I fell in love with this book, the main character and the book's author, Marc Brown. A wonderful story that tells of the importance of responsibility, in general.
Age Appropriate: The reviews read kindergarten – 3rd grade. The story is definitely for older children. I tested it last night on my 16 month old and we managed to get through about half the story as I read aloud. However, the illustrations are cute and the book is about animals so there was plenty for my little guy to point to and check out.
Review: The story discusses the concept of responsibility in the context of wanting a pet, and then proving responsibility by starting a business and caring for pets and their owners. Arthur, at first, secretly wanting a puppy. Then, of course, his sister blurts out the secret at the dinner table. Arthur's parents explain that a puppy is a big responsibility and agrees to think about allowing him to have one. His parents agree to let Arthur have a puppy but before moving forward ask that he show them that he is responsible. Arthur takes this task very seriously and sets out to start his own pet business. He is thoughtful and very caring of his clients and their pets. His optimism does not come without peril as some of his client's pets, like Perky, are a handful. The story is lovely and simple. The author, Marc Brown, takes the very BIG topic of “responsibility” and boils it down so that even the little ones can understand the lesson. He displays the difficulties of starting a business but in the end how the hard work rewards Arthur. Bravo!
1. Introduce choices and trade-offs to your children. Is wanting a puppy worth the extra work of starting a business? Ask your child how he or she might show that he or she is responsible. Would he or she get a job? What kind of job?
2. Talk about “goods and services” with running a pet business. Ask your child more about why Arthur's clients need a pet service, why they might be willing to pay Arthur for his services and how much they might be willing to pay him.
3. Talk about customers and service providers. What is Arthur's role? Who are his customers? Why must he take his job seriously?