Unremarkable if unobjectionable fluff, about Tom's efforts to get himself a pet. When his parents don't come through with a horse for his eighth birthday, Tom tries unsuccessfully to trap a rabbit in the field. Then he lures a collie home with hamburger (""mince"" in this British story) and ends up with eleven dogs tearing through the house. Sneaking a sad penguin home from the zoo only results in his parents' calling the zoo people to retrieve it. A donkey he leads home tears up the garden, and he falls into the pond trying to catch a duck. This time, though, there's another boy at the pond. He falls in too--and, well, what Tom's parents have said all along was that Tom really needed a friend his age, not a pet. Painless, but offputting in appearance, with heavy lines that crowd the pages.