King & Kayla and the Case of the Missing Dog Treats (King and Kayla #1)
Simple Mystery for Emergent Readers
King loves his human girl, Kayla, especially when she makes him peanut butter dog treats, his FAVORITE food! He sits patiently and asks to lick the bowl nicely, but Kayla informs him that raw dough is not good for dogs. The two meet Jillian, Kayla's good friend, and hew brand new puppy, Thor. Thor is full of energy, but King patiently lets the puppy chew on his ears. When it is time for sampling the delicious treats, some are missing, and King gets blamed. Kayla points out that King's breath does not smell like peanut butter. Other possible culprits are investigated, and eventually Jillian and Kayla figure out who took the baked goods.
This is told from King's perspective, and young readers will be amused that King is trying so hard to communicate with Kayla, but she just always thinks his barking means he needs to go outside! King tries very hard to help Kayla with her investigation, since he knows the true culprit long before she does, and there is a gentle humor in this.
The illustrations are simple, bright, and charming. There's plenty of white space on the page for readers who are just starting to navigate text on their own. The reading level is similar to the I Can Read book series, and the story is broken down into three chapters.
It's great to see books with diverse characters, and King is a very appealing dog, with his love of all things food and his devotion to Kayla. His enthusiasm is spot on-- I'm pretty sure if my dog should talk, she would sound just like King.
This is a great choice for emerging readers who like McDonald's Judy Moody and Friends books, Clarke's Dr. KittyCat, and Birney's Humphrey the Hamster.