Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The TTLG 2011 Picture Book Celebration: Book two hundred and twenty-two

Children who want a pet in their lives will go to extremes to get one. They will turn everyday objects into a pet with varying degrees of success. They will bring home other people's pets and say "can we keep him?" Today's picture book tells the story of one little girl's campaign to have a pet of her own. The tale is amusing, sweet, and a joy to read. 

Cathleen Daly
Illustrated by Stephen Michael King
Picture book
For ages 5 to 7
Macmillan, 2011, 978-1-59643-468-4
   Prudence is a little girl who really really really wants a pet, but her parents refuse to allow her to get one because pets “cost too much” and they “make noise.” Desperate to have a pet, any pet, Prudence gets a pet of her own, and it is a branch. She calls her pet Branch and she takes him all over the place. Then Dad trips up on Branch (who has to stay on the front porch) and after doing so eight times, he breaks Branch “into little bits.”
   Prudence’s next pet is called Twig, which is what he is. He is small enough to fit in her pocket, which is very convenient. Unfortunately, Twig gets washed with Prudence’s dress and he is never seen again, even though Prudence puts up a lost pet sign in the laundry room.
   Again and again Prudence tries to have a pet, and again and again her plan falls through until she finally gives up and takes refuge in the closet. No one seems to understand how she feels.
   Most children, at some point or another, wish that they could have a pet of their own. This delightful picture book pairs a sympathetic story with wonderful illustrations to give children a tale that perfectly captures one little girl’s efforts to find a pet for herself. The story is funny, poignant, and just right.

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