A school-age boy wants to get a pet but can’t decide what kind.
When Oscar finally gets permission from his parents to get a pet, he doesn’t know which one to get. He put out an advertisement and receives an avalanche of letters from a vast range of animals ranging from Goldie the goldfish to Walter the whale. The animals even start coming to Oscar’s house, but most of them are not interested in playing with Oscar. With Oscar’s house so full, the family must sleep in their backyard. A final prank by Space Monkey Boo-Boo causes Oscar’s mom to lose her temper and send all the animals away. When the family moves back into their house, Oscar discovers one missed letter from Rufus, a dog who promises to always love Oscar and be his best friend. Told in first person by Oscar, the story is simple but quite funny. It may be a tad on the complicated side for very young readers, and readers looking for an overt moral are unlikely to find one. Veteran Laberis’ digitally created illustrations are neat, displaying the expressions of the family and the animals exquisitely. Oscar is a brown-skinned, biracial boy, with a white dad and brown-skinned, black-haired mom.
A funny, lighthearted story sure to appease everyone, animal lovers or not. (Picture book. 4-8)