The Perfect Present by Fiona Roberton

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The Perfect Present by Fiona Roberton

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Category: For Sharing
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Ruth Ng
Reviewed by Ruth Ng
Summary: Funny and sweet, a wonderful follow up to the delightful Wanted: The Perfect Pet
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: July 2012
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1444908947

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We first met Henry in Wanted: The Perfect Pet (a story I still love!) when he went in search of a dog but found, in the end, that a small duck named Spot was actually everything he needed in a pet. This time the two friends are looking forward to Henry's birthday. Spot has found Henry what he thinks is the perfect present: a fishing rod that Henry has been gazing at in a shop window for quite some time. Henry tries to guess what Spot has bought him, and Spot is so excited about seeing Henry's face when he opens it. When morning comes the pair rush down to see all the presents. Henry is saving Spot's present for last, however, just as he is about to open it Henry's grandparents arrive with a box. They place it in front of Henry and inside it is a dog! Henry is so excited he forgets to open Spot's gift and rushes outside to play with the dog. Poor Spot! Will this change their friendship forever?

My daughter and I were very happy to see the return of Henry and Spot. The illustrations in the book are as wonderful as ever - bold and funny with lots to look at both for little children and also for grown-ups too. The new little dog is a very cute addition to the family, and poor Spot moved us emotionally as he decides to leave Henry and return to his old house. The pictures are very simply drawn, mostly in black and white with the odd touch of colour here and there, but somehow they manage not to be monotonous and instead are full of life and emotion.

The story works beautifully too. At the end of the previous book, it seemed all would be well with the two friends, and this is an interesting twist to their story, to give Henry the pet he originally desired so much. It turns out that Spot gets stranded in a storm on his way back to his old house. It is the dog who alerts Henry that Spot has gone missing, and they set out together to get Spot back. The dog attempts to jump into the raging river to rescue Spot, but he sinks like a stone so now it is Spot's turn to rescue him, but together they are too heavy and they both begin to sink! Fortunately, Henry has his brand new fishing rod with him and he catches them on the line and pulls them to safety. The reunion between Henry and Spot is moving, and I love the ending which sees Henry suggesting that they share the dog who can be a pet for both of them! The ideas involved are easy to follow for younger readers, but the story is so lovely that it keeps me happy too and is certainly one I don't mind doing endless re-reads of.

A really lovely story, especially if you already know Henry and Spot. I would certainly recommend it to be the perfect present itself... but buy two copies so you can keep one for yourself!

We've also reviewed Cuckoo! by Fiona Roberton.

This is where the story begins for Henry and Spot Wanted: The Perfect Pet

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Buy The Perfect Present by Fiona Roberton at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Perfect Present by Fiona Roberton at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy The Perfect Present by Fiona Roberton at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Perfect Present by Fiona Roberton at


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