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The Best Pet of All Hardcover – June 3, 2004
From timeless classics to new favorites, find children's books for every age and stage. See more
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From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 2–A young boy is desperate to have a dog. When his mother meets his repeated requests with firmer and firmer refusals, he modulates his demand and asks for a pet dragon instead. Thinking she is safe, she agrees that if he can find one, he can keep it. Unfortunately for Mom, he eventually manages to locate one, but the creature is disruptive and untidy. It won't clean up after itself, eats spaghetti in the bathtub, and roasts hot dogs (with its own breath) in the living room. When the youngster points out to his mother that dragons are scared of dogs, she finally agrees to get one. Domestic happiness is restored and the unwanted beast slinks off. LaRochelle captures the essence of the relationship between mother and son with dry humor and laconic text. The child's unfailing optimism triumphs over practical realities and his mother's initial opposition. The simplicity of the language is ideal for beginning readers, while the subtext keeps everyone amused. Wakiyama's nostalgic gouache illustrations evoke the 1950s. Dressed in capris, Mom irons print tablecloths and does dishes by hand. The appliances and decor are of the period, and the dragon is found in an old-fashioned drugstore. The bright, witty artwork complements the story to perfection.–Jane Barrer, Washington Square Village Creative Steps, New York City
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
*Starred Review* PreS-Gr. 1. Doesn't every child want a dog? A young boy keeps asking his mom for one, but she says dogs are too loud and too messy. So he asks if he can have a dragon; Mom says if he can find one, he can keep it. Surprise! There's one at the drugstore, reading a travel magazine. Unfortunately, the dragon is very loud and messy, roasting hot dogs in the living room and eating spaghetti in the bathtub. "Too bad we do not have a dog," the boy says. "Dragons do not like dogs." Mom agrees, and after posting a "Dog Wanted" sign in their window, it isn't long before a boxer comes knocking and the dragon is running scared--or is he? LaRochelle's prose is simple, repetitive, and wonderfully understated; it juxtaposes amusingly with the visuals of the dragon's out-there antics. The action pops to life in Wakiyama's stylized retro art with its candy-colored palette, clever use of thought bubbles, and comical touches (the dragon roasting hot dogs with his breath, or at the soda fountain, wearing shades and a porkpie hat). A happy wag of the kid-wants-dog tale, with guaranteed giggles. Karin Snelson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Top Customer Reviews
I always read reviews before buying a book and try to get an idea if it might be for us. I can recommend "The Best Pet of All" wholeheartedly.