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Charley's First Night

4.02  ·  Rating Details ·  437 Ratings  ·  127 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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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
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
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!
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
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
A precious book about a boy and his new puppy, Charlie. I dare you to read it without saying, "Aww!" at least once.
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
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 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
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
Jan 28, 2016 Rani rated it really liked it
Shelves: pb-fiction, children
On Charley's first night, Henry tells his new puppy, "This is home, Charley." He says that a lot so that Charley will know that he is home.
Henry's parents are pretty clear about who will be walking and feeding Charley (Henry will, and he can't wait!). They are also pretty clear about where Charley will be sleeping- in the kitchen.
But when the crying starts in the middle of the night, it looks like Henry's parents' idea about where Charley is going to sleep may have to change.
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.
Beautifully written by Amy Hest, and expertly illustrated by Helen Oxenbury. I don't really like that kind of 'framed' page design, that makes everything look so formal, as though you aren't really allowed to get into the pictures. The drawings of the puppy itself are very soft, accessible and well observed. It's quite hard to draw puppies convincingly. A book that will be adored by many children.
Jessica Wenninger
Mar 04, 2014 Jessica Wenninger rated it liked it
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.
Kay Carman
Feb 23, 2016 Kay Carman rated it really liked it
Shelves: children, snow, puppies, sleep
Henry is such a kind-hearted, considerate, loving child, and his new pup Charley is one of the cutest doggies to ever appear in the pages of a picture book. I really enjoyed this book and its companion, When Charley Met Grandpa.

In this first book about Charley, Henry is anxious to see to Charley's comfort and make him feel at home on his first night with his new family.
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
Jul 08, 2015 Maggie rated it really liked it
Shelves: 577-the-list
An ALA Notable Children's Book for Younger Readers (2013)

This book is sooooo sweet, although I kind of question the parents putting such a small child in charge of such a little puppy. It's a really nice book about responsibility and its rewards, and it's very cute to see the little boy behave so tenderly towards his puppy.
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
Rob Thelen
May 04, 2014 Rob Thelen rated it it was amazing
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.
Jan 10, 2016 Julie rated it really liked it
Is there anything sweeter than a boy and his pup??! I instantly fell in love with Henry's tenderness and loving manner toward Charley! It was clear from the moment Henry and Charley walked home together, they would be best friends forever. The text and soft water color illustrations set a beautiful tone which carried itself throughout the entire book.
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. :)
Lissa J
May 26, 2016 Lissa J rated it really liked it
About a boy and his new puppy's first night and the age-old dilemma of where will puppy sleep that night. . . in a bed in the kitchen or the boy's bed? A delightful read for a child dreaming of a puppy or one who has just gotten one.
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
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
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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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