– Est. 1981

The Pet Shop Society: Mike and the Dog-Gone Labradoodle written by Emlyn Chand






Releases September 26th, 2015 (Pre-orders available)


Keeping with the departures from my normal genre's the opportunity presented itself to take a look at some children's books by Emlyn Chand. Emlyn Chand publishes a series of books called "The Pet Shop Society" that follows a group of kids solving very lighthearted mysteries. These books are targeting an audience between 6 and 11 years old and because my daughter will be interested in reading books like this before I know it, and I have friends who have kids around this age I thought it might be interesting to get involved in this genre now.

Let's read!


This is a kids book, so I'm expecting kid level vocabulary and phrases that a kid of around 11 or 12 years old might say. I took some notes as I was reading, as I always do, on some phrases I thought were kind of odd for a kid of this age to be saying. Hell, they're kind of odd for an adult in 2015 to be saying, but it's OK and I'll tell you why after the jump, so to speak.

"...we rule the roost..." This was referring to a group of kids at school. I Googled this and the last time anyone actually said this was 1942. But, this was basically internal dialogue so maybe that's OK.

"...She would lord it over me all weekend..." says Late 1500's on this one and I believe it.

As you're reading you will notice these things throughout the book, it's not like I'm just over analyzing here. But let me tell you what else you will notice. These kids are incredibly well spoken and actually kind of nerdy on purpose sometimes. I'm guessing they come from a fairly educated family... These are the kids I want my kid hanging out with. I'm OK with some of this adult sounding dialogue because how else are our kids going to learn new words?

One day my daughter will read this book and when she turns to me and asks what some of these phrases mean I'll know she's learning something.


A 6 to 11-year-old is going to identify with this story very well. It's a simple mystery that nearly everyone with a dog has experienced at some point. When it all starts the protagonist, Mike, and his friend need to decide whether or not they want to help a pretty girl or go eat pizza. This is a real struggle here people...

As the story develops there are plot points that are incredibly identifiable for children of any age; lying to your parents about where you're going or where you have been, attending musical lessons because your parents expect you to, hating music lessons but being afraid to tell your parents, getting grounded. Don't worry, these kids aren't lying about selling drugs or anything; it's more like lying about going to violin lessons but instead joining a softball team. Criminal! At the end of it all there is a lesson to be learned and as a father I was satisfied with how the parents acted and how the children reacted.

As an adult you could probably assume how this story ends just by the title alone. Yes, it has a happy ending. It's the journey that counts!

This is Book 1 of the Pet Shop Society books so naturally at the end of the book the kids form a club called THE PET SHOP SOCIETY! Each one of the characters gets a title; President, Co-President, Treasurer, etc... This stood out to me because as a kid I did the same thing with my group of friends; creating a club and having some pretend power. I had forgotten all about that so this was a little reminder.


Mike and the Dog-Gone Labradoodle takes place in my neighborhood; or your neighborhood. Emlyn Chand is not specific about where this takes place because it doesn't matter. The only thing that is obvious is that we're in the suburbs.


There is a character here for everyone. There are strong male characters, strong (genius, actually) female characters and vague enough parental units that any kid could relate to their interactions very easily. Mike and the Dog-Gone Labradoodle obviously follows a character named Mike, which by all accounts and a recent Fox News Demographic Poll is a mostly male name. However, everyone gets pretty equal amounts of face time.

Mike is a pretty typical preteen kid. His biggest decision to this point is pretty girl or pizza. Which did he choose? Haha... I know, right?

Maddie is Mike's sister and she's a certifiable ner... I mean genius. But seriously, you probably are not smarter than this 5th grader.

Nic(ole) is the pretty girl who is new to school and lost her dog. She's also the LIAR who hates MUSIC LESSONS. What? I know... It's OK it all works out.

There were some other tertiary characters involved as well, every story needs extras.


This is a 39 page story that is an easy one session read for us taller folk. For your kid, depending on how old they are or how well they read it would be a good two session bed time book to read together, at least that's how I imagined doing it. But hey, they're your kids you do what you want.

I recommend it, and will be recommending it to my friends with children around this age. I'll also be taking a look at Emlyn Chand's Bird Brain books that are geared more toward the 2-5 age range.

If you want to take my recommendation scroll back up and click on the Amazon link that will take you directly to the book. You can also visit Emlyn Chand's website for more info on the author.


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  1. I <3 this review so hard. Thank you, Shelby! One question though: would you help the pretty girl or go eat pizza?

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