As surely as “Are we there yet?” there comes a time when the call goes out: “I want a pet.” Katie wants a pet and a half, with stripes.
Harrington and Simpson’s Katie is of the Caucasian pixie variety. She can have a pet, she is told, when she is big enough to take care of it. She’s big enough to fudge her height, so off she goes with her father to the pet store. “Tell me what kind of pet you want,” says her father, oblivious to the yawning cavern such a wide-open question invites. Cat, dog, hamster, chipmunk, snake, pig? “No!,” Katie retorts, making a face that’s a twist between whine and tears. Make it a zebra, Katie yodels. Daddy’s slightly taken aback. Zebras need warmth, more food than their lawn can supply, and a place to sleep and bathe. Katie’s prepared: Grandma can knit the zebra a sweater, it will eat—silly Daddy!—at the table, sleep in the lower bunk, and bathe in the pool. Easy-peasy. Daddy has an ace up his sleeve: no pet shop is going to sell zebras. Katie has a royal straight flush up her sleeve: “I know I can’t have ONE... // …I can have TWO!” Turns out the pet shop’s having a sale.
A light and good-natured introduction to following one’s dreams, however crazy. (Picture book. 3-6)