Princess Puffybottom and Darryl by Susin Nielsen; illustrated by Olivia Chin Mueller - teaching book review

Publisher's Synopsis: "Princess Puffybottom has the perfect life — her subjects serve her delicious meals, clean up her “delicate matters” and wait on her hand and foot. Life is good . . . until Darryl arrives. Princess Puffybottom thinks he’s disgusting, horrid and a true animal. Though she tries everything in her power to banish him (including hypnosis, trickery and even sabotage), it looks like this puppy is here to stay. Can Princess P. and Darryl find a way to co-exist? A hilarious picture book from acclaimed author Susin Nielsen, with adorable illustrations by Olivia Chin Mueller, Princess Puffybottom . . . and Darryl is perfect for not only warring siblings, but also anyone who loves cute pets (and some toilet humor)."

My Thoughts: Princess Puffybottom . . . and Darryl is a nice addition to the PK-1st classroom. The story is about the cat, Princess Puffybottom (every bit as stuffy as her name sounds) gaining a new member of the family, a pup named Darryl. At first glance this picture book seems a simple dog/cat tale, but the illustrations tells a different story.
I would use this in either K or 1 for standards:
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.K.7 With prompting and support, describe the relationship between illustrations and the story in which they appear (e.g., what moment in a story an illustration depicts). CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.1.7 Use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, setting, or events.
Here are examples of what else is going on besides a new puppy showing up:

Definitely a chance to make inferences from the illustrations.
Illustration inferences: someone is having a baby, Princess Puffybottom doesn't seem to notice =  surprise new baby ending :-)

In the area of word study, there is only a minor opportunity with some alliteration of "perfect," "permitted," "petting" at the very start of the story.

Vocabulary needing explicit instruction includes mostly tier 1 & 2 words: banished, subjects, delicate, faraway kingdom, hypnosis, trickery, sabotage, sophisticated, worshipped, pedestal, tolerated. The word "bright' is used, so there is a chance to mention it as a homophone (first-second grade).

Genre: Animal Tale / Picture Book
Age: 3 - 7 Years
Pages: 32
Thank You to LibraryThing & Tundra Books for my Early Reviewers copy
Publication Date: 02/05/2019
ISBN: 9781101919255

Themes: Changes in family structure, New baby arrival, Learning to get along with others
Character: Princess Puffybottom shows some character development, but Darryl is merely her foil
Plot: The 'catch' is knowing what's going on besides Puffybottom stated dislike of her new family member
Originality: Lots of tales on accepting new babies (with animal perspectives too), but this one adds both diversity and some subtlety in the insider inferencing from illustrations
Believability: It's a good thing most kids believe in anthropomorphism :-)
Diversity: Good representation of a mixed-race, same-sex family

BUY Princess Puffybottom . . . and Darryl HERE

You can read more about author Susin Nielsen on her webpage: HERE

You can read more about illustrator Olivia Chin Mueller: Here
--------------- That's all folks! ---------------
 © 2007-2019 Dr. Cheryl Vanatti, education & reading specialist writing at