Puppy’s Bubble – Children’s Picture Book Review

Erica Graham writes and illustrates the cute little children’s picture book Puppy’s Bubble, which hides an important early learning initiative.

Author Erica Graham is a professional speech-language pathologist. She is also a mother who knows how hard it is to navigate speech learning into the daily chaos of running a family home. In the same way the handiwork is never complete in a carpenter’s home, and the plumbing leaks in a plumber’s home, so too it would seem that language issues can abound in the abode of a speech therapist. Isn’t life funny?

But for Erica Graham, this represented an opportunity. How could she turn her wealth of knowledge and skill in speech therapy into an experience that’s fun enough to engage her own daughters? Thus the Talking Tales series was born, and the ludicrously cute Puppy’s Bubble. Who could be better equipped to write a children’s book to help early readers learn the skill?

Puppy’s Bubble Children’s Book Review

I just love the opening line of this book. It flashes memories to my mind’s eye of my baby boy waking up and instantly focusing his attention on the most curious item in the room. In the case of the titular puppy’s midday reverie, it’s a passing bubble. A bubble that quickly disappears.

Naturally, such a curious young puppy simply has to find out where the bubble went. The resulting journey explores his family’s home, as well as the joy and surprise that comes from discovery.

Accompanied by cute, hand-drawn illustrations, the text is simple, and focuses in on situations that lend themselves to phonetic word choice (more on that in a tic). As a writer-illustrator, Erica Graham has kept the illustrations as sparse as the text. Personally I would have liked to have seen more detail to the scenes. The environment is sparingly shown, and one particular pose for our lead character appears three times.

Back to the word choice; as you’d expect given the author’s training, there’s more going on here than a simple insight into a puppy’s mind. The book opens with tips on how to teach your toddler sounds, with the story then becoming the tool with which to experiment with your newfound knowledge.

Puppy’s Bubble provides over 90 examples of early speech development sounds in their most common word positions. This includes “p”, “b”, “m”, “n”, “d” and “h.” As a father whose son has required help, I wonder if having access to this book when he was younger could have helped his growth. Either way, it adds plenty of value to this otherwise sparingly detailed children’s picture book.Puppy's Bubble Image

Puppy’s Bubble Technical Review

I’m not going to pretend that I can offer any valued review of the text as a speech therapy tool. That is not my domain. But given Erica Graham’s career history, I’m confident it’s excellent. The text itself is simply structured, well positioned and carries the modest tale from start to finish without losing its way.

The square design works well on all formats, and the way the art is positioned, often coming on off the edge of the page, lends itself well to the idea of exploration. It heightens the concept of what is around the next corner. However, as mentioned previously, it’s sparse and not overly varied. Which is shame, as the illustration style itself is very cute. While there is always a place for white space, in this example I think the book could have benefited from more to look at. Even just odd puppy toys, or items typical of a home.

The story is aimed at a very young demographic, but we found the story doubles well as reading tool for our six year old. Although the content of the book and its art was below what he would usually read, the word choice has proved useful with his early reading. It’s a lot better than any of the homework books he has brought home from school.

Puppy’s Bubble by Erica Graham can’t help but be endearing. Well intentioned, well put together and just whimsical enough to spark a child’s imagination, I recommend checking it out. I also love the logo and name for the overall Talking Tales series. Nailed it!

WIN! Puppy’s Bubble is one of the books included in the giveaway for those who complete our children’s book survey.

Essential Info:

Author: Erica Graham
Illustrator: Erica Graham
Suitable For: Ages 1 to 3
Where to Buy: Amazon

Where to Next?

Are you looking for more great children’s books, then visit the Old Mate Media library. If you are an author or illustrator looking to make their own children’s book, look through our services in the main menu. Alternatively, read our step-by-step guide. For authors and illustrators already published who would like to have their book reviewed, then head here to learn more.

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