An exuberant (and imaginative) little boy pooh-poohs the idea of having a boring guinea pig for a pet…until he gives it a try.
Not satisfied with his sister’s cute and cuddly guinea pig, the narrator wants a cool pet…like a dog. Watercolor scenes from his imagination fill the next spread, showing readers the fun that he could have with a dog. But a page turn brings him back to reality, his sister explaining that dogs are smelly and messy—the opposite of guinea pigs. This pattern continues as the boy imagines life with a shaggy bear and a smoking dragon. And why stop there? One page is a hodgepodge of (similarly inappropriate) pets, wickedly toothy in Taylor’s artwork. But when the wise sister places her beloved pet on her little brother’s knee, it’s the start of more than just a merry game of hide-and-seek. He agrees he’d like to share her pet, admitting guinea pigs can be fun...“though I’d still like a dragon someday!” Taylor’s children have a sweet sibling relationship (minus the dragon breathing fire at the sister), while page turns nicely build suspense. The parents of young readers who enjoy this may want to read aloud Guinea Dog (2010) by Patrick Jennings next.
No guarantee that children will choose a guinea pig as a pet (especially with all these choices!), but the odds are in parents’ favor. (Picture book. 4-9)