From School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2–In a satisfying follow-up to Charley's First Night (Candlewick, 2012), Grampa, who admits that he is uncertain about getting to know Henry's puppy, is coming to visit and to meet Charley. The boy and puppy wait for him at the train station while snow gently covers the tracks and the town. Upon his arrival, the large gentleman and the tiny puppy size each other up while Grampa inquires, “…are you friendly or fierce?” When the wind picks up and Grampa's cap flies away, Charley takes off into the white world and it's feared that he's lost in the snow. But the diminutive dog saves the day by bringing the cap back, thus revealing he's both friendly and fierce in his determination, ensuring their burgeoning bond. Charley is pure joy with fur and will surely bring a smile to young readers. Charming, detailed pencil and watercolor illustrations feature framed, softly hued scenes both cozy and frigid. This is a tender story about the warm affection between a grandfather and his grandson. A real winner.–Maryann H. Owen, Children's Literature Specialist, Mt. Pleasant, WIα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
*Starred Review* In Charley’s First Night (2012), young Henry Korn rescues a little wheat-colored puppy. Now it’s time to introduce Charley to Grampa. But from his letter, it seems Grampa may not like dogs: “I’ll do my best, but no promises.” On arrival day, Henry and Charley head off through the snow to the station. (Although it works best for the tempo of the story, it does seem odd for a young boy to go by himself.) Both boy and dog are crazy for trains, so when this one’s late, the duo slouch. Finally, a train whistle! Grampa alights, and his first question is to Charley: “Are you fierce or friendly?” Neither dog nor man is comfortable with the other. But when the wind blows Grampa’s green hat off his head, and Charley makes a valiant—and successful—effort to save it, the friendship is sealed. A synopsis doesn’t begin to reveal this story’s sweetness. Each turn of the page brings a touching moment: Charley frolicking in the snow; the affection Grampa and Henry share; Charley and Grampa staring at each other, “which is code for I love you. / I love you. / I love you.” It’s hard to imagine a better match for Hest’s warm words than Oxenbury’s beautifully depicted snowy days. Framed in the soft gray of November sky, each picture tells its own story—and every time Charley appears, adorableness ensues. A delight. Preschool-Grade 1. --Ilene Cooper