A PET FOR ME by Lee Bennett Hopkins


edited by & illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 8
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In this thematic poetry collection, noted anthologist Hopkins (Home to Me: Poems Across America, 2002, etc.) has selected 20 simple, humorous poems about children’s pets for this addition to the I Can Read series. The selections include both common pets (dogs, cats, birds, and goldfish) and more unusual ones (a purple snake, a tarantula, and a hedgehog). Poems from well-known writers such as Karla Kuskin, X. J. Kennedy, and Aileen Fisher are included, along with several works by Hopkins himself. All the poems rhyme except one, with the text of the poetry printed in large type and with extra line spacing to assist new readers. Many of the poems are set against pastel backgrounds incorporated into double-paged spreads, which works well, but with several poems, part of the text is set against a darker portion of the illustration, a distraction for beginning readers. Manning (Drip, Drop, 2000, etc.) provides a cast of appealing animals and cute children with stylized, elongated eyes, and she focuses on both playful action scenes and more introspective moments between child and pet. The artist includes children of all ethnicities in her illustrations, and she chooses a spunky little girl as the owner of a pet tarantula. In an amusing subtlety, children often sport haircuts or clothes that echo the physical features of their pet in a gentle hint at the old concept of shared identity. An index of authors and titles is included, although a contents page is not, which seems to put the bibliographic cart before the horse. (Easy reader/poetry. 5-8)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-06-029111-7
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 2003


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