Quirky dioramas illustrate this explication of pet care.
Rudy’s carefully composed scenes feature clever components and unexpected details, including felted figures, repurposed household objects, torn paper and objects from the natural world. The straightforward text begins by speaking directly to the small, pensive-looking mouse who appears on the first page: “Do you wish sometimes… / that you had a pet?” Many of the following spreads (a mix of single- and double-page) have only one or two simple declarative sentences or phrases, giving the text a staccato feel. All are useful suggestions: “Pick a pet that suits your style,” or “Pick a pet you’ll like to exercise.” The illustrations, meanwhile, provide offbeat extensions of the simple text—a fuzzy yellow caterpillar worn like a feather boa or a pair of bees flying on leashes. Most scenes have an old-fashioned feel, featuring antique toys, fancy miniature furniture, bits of lace, old letters and postage stamps—details that will resonate more with adults than young listeners. The few instances of mild humor are also likely to go over children’s heads. Despite the general-sounding advice, this is ultimately the very specific story of one young mouse’s search for the perfect pet—and a demonstration of one artist’s fascination with creating realistic rodents and placing them in charming domestic scenes.
Whimsy in search of an audience. (Picture book. 4-7)