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Charley's First Night

4.02  ·  Rating Details ·  457 Ratings  ·  129 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
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published October 9th 2012 by Candlewick Press (first published September 1st 2012)
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(showing 1-30)
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Jan 04, 2013 Kathryn rated it really liked it

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
Joanna Marple
Jan 12, 2013 Joanna Marple rated it it was amazing
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
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
Jan 18, 2016 Marilyn rated it it was amazing
Puppies and kids, the perfect combination! I read this book and remembered all those times when I was little and loved on my new puppy. I was one of those kids that collected every stray animal in the neighbourhood, would come back home and say, "Please can we keep him?" My parents were so wonderful. They would look at each other and then grant me my wish. For as long as I can remember I had a love affair with all kinds of animals....but especially dogs .... so I could certainly identify with He ...more
Angela Bailey
Sep 29, 2013 Angela Bailey rated it really liked it
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
Apr 06, 2013 Bruce rated it it was amazing
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.
Oct 30, 2012 Melissa rated it really liked it
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. :)
Dec 14, 2012 Cheryl rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s, animals
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!
A precious book about a boy and his new puppy, Charlie. I dare you to read it without saying, "Aww!" at least once.
Chance Lee
Dec 07, 2016 Chance Lee rated it really liked it
This book is adorable. Warm, soft illustrations complement a story about a young boy, his first puppy, and his parents gently (but firmly) teaching him responsibility. Loving and full of promise.
Nov 29, 2016 Kimberly rated it it was amazing
Sweetest book!
Madison Scott
Oct 11, 2016 Madison Scott rated it it was amazing
This story is about a dog named Charley, about how he was spoiled. He needs to know that he is loved by everyone. Charley is a good dog but he always wants to be carried by the girl.

I think this story is a VERY GOOD book, because it talks about the winter and a dog, my favorite pets are dogs and i love the winter because we get fires and snow and sled and everything else, i think that Charley loves it too, because the snow is too tall for him to walk in it.
Sep 20, 2016 Dolly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: beginning readers and parents reading with them
Shelves: childrens, pets, 2016
This book really captures the joy of an adopted pet's first night in a young boy's home. The narrative really captures a child's persistent and enthusiastic willingness to take care of a puppy and the fond memory of finally getting to adopt him and bring him home.

The pencil and watercolor illustrations are so sweet and charmingly old fashioned - you can't help but fall in love with Charley. This nostalgic retelling of his first night living with the Korn family is very predictable, with a lonely
Sep 28, 2016 Natasha rated it really liked it
Longer story that will be appreciated more when my toddler is older but couldn't resist the illustrations by one of our favorite authors/illustrators, Helen Oxenbury. Sweet tale of a puppy's first night with his new family.
Oct 31, 2012 Tasha rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
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
Dec 24, 2012 David rated it really liked it
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
Margaret Chind
Nov 09, 2012 Margaret Chind rated it really liked it
Recommended to Margaret by: Candlewick Press
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
Dec 13, 2012 babyhippoface rated it really liked it
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
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
Jim Erekson
Mar 14, 2013 Jim Erekson rated it liked it
Shelves: picturebooks
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
Oct 11, 2012 Annie rated it it was amazing
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
Samantha Ray
Nov 10, 2014 Samantha Ray rated it really liked it
This book is appropriate for Preschool to Second Grade. Henry gets a new puppy, Charley, and carries him all the way home wrapped in his baby blanket. His parents are very stern about who will be taking care of Charley and where he will be sleeping at night. During the first night, Henry awakens to Charley crying in the kitchen. The second time Henry brings Charley to his room where they end up falling asleep.

For this book, I would have the students write about what they think will happen in the
Selena Hanet-Hutchins
Jan 06, 2015 Selena Hanet-Hutchins rated it really liked it
This is such a beautifully faithful book about the first night with a new puppy (or perhaps as metaphor for new baby, even) that I found myself tearing up when reading it in the bookshop. I bought it. The text is perhaps a little long-winded/illustrative but the sentiment and impact are not dampened by this, and the detailed illustrations are lovely and beautifully capture Charley's 'dogginess'. This is a traditional depiction of family that would not be out of place in a book of the 1950s (not ...more
Linda Lipko
Mar 08, 2016 Linda Lipko rated it really liked it

This is a lovely story that tugs at the heart strings. The story of a little boy with his first puppy is illustrated in lovely colors and clear, wonderfully creative images. Henry has a talk to Charley and introduces himself. As the story progresses, Henry seriously takes his responsibility for the care of Charley.

This is such a soft book, leaving the reader with good feelings. Henry places his puppy in the kitchen near the heat vent. Giving him his own special bear, he gently talks Charley to s
Allison Parker
Feb 08, 2013 Allison Parker rated it really liked it
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
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. :)
Feb 21, 2014 Katie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2014
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
Nov 11, 2012 Stacy rated it liked it
Shelves: picturebooks
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
Jan 23, 2013 Mari rated it really liked it
Shelves: dogs, picture-books, sweet
A quiet, lovely book about a puppy and boy on their first night together. Amy Hest has a way with getting kid characters just right. When you combine Hest's well crafted word choices and Oxenbury's sweet (but not overly so) illustrations, you get something really special. Make sure to check out the reflection in the dresser top mirror on the last page for the perfect "cherry on top" finish to this tale.
Oct 22, 2013 Rachael rated it really liked it
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.
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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.
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