Charley's First Night
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Charley's First Night

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4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  269 ratings  ·  100 reviews
Two of our most beloved picture book creators team up to tell a classic story of a child, his new puppy, and a first night home.

On Charley’s first night, Henry carries his new puppy in his old baby blanket all the way to his house. He shows Charley every room, saying, "This is home, Charley." He says that a lot so that Charley will know that he is home. Henry’s parents are...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published October 9th 2012 by Candlewick Press (first published September 1st 2012)
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Kathryn
4.5 STARS

So sweet! I love the gentle writing style and the lovely illustrations with just a hint of old-fashioned charm. I love how the little boy in the story is so sensitive and thoughtful about his new puppy and helping his puppy get through his first night in his new home. It's so endearing.

A few aspects kept this from being a five-star book for me. For example, it seemed unrealistic that the parents would have slept through the puppy's whining and let the little boy tend to him all through...more
Joanna Marple
This is home. That’s what I told Charley when we got home. And I showed him all the rooms including my room…. “This is home.” I said that a lot so Charley could know he was home.

This is a sweet, warm story of a puppy’s first night with his new family. Henry Korn brought his new puppy, Charley, home wrapped in a blanket, that first, snowy night and showed Charley around. With some lovely repetitive text, Hest describes that Henry’s parents make it clear who will be responsible for feeding an wal...more
Angela Bailey
Title / Author / Publication Date:
Charley's first night. / Amy Hest. Helen Oxenbury (ill.). / 2012.

Genre: Fiction.

Format: Easy Reader - print.

Plot summary:
"A little boy spending his first night with his new puppy promises to be responsible, but then decides to change the whimpering puppy's sleeping place" (NoveList).

Considerations or precautions for readers advisory:
pets, dogs, pet related responsibilities,

Review citation:
"Hest’s text has a real-world feel, especially in the scenes where Henr...more
Barbara
Sweet puppy alert! Sweet puppy alert! Henry has a new puppy, and their relationship is quickly blossoming into mutual adoration. Henry takes good care of Charley, the new puppy, picking him up when the snow outside is too deep. He listens carefully as his parents remind him of the responsibilities of pet ownership, and he makes sure Charley feels at home. But as often happens during anyone's first night in a new home, Charlie cries. Henry comes to his rescue, and comforts him. Despite his parent...more
Bruce
On a snowy night rescues a small puppy and brings him home. His parents allow him to keep the puppy he’s named Charley, as long as he promises to walk him, feed him, and that he sleeps in the kitchen. Henry agrees, but when Charley wakes up in the night, the sleeping in the kitchen promise becomes hard to keep.
Melissa
What a narrator; what a voice. Also, what a lovely depiction of a little boy as a caregiver. I like that we get a peek of Mom's face in the mirror in the morning and know that Charley and Henry are not in too much trouble. :)
Cheryl
This is a heartwarming story about a little boy who takes responsibility for the care of his new puppy, Charley. It's a sweet story about Charley's first night in his new home. The illustrations are wonderful too!
Donalyn
A precious book about a boy and his new puppy, Charlie. I dare you to read it without saying, "Aww!" at least once.
David
Charley's First Night by Amy Hest, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury tells the story of Henry, his brand new puppy Charley, and Charley's first night at Henry's home.

Oxenbury's detailed illustrations were done in pencil and watercolor. Larger illustrations are bordered, with the text (and a small illustration) on the opposite page, except for the final illustration. The endpapers show Charley in various positions. My favorite images are the cover, begging to be carried, accident, Dad talking to Henr...more
Tasha
Pure bliss, that’s what this book is. This is the story of Henry who brings Charley, a new puppy, home. When they get home, Henry makes sure to show Charley all around his new home, even showing him where his mother hides the birthday presents. Henry’s parents inform him that he’s the one in charge of walking Charley and feeding Charley. Henry is thrilled and can’t wait to do those things forever. Then there’s the discussion of where Charley is going to sleep. Henry knows that Charley wants to s...more
babyhippoface
Your first night in a new home can be unnerving, and that's especially true for a puppy who has left his mother and moved to an entirely new place with new humans and new smells.

Henry has a new puppy, Charley. Henry knows he will be the one in charge of feeding Charley, and walking Charley, and caring for Charley, because his parents told him so. They also told him that Charley is not to sleep in Henry's bed. Charley is to sleep on a pallet in the kitchen, under a table where the warm air comes...more
Margaret
By the cover image I wasn't exactly sure what to expect, but I was thinking it was some sort of winter read. However it does take place during the snowy season this is a book about a boy named Henry and his new puppy Charley. The pages are gorgeous with each illustration bordered giving it a fancy storybook feel. The illustrations fabulous and fun to view. I'm not sure I've been familiar with Helen Oxenbury before, but I'm a fan now. Amy Hest had my heart after Little Chick and I'm glad to read...more
Jessica Wenninger
This was a cute story about the first night Charley spent at home with his new owner. I can relate with Henry because the first couple of nights that my current dog was with us, she would howl like crazy. My parents eventually gave up just as Henry does and would let her sleep with them in their bed. I loved the layout of the book because it allowed you to focus on the text and pictures separately.
Melanie
Henry finds Charley in the snow. He wants to come home with him. So he wraps Charley in his old baby blanket and takes him home. At home his parents lay down the rules as to who will be walking and feeding Charley. Henry has no problem being in charge of Charley's care. His parents also make it clear that Charley will be sleeping in the kitchen, not in his bedroom.

Henry reluctantly leaves Charley in the kitchen with his favorite stuffed toy and a blanket. But Charley wakes up several times durin...more
Jim Erekson
This was like a prequel to Hest's other boy and his dog book, The Reader. I liked this one more, because it's about disobedience in the face of a Catch-22. It was a better narrative because of that conflict than The Reader. I appreciate the 'boy and his dog' from The Reader more now since reading Lu's review, and might have liked to see these books as a chapter book or even a series, something to allow another conflict-based narrative to bookend with Charley around the more benign story of The R...more
Rob Thelen
Written by Amy Hest, and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury, Charley's First Night is an absolutely adorable book about a boy and his dog. This book would be an excellent source in a primary classroom when teaching students about responsibility and taking care of others.
Jen
3.5 stars - Good!

This was a good book. The text was simple yet repetitive in a way that children would enjoy hearing and reading. The illustrations were charming. And the story being told was really nice: it was all about a puppy's first night with his new human. As a fairly new puppy parent myself, I could easily put myself in this human child's place. I would have done exactly the same: there's great comfort to be found for both puppy and human when you sleep in the same place. :)
Allison Parker
Full disclaimer: I'm a sucker for dog stories. Those who aren't might find this story sticky icky sweet. But if you remember the joy of your first pet, the way your mind starts reeling with imagining every glorious day after the first day, if you recall how easily it is to disregard parental advice about where a new animal will sleep, then this book will make you smile. Amy Hest's narrator describes not only what he's feeling as he brings a tiny little stray dog home, but he also lets the reader...more
Annie
Heart-meltingly cute!

Oh bliss... how could you not fall in love with little Charley, a puppy? Oxenbury's illustrations exude warmth and tenderness, as always, and are perfectly matched by the text of Charley's first night at home with Henry and his family.

There are accidents (oops) and Henry's parents' rules about caring for their new puppy. And, then there's Henry, who is obviously enamoured with Charley, and determined to be the best dog owner ever - to make Charley happy and at home.

I dare...more
Katie
Helen Oxenbury's charming illustrations earn this book 5 stars all on its own. They beautifully capture the love between a boy and his dog.

But the story by Amy Hest is equally satisfying. A great example of a "small moment" narrative, Charley's First Night tells of the first night Charley the dog spends at home with his new family, the Korns. Charley's owner Henry lovingly introduces Charley to all the important elements in the home, and rushes to Charley's side each time Charley wakes with a ho...more
Stacy
Helen Oxenbury’s cover art of softly brushed snowflakes, footprints, and gentle shadows invite readers of all ages to experience the home going of a new puppy. An exploration of the muted end pages introduces readers to Charley Korn’s fun-loving, puppy nature. Amy Hest’s first-person narrative artfully continues the familiar love story of a young boy and his dog. “Charley has brown eyes and mine are green and I told him we could be best friends if he wants and Charley looked in my eyes and I loo...more
Kim
Another quiet book that speaks to your heart.
Rachael
This was such a cute and warm book to read! Henry brings his new puppy home and shows him around the house. The text is repetitive in the sense that Henry is making sure Charley understands where his new home is. This would be appropriate in a younger setting classroom as the text is repetitive and is more suitable for younger readers that are learning to read. The illustrations are beautiful as they are warm and gentle. Definitely something a younger student would enjoy.
Barbara
Who doesn't love a new puppy? Amy Hest's charming book about a puppy's first night in a new home show every aspect of this familiar ritual for families. From the determination of the boy to take care of his new friend to parental wariness and doubt, the text and illustrations show every emotion as well as the sweet beginnings of a friendship between a boy and his dog. This would be a great story for parents to share with children who are determined to have a new pet.
Lu Benke
Lots to like in this book with just a few problems. Oxenbury's illustrations are lovable but maybe a bit too cutesy at times. The storyline starts so abruptly that I felt like I missed a first page that would have answered my questions. The best part came in the satisfaction of the little boy making the decision to go against his parents' directive to not have the dog sleep in his bed. Hest's writing made it feel like it could not have ended any other way.
Brandi
A lovely, quiet picture book about a child, his new puppy, and their first night together. Very sweet and warm.
Gps
What a charming book…full of Henry getting used to taking care of a dog, his parents' instructions, and Charley becoming accustomed to his new "home."
what a lovely story by Amy Hest…but I readily admit to being a lover of stories about dogs…to be enjoyed and savored...
Patty Schuster
Very cute book. Loved the illustrations that went along with the story. I loved how the little boy took care of his new puppy. It is a great book for children to read and relate too. The little boy had a responsibility to take care of his dog if he wanted to keep him. Also the book reminded me of the time when I got my first puppy and my parents told me to keep him in the cage but I ended up allowing him to sleep in my bed too.
Shawna
Henry is very excited about his new puppy, Charley and Henry's parents are very clear on how things will be with Charley. They make sure Henry knows who will take care of Charley and where Charley will sleep. Unfortunately, Charley doesn't like sleeping alone in the kitchen. Henry tries to help Charley adjust to his new home, telling him often so he will know it is his home. A sweet story with lovely illustrations.
Owlsome Readers
AR Level: 3.3
Points Value: 0.5
AR Quiz No. 154432
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Amy Hest is a three-time winner of the Christopher Medal and winner of the BOSTON GLOBE-HORN BOOK Award. She lives in New York City.
More about Amy Hest...
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