Book review: 15 things NOT to do with a puppy by Margaret McAllister and illustrated by Holly Sterling

You may recall last year when we reviewed Margaret McAllister and Holly Sterling’s book 15 things NOT to do with a Baby. Little One found it in the library and insisted we bring it home. Little One, my eldest thought the book was rather funny, especially as she had a little sister who then was a baby. Now Baby is approaching 1 and half years old and together we’ve been sharing the latest book, 15 things NOT to do with a puppy.

15 things NOT to do with a puppy

15 Things NOT to do with a puppy is brilliant book for discussing the care of animals, whether you and your family have a pet dog or not. Its fun, comical, serious where it needs to be and the watercolour, pencil and print illustrations make this an enjoyable read.

In this book we see that baby from the previous book is no longer so ickle and that he too can join in with everything that his big sister can do. The diverse, fun siblings are a joy to observe while they inform us of what we really shouldn’t do with a puppy.


Margaret McAllister explores different things that really should be discouraged from doing with a puppy. Some are things that children may witness everyday, like the owning of the remote control and some are more extreme like not to take your puppy hang-gliding. The exploring of different situations completed in this way also cleverly introduces young readers to new things. The father playing the tuba for example, was mistaken by Little One as a trumpet which then resulted in a discussion about bass instruments. Though it may be another 15 Things Not To with a… book, the thought and work that goes into completing such a read should not be underestimated.


The illustrations through out the book are a joy to observe. Filled with loving moments between siblings and comical moments of the puppy (a puppy shopping) they are sure to bring a smile to a young readers face.  The colourful illustrations and clean white backgrounds make the pages continuously flow.

As well as the Don’ts and the Never, the Do is also explored at the end of the book. It gives clear rules to follow on how a puppy should be taken care of and these concluding pages leave young readers with honest and practical ideas on what looking after a puppy entails.


We don’t have a pet dog but we do have a cat called Lola. Although we do have relatives who own the cutest cock a poodles, Little One was really intrigued by this book as she’s never had to care of a dog before. She instantly began asking questions about why the dog was doing certain things and I loved how she reacted to the book in this way. Baby was sure to inform us on many of the pages that there was a dog and enjoyed telling us “woof” at every opportunity.

This really was a lovely fun read and would make a great book to share in a learning setting when exploring animals and people who look after us topics.


Thank you to Quarto Group for sending us this book. All opinions, words and photos shared are entirely my own.

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