Charley’s First Night by Amy Hest is a heartwarming story that couldn’t seem any more appropriate as winter draws closer and closer. This story follows a puppy’s first night at his new home – Henry has just brought Charlie home as winter’s first snow falls from the sky. Henry’s parents have set up rules about the new addition to the family, which includes where he sleeps. However, being the first night, Charlie has a tough time sleeping and Henry does everything he can to comfort his new puppy and make sure he is okay. In the end, Charlie and Henry are able to fall asleep next to each other, all warm and cozy in bed.
One can’t help but fall in love with this beautifully written and illustrated picture book. There is no doubt that many children can relate to the thrills that Henry feels about bringing home a new puppy, and being very alert about the puppy’s wellbeing. The text is very easy to read, the font evokes a feeling of warmth and innocence. The illustrations are realistic, but the soft line use make the illustrations extremely easy and inviting to the eyes, and will captivate a young readers heart immediately. The puppy is adorable, and the readers are there with Henry and Charlie the entire time. Readers will fall in love and invest in the characters, and this is a great book both for the classroom and home. It truly is the beginning of a beautiful friendship, and the beginning of a bond that is everlasting.
I definitely recommend this book for young readers. This picture book could be a great storybook reading book at bedtime, or it could be a great circle time story. There is no doubt that this is an uplifting and heart-melting story that could be incorporated into different content areas, such as language arts or social studies.