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Lauren Child is well known for her series of Charlie & Lola, which is available in the written form as well as being on the Cbeebies channel. This book is a one off, rather like Beware Of The Storybook Wolves and features her unique style of illustrations.
It starts with a little girl, who says,
I really want a pet.
Please Mum, can I have a pet?
Mum says, Well perhaps something with not too much fur.
Dad says, Maybe something that lives outside.
Granny says, Nothing with a buzz. It interferes with her hearing aid.
Grandad says, Stuffed pets are very reliable.
The pet shop lady says, Goldfish can be fun.
Each adult then asks the little girl what type of pet she would like but each time she suggests something, one of the other adults comes up with a good reason why she shouldnt get it.
She suggests all sorts of animals including a lion, a wolf and even an octopus but each time she is told it wouldnt be a good idea.
Eventually the pet shop lady suggests the ideal solution, as it doesnt leave footprints, eat, move or squeak. The little girl is delighted as the pet she gets is an egg. The story ends with,
No ones exactly sure what it is, because its not quite a pet yet
but it will be soon.
The pictures are of the same style as in the Charlie and Lola books. Drawings that have been cut out are stuck on brightly coloured backgrounds. Unlike the writing in some of her other books, this time it doesnt go round in circles or sit in wavy lines, but instead is just made up of clear black print.
My son has been a bit of a fan of the Charlie and Lola series on the telly for quite some time now and loves the little animated figures that come directly from the books. Weve managed to get quite a few of the stories from the library over the past year and he recognised the pictures on the cover, as instantly being Lauren Childs work. At 5 he is really beginning to notice the styles of different authors and series of books.
He originally thought that this was another one in the series but was happy enough to see that it was in fact a totally different character. The little girl is very cute in the pictures and they clearly show what her thoughts are when being told what would happen with each of the suggested pets.
Luckily we havent really had a problem with my kids asking for pets because of asthma and allergies in our house and they were all told from an early age that it just wasnt fair to go and get a pet and then find out that one of the family suffered because of it. I can just imagine though, some children getting ideas for all sorts of pets after reading this book and what their parents excuses might be.
What I love about Lauren Childs books is that they are always about using your imagination, something that is so important for children. It fuels their thoughts and makes them think about the consequences of actions in a funny way. This story is both funny and shows that careful planning is needed when considering getting a pet. It is maybe a little bit unrealistic but there was a time when my son wanted to get a real koala, after getting a stuffed toy as a gift. We had to explain to him that koalas liked to live in trees and had very sharp claws so it wasnt such a good idea. He seemed to think that we would be able to buy one at the local pet shop too.
All in all, this book is another hit with me and Im off to look for some more of this fantastic authors books.
***Other Lauren Child Books***
Beware of the Storybook Wolves
Charlie & Lola series
Clarice Bean series
Whos Afraid Of The Big Bad Book
That Pesky Rat
Hubert Horatio Bartle Bobton-Trent
***Price & Availability***
This paperback is available at the purchasing price of £5.99 but can be found cheaper at Tesco for only £4.49.
ISBN No. 0711213399
Grandad says that sheep are forever following you around; Dad says wolves give him a headache; and Mum says she'll cancel teatime if I mention bats in the wardrobe again. The child in this picture book tries to find a pet that none of his family will mind.