Chuckie Has A Bellyache

Children - Animals
28 Pages
Reviewed on 09/01/2020
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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Chuckie Has A Bellyache is a work of fiction in the animal-themed and life lessons sub-genre and was penned by author Amy Jensen. Written for children with charming illustrations by artist Ulana Zahajkewycz, we meet Chuckie the Chocolate Labrador for the second time in this picture book where he shows young readers what happens if they over-indulge on snack foods. The plot follows Chuckie through many silly and amusing scenarios, but it also highlights an important and relatable lesson for everyone to think about and learn from. As such, this makes the work very useful not just for parents and guardians, but in a teaching and learning setting as well.

Author Amy Jensen strikes a perfect balance between entertainment and education in this engaging work, wherein a very loveable dog reaches out and touches readers’ hearts. One of the highlights for me as an adult reader was the subtlety of its wisdom, which weaves under the seeming simplicity of the storyline to deliver its lessons. The illustrations by artist Ulana Zahajkewycz enhance this experience by delivering all of Chuckie’s lovely facial expressions, both before and after he indulges in his snack binge. The combination makes for an experience that will have children eager to turn every page and see what happens to our favorite lab next. Overall, I would recommend Chuckie Has A Bellyache and the series in general for young readers doing a read-along, and those venturing into solo reading for the first time. A thoroughly enjoyable and heart-warming experience.

Jacob R LaMar

Chuckie Has a Bellyache is a 26-page children’s picture book about a brown dog named Chuckie and his eating adventures. Written by Amy Jensen, the story is centered around her real-life doggies Chuckie and his siblings, Nestle and Bert. The story begins with the main character Chuckie eating his breakfast like a good dog. The problems begin to arise when he chooses to dine on Nestle’s bowl too. The poor choices do not stop there, however, and in a short while, Chuckie finds himself stuffed to the max with a very bad tummy ache. Will the realization of how eating can cause belly pain be enough to change Chuckie's eating patterns or is it too late for an old dog to learn new tricks? Those answers and more can be found in this book.

Organized into quatrains, the story is structured into an abcb rhyming pattern to give it a fun and regular rhyme for young readers. The story is interesting and has a silly sort of ending, which may be a bit of a surprise for those reading it. I enjoyed the occasional play on words to give the story some extra flavor and felt the message from the author was simple and good; perfect for children. The illustrations were done by Vlana Zahajkewycz and added a bright aesthetic to the story though I did feel as if the pictures did not always match the words perfectly and the poses of the characters seemed awkward on some pages. Despite this, I found Chuckie Has a Bellyache to be a light and fun read that is probably best suited for kids or those with a love for pets as it’s evident in the story how much the author loves hers.

Jack Magnus

Chuckie Has A Bellyache is a children’s animal picture book written by Amy Jensen and illustrated by Ulana Zahajkewycz. When Chuckie’s dad wanted to take him for a walk, Chuckie was not feeling at all well. You see, Chuckie had a big breakfast, actually a lot of breakfasts. He wolfed down his own breakfast and then started on Nestle’s breakfast as well. Then Dad decided to give him some brunch, and, of course, Chuckie woke up his mom to tell her no one had fed him yet. Then there was the cat’s food. Well, Labrador retrievers are hungry dogs who really do appreciate the finer things in life -- like food. But sometimes even Labradors get tummy aches when they’ve had an extra breakfast or three.

Amy Jensen’s Chuckie Has A Bellyache will resonate with anyone who’s been fortunate enough to have a Labrador retriever in their lives or any dog who lives to eat yet another meal. Labs, though, do love their food. Chuckie is the quintessential Labrador, complete with working both Mom and Dad to get fed yet again and again, leaving him with an aching belly and the need to go outside and start eating grass. I recognized each of my Labs in Chuckie and could sympathize with him when his voracious appetite finally caught up with him. Ulana Zahajkewycz’s illustrations are marvelous. I especially loved seeing the expressions on Chuckie’s face as he gets yet another snack, treat or meal -- sheer delight! An excellent selection for storytime, this book is also perfect for new readers to try on their own. Chuckie Has A Bellyache is most highly recommended.

Rosie Malezer

Chuckie Has a Bellyache is an educational and fun children’s book written by Amy Jensen and illustrated by Ulana Zahajkewycz. Chuckie is a chocolate labrador whose appetite is much bigger than his belly. Knowing that his owners and their friends enjoy giving him treats, Chuckie is never too shy to ask for food and sometimes swipes that of his canine housemate, Nestlé, too! Bert the Cat also becomes an unwitting victim of the hungry dog’s out-of-control appetite and often watches, rather nonplussed, as Chuckie eats all of his food. Without the family paying attention to treats and feeding the household pets, it is not long before Chuckie has eaten far too much for his small belly and pays the price for being greedy.

Amy Jensen’s tale of a dog that cannot seem to rein in his hunger is beautifully told. Not only do Chuckie’s bad habits lead to a bellyache, but children can see how not paying attention to their own pet’s health can lead to bad things. Chuckie’s misadventure with food also teaches young readers that overeating, no matter how fun it may be at the time, leads to consequences which affect the health of the glutton, whether it be a pet or themselves. Good health is always a wonderful thing to teach a child and I feel that many young readers around the world would most definitely benefit from reading Chuckie’s story while absorbing that an overactive appetite is most definitely not a good thing. I highly enjoyed Chuckie Has a Bellyache and recommend it be read out loud by all parents and teachers to young listeners so that they learn about good eating habits.

Mamta Madhavan

Chuckie thought his sides would split; his bellyache was really bad. His belly was okay when the day started but then Chuckie ate his breakfast and he ate Nestle's breakfast too because he could not resist the temptation. His Dad fed him brunch before he went out to run. He woke up his Mom to have some more food and he ate another meal in a short time. He then went and gobbled up Bert's bowl of food instead of taking rest after eating. He was already full when he helped himself to some snacks that were on the shelf. His belly started to ache by the time he had to walk with his Dad. He confessed to Mom and Dad about his excess snacking.

Chuckie Has A Bellyache by Amy Jensen is a wonderful story that will help children understand the importance of making good and healthy choices when it comes to eating. Ulana Zahajkewyz's illustrations are captivating and bright, and Chuckie is such an adorable dog that children will love him. What makes the story appealing is that Chuckie Jensen is a real dog and the story is based on him. The story is fun and lovable and can be used by parents and tutors for read-aloud and storytelling sessions.

This is the second book in the series of Chuckie the Chocolate Lab and I, like other readers, look forward to more adventures and stories about Chuckie. The books in this series will make good gifts for children, and this story will help them understand the problems that come with over-eating in an interesting and exciting way.