We're Wishing for "Pugs and Kisses"—read an excerpt!

Guest blog post by Vaishali Nayak, Associate Marketing Manager

What’s cuter than a pug? Two pugs, of course! In celebration of Valentine’s Day, we’re sharing an excerpt of the latest book in the WISH seriesPugs and Kisses by J.J. Howard!

About the book:

Ana Ramos may not have a dog of her own, but she does get to walk her neighbor's adorable pug, Osito. One day, at the park, Osito befriends another pug, Pancake, whose owner just happens to be a cute new boy named Calvin. When Calvin assumes that Osito belongs to Ana, she doesn't correct him. No big deal, right?

Ana doesn't realize the trouble she has unleashed until Calvin shows up at her school. Calvin suggests setting up play dates for the two pugs, and Ana can't bring herself to admit that Osito isn't hers. In fact, her fibs keep multiplying! Will Ana fess up and figure out how she feels about Calvin before her white lies catch up to her?

Start reading Pugs and Kisses:

CHAPTER 1

I know it’s weird to wake up early on a Saturday, but this wasn’t just any Saturday; it was my birthday. And once I opened my eyes, I was totally awake.

I sat up in bed and thought: This could be the year when my wish for a dog of my own could come true. Because I had more than just a wish—I had a plan.

In our family, we have two birthday traditions: one, the breakfast cupcake, and two, you get to pick one place you want to go. This year, I wasn’t picking a restaurant or a movie or a store. My place was going to be the dog shelter on Avenue B.

I’d checked the other day, and they had tons of puppies. I hadn’t let myself look too closely at any of them—I didn’t want to accidentally fall in love with one of their cute, furry faces, just in case my plan didn’t work out.

I got out of bed quietly, so as not to wake up my older sister, Talisa, who was asleep in her bed across our room. I went into the bathroom to wash up, and as I peered at my reflection in the mirror, I wondered if I looked any different now that I was a year older. But I had to admit that I looked pretty much the same: shoulder-length wavy brown hair; brown skin; light brown eyes . . . and still very short. I hadn’t had a birthday growth spurt overnight, that was for sure.

I returned to my room and got dressed in the semi-dark, thinking about the next part of my plan. Even though Mom had been saying “no dogs allowed” for as long as I’d been alive, I had science on my side. Or at least, a theory of my grandmother’s. 

When my sister and I were little, Abuelita Elena used to tell us about her “Noah’s Ark theory.” She said that, just like the animals on the ark, everything works better in pairs.

Now, I don’t have a dog of my own, but I do help take care of a dog almost every day. Osito is an adorable black pug that belongs to my upstairs neighbor Mrs. Ramirez. Mrs. R is in her sixties, and she had to have surgery on her back last year, so she has trouble with the stairs in our building. I help her out by walking Osito and taking him to the dog run in the park for some exercise. But Osito’s been kind of down lately. He and I are very close, so I can tell. I think he needs to be part of a pair. If I had a dog for him to hang out with in the building he wouldn’t be alone anymore. Both Osito and Mrs. R would be happier. And me, too, of course. 

---

Wishing for more? Discover more WISH books here: Scholastic.com/WISH