An imaginative little girl dreams of an exotic pet.
Sam, who wears big square glasses and a serious expression, just got a hamster, her first pet. He mostly sleeps and eats, she notes, "and gets his shavings wet." She is far from impressed. Why can't she have a unicorn? They'd “prance through fields of posies,” and she could "shine her horn with candy corn." Or what about a hippogriff? He might scare the dogs in the dog park. A pet sasquatch could be fun (except for combing out its snarled fur), or what about flying on the back of a gryphon? If she had a kraken, she could go on deep-sea dives. A kirin needs acres of grass, a jackalope requires “sturdy reins for bumpy, jumpy rides.” If Sam had a dragon, she'd probably need a fire extinguisher, and a manticore would require intensive dental care. What about a harpy? Too screechy. A basilisk? Too slippery. Mermaids brush their hair all day, fairies play too many tricks, kelpies are hard to catch. Sam looks at her hamster again, staring at her with big bright eyes, cute tiny feet, and a furry belly. Just right after all. VanSickle delivers lean, bouncy verse and an impressive array of offbeat creatures, while Atkinson's illustrations are bold and hint at dynamic motion. Sam is depicted as a bespectacled, dark-skinned girl with long, brown hair and wearing plaid flannel.
Brisk and bright, if a tad one-dimensional. (Picture book. 5-7)