Most children would love to have a pet. For children with big imaginations (all of them?!) cats, dogs, and guinea pigs are all very well, but pets with a difference sound a lot more fun…
title: Katie McGinty Wants A Pet
words: Jenna Harrington
pictures: Finn Simpson
publisher: Little Tiger Press
orig pub year: 2015
version reviewed: HB 2015
Katie McGinty knows exactly what pet she wants to get. Not a hamster, or a cat, or a dog. Oh, no!
Not a chipmunk; not a snake; not a pig. No, Katie really wants a pet with a difference.
Can you guess? The stripes might give it away.
Katie knows just what a pet zebra needs too, but Daddy’s not too sure!
More rambling about Katie McGinty Wants a Pet at Chaos Castle.
title: Wanted: The Perfect Pet
words: Fiona Roberton
pictures: Fiona Roberton
publisher: Hodder Children’s Books
orig pub year: 2009
series: Spot and Henry #1
version reviewed: PB 2012
Henry doesn’t actually want a pet with a difference, he wants a dog.
With floppy ears and a waggy tail, and a soft wet nose, and a warm furry tongue…
But it seems the perfect pet is searching for someone too, and he isn’t a dog but a duck.
Fiona Roberton’s picture books are beautiful and heartwarming, and explore being (or feeling) different. They work perfectly for Chaos Castle’s non-neurotypical inhabitants, and all four are in the library.
More rambling about Wanted: The Perfect Pet at Child-Led Chaos.
title: Aaaarrgghh, Spider!
words: Lydia Monks
pictures: Lydia Monks
orig pub year: 2004
version reviewed: PB 2004
Aaaarrgghh, Spider! looks at the viewpoint of a pet who wants a family.
Spiders aren’t the most usual of pet, especially not house spiders, but the spider in our tale does all she can to show the family how good a pet she can be.
More rambling about Aaaarrghh, Spider! at Child-Led Chaos.
title: This Moose Belongs To Me
words: Oliver Jeffers
pictures: Oliver Jeffers
publisher: HarperCollins Children’s Books
orig pub year: 2012
version reviewed: HB 2012
In contrast to Aaaarrgghh, Spider’s pet in need of a family, here is a pet who doesn’t know he is one. Marcel (or Rodrigo? or Dominic?) is owned by Wilfred.
Or perhaps he isn’t…
This Moose Belongs to Me is a wonderful tale of a wild animal being itself, regardless of what humans think it ought to be, with gorgeous Oliver Jeffers illustrations.
More rambling about This Moose Belongs to Me at Child-Led Chaos.
title: Bridget Fidget
words: Joe Berger
pictures: Joe Berger
publisher: Puffin Books
orig pub year: 2008
version reviewed: PB 2008
Bridget Fidget is a very bouncy child (we know a few like that!) and is full of excitement at the HUGE box delivered by the postman. It must be a pet unicorn for her?!
But inside the HUGE box, is a BIG box full of snow (oh how familiar that sounds!) so maybe it’s just a penguin instead?!
But inside the BIG box, is a little box… Oh, well, maybe it’s a mouse?
Now Daddy and Mummy are awake (and not very happy), Bridget finds out that the parcel is actually a… clock!
A clock? Or a house for a special pet? Bridget is full of excitement despite every disappointment, she bounces back and gets excited by something else. It’s a great philosophy to have, and rewards her with her pet with a difference – a teeny little ladybird.
With illustrations full of exuberance, this is an excellent wake-up story to start a day full of imagination.
title: Peculiar Pets
words: Victoria Roberts
pictures: Deborah Allwright
orig pub year: 2009
version reviewed: PB 2009
Peculiar Pets has another little girl full of imagination, and another child really wanting a pet. I can’t read this without hearing Cerrie Burnell’s voice in my head as we first heard it being read on CBeebies.
“Mum, can I have a pet? Please? Mum, Mum, can I? Can I have a pet?”
Oh dear, the parental “we’ll see”, which often means no. But that doesn’t deter this little girl. She sees… a rock! A glove! A sweet wrapper! A balloon!
Each pet is okay, for a day or two… But seeing how caring and imaginative her daughter is, mum has a surprise…
Peculiar Pets may end up with a pet without a difference, but the imaginative pets may inspire little ones to care for their own peculiar pets.
These six picture books give a variety of examples of pets with a difference. If you have any suggestions to add, please use the comment form below.