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PET by Matthew Van Fleet


by Matthew Van Fleet ; illustrated by Matthew Van Fleet with photographed by Brian Stanton

Pub Date: Jan. 19th, 2021
ISBN: 978-1-5344-8247-0
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

A panorama of pets, with big tabs to pull and furry or textured patches to fondle.

Dozens of small pets crowd the ultrasturdy white pages or peer from behind heavy acetate windows. If not every single one comes with a well-anchored piece of synthetic fur or fuzz or can be made to peek out or waggle a fin by pulling a big, geared-for-toddlers tab, all—even the hermit crab and the sticky snails—are bright and cute as buttons. Except for mentioning that “small” potbellied pigs “get too big,” Van Fleet doesn’t address the practicalities (or ethics) of keeping as pets some of the less-domesticated birds, reptiles, and other creatures on display. In fact, the text is written for rhythm more than it is for literal meaning: “Gnaw pet, / Chew pet, / Peck pet, / Crunch! / Gulp pet, / Nibble pets—munch, munch, munch, munch, munch!” In this tableau, a chinchilla, a degu, a parrot, a tortoise, a goldfish, a mouse, and a guinea pig all nosh, the pull-tab wiggling the guinea pig’s head as it nibbles. All, from guinea pig and goldfish to veiled chameleon, ornate horned frog, and sun conure are identified in a grand pop-up assemblage at the end. The earthier underpinnings of the team’s similarly designed Color Dog (2015) may be absent, but the sheer diversity of the animal cast will delight diapered audiences.

Sure to result in choruses of ooohs, coos, and mews.

(Informational novelty. 2-4)