The Pet Person by Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross

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The Pet Person by Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Ruth Ng
Reviewed by Ruth Ng
Summary: Pet lovers will appreciate the humour in this story the most!
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: January 2015
Publisher: Andersen
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9781783442423

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Children's stories often turn a familiar idea on its head. In this story it is that of pets, for the main characters in the story are a family of dogs, and one of them would very much like his own pet person! Will Rex succeed in persuading his parents to get him a person? And if so, will it be everything he ever dreamed of?

It's a familiar topic of conversation in our house - the question of whether or not to get a dog. 'You'd have to walk him every day, twice,' I tell my daughter. 'Twice?' she gulps. 'Oh, okay, I could probably manage that.' 'Even if it's raining,' I add. 'And you'll have to pick up his poo in a little bag if he does it in the street.' This is usually the point at which she gives up begging for a dog. They become a lot less appealing when you think about the daily poo-handling requirements! This story, however, sees a reversal in the arguments as Rex the dog is asking for a pet person for his birthday. His mum says no, because it will ruin the furniture. Rex remains adamant, and promises he'll take it for walks, but finding no room for negotiation with his mum he tries his dad instead. Dad has his own well worn retorts, trotting out it would eat us out of house and home. Anyway, they smell!

Rex asks more and more family members. I'm particularly fond of grandfather doggy who asks why Rex can't just make do with a new bone like anyone else! Frustrated, Rex heads off to the park which is full of dogs walking their people (though at this point it looks a lot more like our own familiar world of people walking their dogs). Looking at all the different people Rex suddenly spots a small ginger one, all by itself. Rex goes over, thinking it must be a stray person. They start to play together, but Rex begins to find that pet ownership is perhaps not as easy as he'd thought as his new person is very noisy and wanting to be fed all the time! In the end Rex is alarmed at the discovery that he might possibly catch fleas from his person, and so he runs home as fast as he can, having gone right off the idea of having a pet person. Of course, what should he find he's been given for his birthday once he gets home?!

I think that there is more humour in this story if you've owned a pet yourself in the past as all the jokes will make more sense. It's also a bit too complicated for smaller children and is better suited to those probably over about four, so that they can follow what's going on. I enjoyed the concept, and it's a fun story to read. Tony Ross' illustrations are, as ever, wonderful and support the text brilliantly. I liked the picture of poor Rex sitting on top of the hill in the park, looking at all the different dogs and their pets. Potentially helpful if you're struggling with the 'can I have a dog' syndrome, but equally good as just a fun story to share.

Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross are a great picture book team, and you might like to take a look at some of their other delightful stories such as Hippospotamus or Susan Laughs.

Buy The Pet Person by Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Pet Person by Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy The Pet Person by Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Pet Person by Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross at Amazon.com.


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