Spot the duck became Henry’s pet when he disguised himself as a dog in Wanted: The Perfect Pet (2010), and in what initially feels like a cruel twist of a sequel, he seems at risk of displacement by Henry’s new pet.
Henry eagerly anticipates his birthday, and Spot is excited about gifting him a fishing rod. But then Henry’s grandparents give him “A Dog!” and poor Spot feels pushed aside. Forlorn, he leaves Henry a note and, suitcase in wing, decides to return to his "egg house." Spot strikes a pathetic figure as he attempts a stormy river crossing, only to get stuck on a branch. When Henry wakes and reads Spot’s farewell note, he and Dog leave to find him, Henry donning red boots and a jaunty, green scarf-and-cap set. Dog heroically dives into the river to rescue Spot, but he sinks “like a stone,” prompting Spot to dive in to save him. Luckily, Henry has his trusty new fishing rod, and with “a strange Ffwwiiiiiiiiizzzzz Plop” he catches Spot’s collar and pulls both pets ashore. Their reunion is made even sweeter as Henry wraps his scarf around Spot’s neck and persuades him to accept Dog as a “Perfect Pet” they can share. Throughout, friendly, cartoonish line drawings employ minimal setting, humorous detail and ample expressive power.
Utterly charming. (Picture book. 4-7)