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'Bella Rules' by Elissa Haden Guest: A girl and puppy learn rules can be good

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Bella's Rules by Elissa Haden Guest

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“Bella’s Rules” by Elissa Haden Guest and illustrated by Abigail Halpin is a picture book for younger readers about a girl who doesn’t want to live with rules. She terrifies her babysitter and finally angers her parents.

They tell her she is “too wild,” “too rude,” and “too risky.” In desperation, they call for Granny to come and visit. Granny brings a present, a puppy.

Bella and the puppy love each other very much. They play happily together until puppy’s behavior sometimes is “too wild, too rude and too risky.” Puppy knocks Bella down, he leaves muddy footprints on her bed and he plays tug-of-war with her teddy bear.

But Bella’s family knows how to deal with this problem and little by little they help Bella teach Puppy the rules.

Of course they still have fun playing in the mud, but they also have fun together in the bath. And finally, they both learn that rules can make life a lot more fun.

This book can be used by parents and classroom teachers who want to facilitate discussions about behavior and why rules are necessary. Kids love reading about dogs and especially about puppies, so it’s sure to be a painless discussion.

Please note: This review is based on the final hardcover book provided by the publisher, Dial Books for Young Readers, for review purposes.

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