Poppy and the Fat Puppy
Outskirts Press (2013)
Reviewed by Miles Cassells (age 3.5) and Mom for Reader Views Kids (01/14)
It is hard for me to write a review on a children’s picture book like the one I am writing now about “Poppy and the Fat Puppy” by Eli Jay. When I think of a children’s book, I think whimsical and fun. I had a down moment at the end of this book because of the theme and what I took away from it.
Poppy is a balloon who finds “Fat Puppy.” This puppy is homeless, sad, hungry and overweight. Poppy takes Fat Puppy to the vet to get a checkup. They find that he needs to go on a healthy diet and exercise plan. Once Fat Puppy has lost weight and is now healthy, Poppy will help find him a home.
This is odd to me that any children’s book author would name a character “Fat” anything. I do not want my son looking at me and saying “oh mommy you’re fat” just like Puppy in the book. I don’t want my kid taught to see things like people’s weight or their skin color and it be a used as a descriptive factor when talking about a person, or a puppy in this case.
Furthermore, I felt like the moral of the story was an attempt at the importance of eating healthy food and exercising. However, if being fat and unhealthy means you can’t have a loving home, then a lot of us would be unloved and unimportant in this world. This is not what I want my child to think.
Miles actually liked the book and the illustrations. He didn’t pick up on the “fat” part because I silenced that word when talking about the puppy. Miles loves dogs and he loves balloons so for him, this was an exciting read; for mom, not so much. Even though the message of being healthy is very important to teach at an early age, I don’t think “Poppy and the Fat Puppy” by Eli Jay accomplished this at all. I also think it could have gone about it in a more positive way without conditioning the having a loving home with weight.