Ten Little Puppies


Is there anything more adorable than a warm, wiggly, wet-nosed little puppy all curled up next to you? Sure: Ten of them!

In Ten Little Puppies, by Alma Flor Ada, one adorable little girl sings a delightful counting song as she fawns over her ten scrumptious puppies. The puppies come in every size imaginable, from the robust and hardy Saint Bernard to the teeny, tiny Yorkshire Terrier.

Ten Little Puppies is based on a popular children’s counting song from Spain, so the text is written in both English and Spanish. As the pages turn, ten curious little puppies disappear one by one, until only one remains. Which one? Hey, I’m sure not telling. You’ll have to read the book for yourself to find out.

This is a sweet little counting book. The illustrations, by artist Ulises Wensell, offer picture book lovers the fluffiest four-legged friends with the warmest, most curious expressions you’ll ever see. The format of the disappearing puppies reminds me of other children’s counting books I’ve enjoyed in the past, like Ten Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed. And this one is sure to be just as big a hit at lap time.

I guess you can tell how much I enjoyed this book. It’s fun, it’s got nice, warm multicultural faces, and it’s super-informational, too. There’s a Spanish/English version of the Ten Little Puppies sheet music, and there’s even a mini-dictionary of the dog breeds represented in the book. How great is that?

However, as much as I love it, I must admit I was a little concerned about the puppy that came down with “doggy flu.” The author never explained what happened to the puppy after it’s flu, only that this made one less puppy in the bunch. As a mother, a teacher and a former dog-breeder, I know little children will ask plenty of questions about the sick little puppy, so I advise parents and teachers to be ready to explain.

Other than that, I find this book and it’s wonderful illustrations a great addition to any child’s growing library. Highly recommended for lap time, and for counting time in the elementary math class.

Best wishes and happy dog-walking,

Rita Lorraine