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WANTED: THE PERFECT PET by Fiona Roberton Kirkus Star


by Fiona Roberton & illustrated by Fiona Roberton

Age Range: 4 - 6

Pub Date: May 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-399-25461-1
Publisher: Putnam

Henry wants a dog. He has an extensive collection of frogs, but frogs are boring. “I want a pet with personality,” he tells his mother. So Henry does what any little boy would do and advertises in the local paper, the Daily Catastrophe. Enter Duck. Duck is a lonely, nameless bird with no friends. He sees Henry’s ad in the paper and naturally decides to dress up as a dog and answer the ad. During the interview, however, Duck is found out. Henry decides to take in the poor duck anyway and discovers that he may have met his perfect pet after all. Roberton makes this fantastic silliness work by choosing to take her characters seriously and letting her simple, even childlike, tongue-in-cheek drawings do much of the comedic work. The story maintains a consistently funny edge, features characters kids will empathize with and includes some hilarious highlights, such as the outrageous classified ads (“FOR FREE: Enchanted Mirror / Always speaks the truth”). Some of this may go over little heads, but adults need to laugh too. Extremely entertaining, with lots of warmth at its heart. (Picture book. 4-6)