Tom Alexander from Jessica Kingsley Publishers. Written in first person with simple line drawn art (see cover), this short book (40 pages) will engage younger readers. The art is charmingly simple and illustrates the story very well.
The young protagonist meets a stray dog who follows her home. Her mother has already said they don't have enough room to care for a dog. She attempts to hide the dog, with hilarious and predictable results. This book could have easily been my biography as an 8 year old. Happily, my grandparents were able to give my stealth dog a home where I could see her and help take care of her at least part time. I really felt for the little girl in this book.
It's worth noting that the language in My Secret Dog is British English, not American. 'Mum', 'daft', 'wellies' etc, though all of them are illustrated/contextualized and none are confusing. I think this is an added bonus, exposing youngsters to more nuanced and localized language at a young age.
I enjoyed this book very much and heartily recommend it to anyone going through 'I want a DOG' phase with their own youngsters. It would also be timely in a classroom setting when discussing themes such as planning or consequences. Very sweet and likeable book.
Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher.