward glance they slowly walk away from a sad looking Rosy with her head hung down.

Heartbreaking image! The next morning Kate tells Mom and Dad she couldn't sleep because Dave was crying all night so she brought him into bed with her and Mom and Dad tell Kate they couldn't sleep because they spent all night wishing. So the family piles back into the car and back to The Rescue Center where they give Rosy lots of cuddles and take her home! The ending had me in tears as we see all of the family's wishes for Rosy coming true.

There's one particular image where we see Rosy spread out on her back, sleeping on Kate's bed, and both the pup Dave and Kate cuddled up beside her. Absolutely precious.

Oh Bob Graham, I love you. <3 A sweet book with adorable illustrations and a wonderful, wonderful message.

I LOVE the fact that Mom and Dad aren't exactly illustrated to look like the typical Mom and Dad found in children's picture books. Mom has a tattoo of a blue flower on her arm and a nose ring and is sporting some funky short hair and Dad has earrings and stubble. Love it!

I can't wait to read the sequel, "The Trouble with Dogs..." Said Dad.
Profile Image for Chelsie Morrison.
29 reviews4 followers
October 30, 2012
"Let's Get a Pup!" Said Kate gives a very modern look into the lives of a family searching for dog. Kate's cat has just died and she is left very lonely. Kate decides that she would like to get a pup and asks her parents for one. Her parents browse through the paper and see an add for the Rescue Centre for dogs without homes. At the centre they fall in love with a small dog named Dave. On their way out, however, they meet a dog named Rosy whom they also love. Realizing they can't take all the dogs, they take Dave and head home. Dave cries all night and the family returns to the shelter to take Rosy home as well. With both of the dogs at home, Kate is no longer lonely and the two dogs are very happy together.

From looking at the cover, one can tell that this book does not describe the "stereotypical" children's book family. The mother has a nose piercing and a tattoo and the dad has a piercing as well. The family's house is not tidy or clean, and the child and parents do not succumb to the "perfect" family that many children's books do. The book describes a very real and modern family and a very "real" story. I enjoyed the book because though everything worked out nicely at the end, it was a story that many children can relate to and could very likely happen. I also enjoyed that the "brand new dog" came from a shelter, showing the importance of rescuing an animal and giving them homes. The illustrations were very bright and colorful, and many children will be able to relate to the realistic characters.

The only thing truly keeping me from giving this book 5 stars are the clothing choices of the parents. Though I understand the reasoning behind making them a modern or average family, I greatly disapprove of the father wearing a shirt with a cigarette on it. This is a CHILDREN'S book and there should not be the encouragement of smoking or any harmful activity, no matter how subtle.

This book would be good for younger elementary students, grades k-2, as the content and text is not very difficult and the text is short.
Profile Image for Dolly.
Author 1 book643 followers
September 1, 2018
I must admit that the parents in this story made me do a double-take the first time we read this book. They are certainly not the conventional image of parents we see in most picture books, and I doubt I would have ever seen a book like this when I was a child. But I suppose that it reflects the changing styles of contemporary society, with tattoos and piercings becoming more of the norm.

The story is very sweet and I love that the family adopts from the pet shelter. The narrative is short and entertaining, with little rhyming parts that are fun to read aloud.

The illustrations are cartoonish, but they nicely depict a range of emotions as the family makes decisions about adding a new member (or two.) We really enjoyed reading this story together and we were excited that we were able to read the sequel to this story, "The Trouble with Dogs..." Said Dad immediately after this one.

This book was selected as one of the books for the July 2013 - Cats and Dogs discussion at the Picture-Book Club in the Children's Books Group here at Goodreads.

This book was also selected as one of the books for the September 2018 - Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Picture Book Winners 2000-2009 discussion at the Picture-Book Club in the Children's Books Group here at Goodreads.
Profile Image for Debi Rutter.
12 reviews1 follower
December 15, 2013
This is a lovely book for young children, the characters are accessible, reflecting as they do, modern family life - parents with piercings and tattoos! The characters really talk to the readers, with simple but meaningful text.
The story is about choosing the right dog from a rescue centre, but discovering that what you think you want might not always be what you need. The family decide to replace a dead cat with a puppy, to sleep on the end of the bed where the cat used to sleep. This little starter deals with loss and remembrance, and moving on with life very succinctly, and in a matter-of-fact way that is easy for children to comprehend.
When the family arrive at the rescue home they find exactly what they are looking for, a lively little dog with bags of bounce. However, before they take their chosen dog home they see another dog, a large old smelly dog who looks lovingly at them but does not fit their list of requirements. They go home and the pup settles in, he sleeps where the cat used to sleep, and keeps the little girls feet company 'in the space at the bottom of her bed'.
The next day they all discuss how sad they feel about the old dog they left behind. The family immediately get back in the car and go back to the rescue centre, I must admit there was a bit of fear here for the pup, I initially thought they would take him back and swap him. But NO, they collected the old dog as well, and they all went home together, the smelly old dog had a bath and found herself as a pat dog for dad, the pup jumped all over everyone including the old dog and both dogs slept on the end of the bed in a huddle with the little girls feet!
A great book that could be used to explore differences in abilities and how that affects contributions to society.
12 reviews1 follower
May 2, 2012
A picture book which could be used in lower KS2, tells the story of Kate's exciting journey of choosing a dog from a rescue centre. At the rescue centre Kate and her parents look at all the different dogs in the rescue centre and they see Dave, an excited and "brand-new" dog. However they then see Rosy,an old, grey dog, they have chosen Dave so they have to leave Rosy behind. Kate and her parents make a wish for Rosy, as they leave her in the rescue centre. The next day they all feel the same for Rosy and return to the rescue centre, to take her home. All their wishes for Rosy comes true; to lie on someone's living room floor,or their couch or bed. Kate now has two dogs in her bed who keep her warm at night.

It is a lovely book, it could possibly be used in a PHSE lesson for discussion. Kate initially wanted a "brand new dog", instead of going to a pet shop the family go to a rescue centre and have two dogs in the end. Lots of speech, use of adjectives, similies, so it would be perfect for Year 3. The illustrations shows a mum you would not typically see in a picture book; Kate's mum has a tatoo and a nose ring, which makes the book more realistic.
11 reviews1 follower
May 1, 2013
This book was so cute! It shows a struggle that almost every family goes through, the decision of a family pet. Whether is a dog, cat, fish, or hamster, there are always choices to make once you get to that pet store, and just like others have said, "you can't save all of them right?" Well, in this picture book, we see the struggle a family has between a pup and the older grey haired dog. They leave with just the pup and its depicted through bold text and bright pictures, but when they remind themselves they left Rosy, the text gets smaller and the page goes blank, to show the remource they felt for not saving that dog too. What is heart warming is that they go back! My family have left animals behind too, and I was never able to go back and pick up a second so this book really makes my childhood dream come true! A must read for kids, but be careful you aren't about to go adopt a pup! You may end up with two.
Profile Image for Ivonne Rovira.
1,903 reviews199 followers
July 8, 2015
I teach at an alternative school for pregnant and parenting teenagers. Most books feature pretty mainstream parents in their 30s -- not the kind of people to whom my students can fully relate.

What a godsend this book is for my girls! Quite a few of them sport tattoos, and nearly all of them have piercings. Sure, they look different than their elders, but they love their children just as much. How nice that they finally have a book that features a family like theirs. And the sweet story about adopting a pet is an added attraction.

For anyone working with teen parents or parents-to-be, this is a must.
Profile Image for Stacy Slater.
113 reviews3 followers
September 27, 2009
When Kate's feet are lonely at the end of her bed following the passing of Tiger the cat, she decides the time is right to get a pup. She and her parents make the trip to the animal rescue center, searching for the perfect pup. They see dogs of all shapes, sizes, and temperaments before finding Dave, the pup of their dreams. And then they see Rosy -- old, arthritic, and fat, but radiating good intentions. This is a book for dog lovers of all ages and one that teaches a subtle lesson about compassion to younger readers.
Profile Image for Beverly.
5,166 reviews4 followers
September 3, 2018
This book very much tugged at my heart! Such a wonderful story, and such colorful characters, both human and canine. The reader just gets a sense that this is such a loving family, that they have room in their hearts and home to extend to homeless shelter dogs. The long row of dogs in the shelter kennels was so sad! The cartoon-style illustrations are perfect for the story. The facial expressions on people and dogs are priceless. This book well-deserved its many accolades.
Profile Image for Megan Daley.
22 reviews18 followers
February 18, 2011
I am a sucker for a good dog book, and there are NOT many out there. This one is just perfect. Rosie and Dave are rescued by Kate's family from the Rescue Centre 'the centre for dogs without a home, the centre for dogs all alone'.

Rosie and Dave are everything dogs should be and more.

This is Bob Graham at his finest.
Profile Image for Sarah Higginson.
6 reviews1 follower
November 10, 2015
I really enjoyed reading this book! The illustrations in this book are great as they represent an image of a realistic, modern family. The ending was really enjoyable as it goes above expectations that the family themselves, had. Definitely worth a read!!
Profile Image for RachelAnne.
596 reviews72 followers
April 13, 2009
Bob Graham is brilliant. I love his slightly funky young parents and exuberant children. This book celebrates the joys of finding a new dog--and the beauty of finding an old dog, too.
Profile Image for J and E.
24 reviews
September 18, 2020
So, so beautiful. I love this book. I tear up every time and my heart strings aren't that easy to pull, such a lovely story to share with children. One of my favourites.
March 19, 2019
This is the story about a girl named Kate who wanted a puppy that could sleep at the end of her bed. Kate asked her parents so they went down to the local animal shelter to pick one out. Kate wanted a little, brand-new puppy who could run around do tricks. And she found just that! Kate and her parents knew that the tiny puppy Dave was just right for them. But as they were leaving they saw a big, old dog named Rosy. They wished that they could take her home too but they knew they couldn't help all of the dogs at the shelter. The next day, Kate and her parents had a nagging in the back of their minds that something just wasn't right. They knew they needed to go back and get Rosy too. So they brought Rosy home and she fit right in. Kate now had 2 puppies to keep her feet warm at night.

I liked this book a lot! While the vocabulary throughout the book was easy to understand, there was also some more complicated and goofy words. I liked how the artists depicted the parents. They weren't the typical parents you would expect to see in a children's book but I felt like the unique way the author depicted the parents was something that lots of kids could relate to.

This book could be used during a language session targeting opposites as there are many lists of opposites comparing the dogs in the book. The client could pick out the opposite words on the page and come up with one more for each word set. This book could also be used to target inferencing sine there are many questions/statements throughout the book that elude to something on the next page.
10 reviews
September 6, 2019
The story of a family who go to an animal shelter to adopt a puppy after the girl, Kate, is left feeling lonely as their cat died. They go to the shelter looking for a small and excitable puppy who they find straight away. But then they also meet a dog called Rosy who is old and grey and the family wish that she could 'lie on someone's living room floor', 'or on their couch', 'or on someone's bed'. The illustrations show the family slowly walking away, leaving a very sad looking Rosy. But the family are restless that night and so they return to the shelter the next day to adopt Rosy. And all of their wishes come true.

The story acknowledges that children may feel lonely when they have lost a pet, and therefore can be relatable for the children and invite discussions surrounding the deaths of animals/pets.
The illustrations of the book also provide a more realistic image of modern families, perhaps unconventional in the children's story book world, as the parents have piercings and tattoos and the house is messy.
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