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Disney’s Anita’s Puppy Tale is a clever chapter book for young readers who loved the 101 Dalmatians movies.

Anita's Puppy Tale book review

Book Description of Anita’s Puppy Tale

Before Anita rescued one hundred and one Dalmatians . . . she was a girl with a puppy!

Anita and her new friends are on a mission to bring joy back to the gloomy halls of their new boarding school. But their plans get put on hold when Anita comes across an abandoned Dalmatian puppy in the schoolyard. As her new fluffy roommate becomes less and less of a secret, Anita discovers that a dog is just what her school needs to bring back a little cheer. Until then, resident mean girl, Cruella De Vil, tricks Anita and her friends at every turn and threatens to reveal the puppy to the grumpy Headmistress!

Newly independent readers ages 5-8 will love this new illustrated chapter book based on Disney’s 101 Dalmatians. This “Before the Story” chapter book brings the childhood of one of Disney’s most iconic characters to life in a tale of puppy hijinks, boarding school fun, and new friendships.

Book Review of Anita’s Puppy Tale

Anita’s Puppy Tale is a cute chapter book geared towards young readers who love puppies, enjoy stories about boarding school, and loved the 101 Dalmatians movies.

This is however not for fans of the recent Disney movie, Cruellaas it does not follow the same timeline as the Emma Stone movie. Whereas Cruella (Estella) and Anita meet at school in the movie Cruella they are not at a boarding school nor does Estella go by the name Cruella just yet.

Parents can safely let their children read Anita’s Puppy Tale. There are only two potential topics that can trigger – bullying and boarding school (being sent away by your parents). Anita and her friends are bullied by Cruella at boarding school and sensitive children might find that overwhelming but her actions are no worse than in the 101 Dalmatians movies (not including Cruella).

Also, Anita and her roommate both find it lonely and depressing at first to be at boarding school until they form friendships, find the puppy and start their club. Kids might find this troubling especially if they are soon to go to boarding school. However, the story does end on a happy note with the girls having made friendships and looking forward to their future at the boarding school.

Anita’s Puppy Tale actually reminded me the most of a children’s series I used to love reading in elementary school called Mandie by the late Lois Gladys Leppard where a girl named Mandie was sent to boarding school.

Other Books in the “Disney Before the Story” Series:

  • Mulan’s Secret Plan
  • Elsa’s Icy Rescue
  • Anna Finds a Friend
  • Pocahontas Leads the Way
  • Cinderella Takes the Stage


Disclaimer: The Joyous Living is not affiliated with Disney Books.

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Anita's Puppy Tale a beginning reader's Disney book