I Want a Pet by Lauren Child

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I Want a Pet by Lauren Child

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Zoe Morris
Reviewed by Zoe Morris
Summary: If you could have any pet, what would you choose? A sheep? A bat? A boa constrictor?
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 24 Date: October 2013
Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children's Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1847803344

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What do you do if you really, really want a pet? You ask your parents, of course. They’re bound to have some criteria. Like something with not too much fur, something that can live outside, neatly out of the way, or something that doesn’t buzz (it’s not good for Granny’s hearing aid, y’see). So you take all this into consideration and come up with a shortlist of critters that might work. One by one you suggest them, and one by one your ideas are shouted down.

Lions are fun, but they might be a bit too hungry, like The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr.

A wolf might be interesting, but they don’t half howl.

A snake might work but what if it goes overboard with a hug and squeeeeeezes too much?

This is a delightful, entertaining book that takes going to the pet shop to a whole new level. I loved the way it didn’t stop at your typical cat/dog/goldfish/hamster options, favouring the more exotic species instead. It captures a child’s mind perfectly, and doesn’t seem like it’s been written by a boring, sensible grown up. Even better, because it’s so outlandish (an octopus is hardly a realistic pet) it’s not a dangerous book to read around children whose ideas of pets are wildly different from your own (or where you know they want one, but you don’t or can’t for whatever reason). The book is fun, but it’s far enough away from reality that they can’t play the Well if she got one why can’t I? excuse.

The illustrations are classic Lauren Child: familiar, unkempt, pencil drawings full of colour and character. Fans of Charlie and Lola will feel right at home with this one. The text is short and simple, perfect for those starting to read by themselves, and it’s nicely spaced out around the pictures so the pages don’t appear too overwhelming.

One of the brilliant things about this edition is that it’s so petite and portable. It’s perfect for flinging in a schoolbag (or mum’s handbag) for on the go reading opportunities, and because it’s a hardback, it’s sturdy enough to withstand a bit of the aforementioned flinging. It would be great for taking with you when you anticipate a wait, like a doctor’s or dentist’s waiting room – speaking from experience, we have toys for toddlers in ours, and magazines for grown ups, but nothing really for school age kids to occupy their time with.

Does she get a pet in the end? You’ll have to wait and see, but let’s just say the ending definitely made me chuckle. After all the poo-poo-ing of her ideas, it seems our little one will be having the last laugh here.

Thanks go to the publishers for sending us this.

The delightful double ace of Charlie and Lola are talking animals is I'm Just Not Keen On Spiders while Jacob O'Reilly Wants A Pet by Lynne Rickards and Lee Wildish is on the same theme as I Want a Pet

Buy I Want a Pet by Lauren Child at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy I Want a Pet by Lauren Child at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy I Want a Pet by Lauren Child at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy I Want a Pet by Lauren Child at Amazon.com.


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