Introducing The Critter Club! Amy and her friends solve a canine caper in this start to a pet-friendly illustrated chapter book series.
It’s Spring Break in Santa Vista, and everyone has big plans...everyone except for Amy, that is! As her best friends head out of town on exciting adventures, Amy resigns herself to helping out at her mom’s vet clinic. At least she’ll be around cute animals! But when Santa Vista’s cold and elusive millionaire, Marge Sullivan, brings her puppy Rufus for a check-up, Amy encounters an unexpected mystery. After her friends return home, the girls get to the bottom of what happened to Rufus—and discover a way to help other lost and lonely animals in their town.
With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, The Critter Club chapter books are perfect for beginning readers.
Amy and the Missing Puppy Spring Break Blues Amy felt herself starting to blush. Her cheeks felt warm, then hot. Amy shook her short, light brown hair over her freckled face. She hoped it would hide her bright pink cheeks. At least I’m not at school, Amy thought. I hate blushing in front of the whole class!
In fact Amy wouldn’t be back at her school, Santa Vista Elementary, for one whole week. It was the Friday night before spring break. Amy was in her bedroom with her best friends, Marion, Ellie, and Liz. They had a sleepover almost every Friday. This week, it was Amy’s turn to host.
The girls were finishing up a game of MASH. Amy held up the paper that had made her blush. She pointed to the name of her future husband.
Liz, Marion, and Ellie squealed.
“You’re so lucky, Amy!” Ellie said, shaking her hands to dry her newly painted nails. Stewart was Liz’s big brother. He was twelve. All the girls, except for Liz, thought he was the cutest.
“Lucky?” said Liz. Marion was braiding Liz’s wavy blond hair in front of the mirror. Liz wrinkled her nose. “Who would want to marry my brother? Ew.”
“I can’t stay up too late tonight,” Marion said. She wrapped a hair band around Liz’s braid. “Tomorrow my mom and I are taking Coco to a big horse show!”
Coco was Marion’s brown purebred horse. Marion was a great rider. Together, Marion and Coco had won tons of blue ribbons! “We’ll be out of town for most of the week,” Marion added, her green eyes twinkling.
“Me too,” said Liz. Liz and her family were going to the beach. “I can’t wait! A whole week of sun, sand, and best of all, no homework!” Liz flopped back onto Amy’s bed. “I’m going to bring my easel and paint box. I’ll paint you each a sunset!” Amy loved Liz’s paintings. She was such a good artist!
Ellie sighed and fluffed her red pillow. “Well, I’ll be here in Santa Vista all week,” she said, plopping down. Her tight black curls bounced over her headband. Ellie tossed her head dramatically. “BOR-ing! But at least my Nana Gloria is coming to stay!”
Ellie’s grandmother was moving in with her family. “She’s bringing over some boxes—and her parrot, Lenny! I want to teach him a song. Then we can sing a duet!”
Ellie grabbed a pink hairbrush. She flicked on Amy’s MP3 player. Singing along with a pop song, Ellie belted into her hairbrush microphone. Ellie always sang loudly and with feeling, like an actress on a stage.
“How about you, Amy?” Ellie said. “What are you going to do this week?”
Amy’s heart sank a little. Her friends all had somewhere to go or something to do. She didn’t.
Amy’s parents were divorced and Amy lived with her mom in Santa Vista. Her dad lived in Orange Blossom, the next town over. Amy sighed as she remembered that she couldn’t even go visit Dad this break because he was away on business.
Amy shrugged. “Read?” she said. “I do have a brand-new Nancy Drew book. Count the change in my piggy bank? Dust my sticker collection?” Her friends giggled, but Amy was only half joking. What was she going to do?
“I guess I’ll help my mom at the clinic,” Amy said. Amy’s mom, Dr. Melanie Purvis, was a veterinarian. She ran a vet clinic in the house next door. Pets from all over Santa Vista came for their checkups. Other times, animals came when they were sick or hurt. Amy loved animals of all kinds. She also loved spending time at her mom’s clinic.
As if reading her mind, Amy’s cat Milly crawled out from under the bed. She climbed into Amy’s lap. “Milly will keep me company. Right, Milly?”
Only seven days until next Friday—their next sleepover. Then they would all be together again.
Oh, well, thought Amy. Spring break can’t last forever.
Callie Barkley loves animals. As a young girl, she dreamed of getting a cat or dog of her own until she discovered she was allergic to most of them. It was around this time that she realized the world was full of all kinds of critters that could use some love. She now lives with her husband and two kids in Connecticut. They share their home with exactly ten fish and a very active ant farm.
Marsha Riti illustrated the picture book The Picky Little Witch by Elizabeth Brokamp and The Critter Club series by Callie Barkley. She lives in Austin, Texas, where she likes to take long walks, stopping frequently to pet neighborhood kitties.