Who’s Lily’s favorite pet? Pussycat Mr. Fuzzbuster thinks he knows.
Mr. Fuzzbuster and the ponytailed white girl have been together since “he fit in a teacup and she fit in diapers.” Even though Fishy Face the goldfish, King the lizard, Feathers the parrot, and Bruiser the dog have joined the family, Mr. Fuzzbuster’s still sure he’s the favorite; he even has documentary proof in an old drawing of Lily’s. The others still have doubts, so the pets draft a note asking Lily to decide who’s the favorite once and for all. Lily turns to Fishy Face, causing Mr. Fuzzbuster to worry….But Lily says, “Fishy Face, you are my favorite…” (here Hemingway introduces suspense with a page turn) “…goldfish.” She tells her pets in turn that each is her favorite of its species. Certain he is the favorite of favorites, Mr. Fuzzbuster consoles the others by telling them how catlike they are (and how he has never considered eating them)…but when Lily specifies that Mr. Fuzzbuster is simply her favorite cat, he decides to leave—until he remembers who his favorite is. McAnulty’s text, related in third-person with a tight focus on Mr. Fuzzbuster, slyly exploits the protagonist’s overinflated ego. Hemingway’s bold and bright cartoon illustrations, a mixture of spot and full-bleed on patterned backgrounds, feature expressive animals and provide a nifty punch line at the close.
This tale of who’s the preferred pet will charm animal lovers of all stripes. (Picture book. 3-8)