Mummy and Daddy are about to have a baby! Everyone is excited…except for Bentley, the family pup. In Bella and Bentley by Suzanne Lees, Bentley soon learns how having a baby can bring large changes to the family dynamic.
Bentley is used to spending all of his time with his Mummy. He knows that he will soon have to share her with the forthcoming bundle of joy. Taking his role of protector very seriously, Bentley does his best to guard his Mummy and soon-to-be-sibling.
One night, Bentley’s Mummy and Daddy leave suddenly. They return several days later with his new sister, Bella. Bentley is so excited! He wants to sit on his Mummy’s lap like old times, but his spot has been taken by baby Bella. Bentley then attempts to give his new sis a kiss, but his Mummy begins to yell at him.
Poor Bentley is feeling unloved. Will his Mummy ignore him forever? Will he ever be able to adjust to life with Bella?
I greatly enjoyed reading this story. I loved how the book is written from Bentley’s perspective. Too often, the animals in our lives become an afterthought when we are faced with major life changes.
I feel that this story sheds light on the importance of including all family members in such situations.
I also feel that this would be a great book for parents who are expanding their family to read to their children. I believe that children will easily relate to Bentley and the emotions that he felt in his first few days with Bella and his Mummy. This story also serves as a gentle reminder to parents to not neglect the family that they already have when a new addition is on the way.
I loved trying to find Bella’s friend, Uff Uff, on every page! This immediately made me think of the famous Where’s Waldo series. I feel that this is a fun addition to the story that will really engage young readers.
The illustrations by Sarah-Leigh Wills are charming and delightful. Children will fall in love with Bentley and his adorable face. I also love the pastel color palate that Wills uses in each illustration.
Overall, this is a wonderful story for children ages 3 to 9. I look forward to reading about Bella and Bentley’s next adventure!