author-illustrator Bob Staake has created a rollicking picture
book about a boy and his most unusual pet!
Most pets are cats and dogs, but what happens when a boy wants
a different kind of pet, one that doesn't meow or bark? Bob Staake's
exuberant tale of a little boy and the pet of his dreams will
appeal to anyone.
from book (above)
This boy is
delightfully well-spoken, and distinctly precocious; children
listening to My Pet Book or reading it to themselves will most
likely see him as a kindred spirit, or at the very least find
his quirks amusingMy Pet Book offers visual delightsThough Staake's
style is bold and graphic, many of his pages are crowded with
funny detailsIt's a goofy, good-natured adventure that should
appeal to any book lover-even one who likes kittens and puppies.
wordless Bluebird depicted a lonesome outsider, introduces a
happier child, albeit one allergic to cats. "I want a pet
that's easy!" the boy declares, so his pleased parents steer
him to a bookshop, where he chooses "a frisky red hardcover."
Staake's bouncy hero resembles a Photoshop version of Crockett
Johnson's Harold as he casually walks his obedient book across
a chaotic city bridge, oblivious to the mischief of real dogs
and cats. In the only spread to picture him reading, he imagines
battling a fairy-tale dragon and a purple octopus, reveling in
"tales/ Of awesomeness and glory." All is well until
his book goes missing, and the family maid fears she has given
it "to charity" while cleaning house. There are some
missteps (like that anachronistic, uniformed maid), and a few
stanzas include words and phrases that feel like filler ("Most
pets, you know, are cats and dogs/ Go out and take a look./ But
there's a boy in Smartytown/ Whose pet is... a little book").
The appeal of a good book gets lost in the fray, despite much
entertaining stage business in Staake's images. Ages 37.
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