Great Illustrated Books

Children Make Terrible Pets

By Peter Brown

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2010
Pages : 40
Suggested Ages: 4 and Up
ISBN: 9780316015486

In this laugh-out-loud twist on the perils of pet ownership, Lucy the Bear happens upon a little boy hiding behind a bush while she's busy "practicing her twirls" in the woods one day. Lucy quickly sees "the cutest critter in the WHOLE forest!", names him "Squeaker" (after the teeny sound he makes), and excitedly brings him home to show Mom. Lucy's Mom is not amused to find a little boy in her living room, because she knows what's coming… just like any parent who's ever received that age-old "can we keep him PLEASE?" pet pitch! Even though Mom issues a careful warning that "children make terrible pets," Lucy is allowed to keep him, but only on one condition: he is HER responsibility. Will Lucy be up to this challenging task?

ucy and Squeaker quickly become inseparable, playing, eating, and napping together…but we soon discover that all is not well in pet paradise. Kids will giggle at the comical drawings that clearly show that having a kid for a pet isn't all it's cracked up to be. At the same time, parents are sure to enjoy watching Lucy discover the unexpected, messy pitfalls of pet ownership. The escalating antics of Squeaker and Lucy will keep kids turning the pages, wondering what will happen next, and they will be eager to discover Squeaker's fate when Lucy realizes that her furniture-destroying, chandelier-swinging, tea-party-ruining friend has suddenly gone missing. For kids who may have temporarily lost a toy or a pet, Lucy's frustration at losing little Squeaker will be instantly relatable, and her ultimate realization that maybe Squeaker is happier staying with his own family successfully gets across the subtle lesson that sometimes, leaving things where you find them is a really good idea. (And what parent hasn't heaved a small sigh of relief when a kid finally learns that particular lesson?)

With a clever, bold format that includes cartoon-like dialogue balloons and simple, easy-to-read text, Children Make Terrible Pets will quickly become a story-time favorite for both parents and kids alike. If the final illustration is any indication, we probably haven't heard the last of Brown's likeable, tutu-wearing heroine.

Reviewed by : JW


If you love this book, then try:

Base, Graeme. Eleventh Hour. Harry Abrams Publishing, 1993. ISBN-13: 978-0773727571.

Brown, Peter. Chowder. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2006. ISBN-13: 9781933938912.

Brown, Peter. Flight of the Dodo. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2010. ISBN-13: 978-0316083393.

Brown, Peter. The Curious Garden. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2009. ISBN-13: 978-0316015479.

Brown, Peter. You Will Be My Friend! Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2011. ISBN-13: 978-0316070300.

Freeman, Don. Corduroy. Puffin, 1976. ISBN-13: 978-0140501735.

Numeroff, Laura Joffe. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. HarperCollins, 1985. ISBN-13: 978-0060245863.

Stead, Philip C. A Sick Day for Amos McGee. Roaring Book Press, 2010. ISBN-13: 978-1596434028

Stein, David Ezra. Interrupting Chicken. Candlewick, 2010. ISBN-13: 978-0763641689.

Critics have said

Appealing and humorous, with a lesson to boot!
School Library Journal
Brown's distinctive multimedia art, featuring text in colored blocks and characters' asides printed in word balloons, has a playful, old-time style that matches the woodsy setting and the enjoyable story's upbeat tone.
Joyfully animated illustrations depict Lucy in a pink tutu and Squeaker as a typical boy in a striped shirt and sneakers. The way each page is framed in a faux wood finish gives the pictures the look of a vintage television console.
New York Times