Can The Pocket Dog help Kitty solve her friendship problems? Holly Webb’s new story explores the emotions and feelings that can arise when a friendship dynamic is changed by the arrival of somebody new.
The Story: Kitty starts to get jealous when her friends spend time with Erin, a new girl at school. Her feelings of loneliness increase throughout the book until her relationships with all of them, especially Bella, become seriously strained. When Kitty and Bella’s families go on holiday together the situation becomes even more tense. Then Frank, Kittty’s puppy, goes missing, and Bella and Kitty must work together to find him. But will Frank’s disappearance also help them to solve their differences?
The Pocket Dog is called Frank and he’s so small that he can fit in Kitty’s Dad’s pocket. He’s introduced in the first chapter along with the rest of Kitty’s family and Bella, Kitty’s close friend and next door neighbour. The action then moves to school where we also meet Louisa and Maisie. Erin joins the friends at their table and Kitty starts to feel left out as everybody rallies round to help make Erin feel welcome. As time goes on Kitty starts to worry that her friends like Erin better than her. Her hurt manifests itself in harsh words to her friends, she has nightmares and provokes situations that will hurt her friends in the same way that she is hurting. By the time the holidays arrive Kitty has upset them all and just wants to hide in her room with Frank but then Dad and Bella’s parents surprise them with a week away together. Things come to a head when Frank escapes from the holiday cottage and Bella and Kitty are thrown together to look for him.
Holly Webb has explored the relationships between friends in a way that children will understand and identify with. Friendships between school children change and develop quickly and it can be hard for them to understand the range of emotions that often accompany them. Holly’s book acknowledges that negative emotions, hurt and anger can be a normal part of friendships but her use of ‘The Pocket Dog’ also provides her characters with the tools to find a solution to their situation.
If you have a child who is struggling with friendship issues this would be a great book to read with them.
Age Range: 6 +
Thank you to Scholastic for sending us The Pocket Dog and for generously giving away a copy to one of our readers.