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WHAT PET TO GET? by Emma Dodd


by Emma Dodd & illustrated by Emma Dodd

Pub Date: March 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-545-03570-5
Publisher: Levine/Scholastic

Surprising fact: There still aren’t as many children’s books about wanting pets as there are children who desperately want a pet. What distinguishes Dodd’s “What pet can I get?” story, a previously published British import, are her comical, cartoonish double-page spreads whose borders simply can’t contain the colossal elephant, lion, Tyrannosaurus rex, giraffe, bison, rhino, crocodile and shark that inhabit young Jack’s wildest pet dreams. Funny foreshadowing and clever visual details abound, such as in the first spread where the boy’s shark and elephant drawings are taped to the refrigerator. Jack and his patient mother work through the pet options rationally: “ ‘A polar bear would be lovely, dear,’ replied his mother. ‘But I don’t think it would like the central heating.’ / ‘Hmm, I suppose not,’ agreed Jack.” When Jack wakes up wanting a regular dog, the punch line unfolds in a gateway spread; Mom is imagining “a lovely little puppy” while Jack envisions the proud ownership of an enormous spiky beast named Fang. Familiar but fun. (Picture book. 3-5)