Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The TTLG 2011 Picture Book Celebration: Book three hundred and forty

There must be literally thousands of parents out there whose children have told them that they want a pet. How many hours of negotiation have taken place in homes around the world, as parents and children try to come to an understanding about what kind of pet they should get, and who will take care of it. The mind boggles just thinking about it. Or at least mine does.

In today's picture book you will meet a little girl who wants a pet, and her parents who don't want anything that will shed fur, dirty the house, or eat the child.

I Want a PetLauren Child
Picture Book
For ages 4 to 6
Frances Lincoln, 1999, 978-1-84780-289-7
   A little girl wants a pet, so she asks her mother if she can have one. Though her mother doesn’t exactly say no, she does say that the pet will have to be something “with not too much fur.” Dad wouldn’t mind a pet who“lives outside.” The pet shop lady says that goldfish can be fun pets, but the little girl is not convinced. She would like something with a little more pizzazz.
   Like a lion perhaps. Though, of course, a lion might decide that the little girl would make a great snack. A sheep would be a nice pet, except that sheep are notorious “copy-cats.” The little girl suggests that perhaps a bat would be the pet for her. She and her bat could “dangle upside-down in the closet.” The little girl’s mother makes it clear that a bat in the closet would not work for her. In fact, she says that even suggesting such a thing could mean that there will be no chocolate ├ęclairs. Imagine life without any chocolate ├ęclairs! What is a little girl to do if none of her ideal pets pass muster with her family.
   Young children and their grownups will laugh out loud as they look through this clever and deliciously funny picture book. The ending is perfect, because we are left wondering, speculating, and knowing that what happens next is probably going to be the best surprise of all. 

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