#CCDDD: Picture Books with Pets (with a difference…)


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…

Katie McGinty Wants a Pet: Jenna Harrington & Finn Simpson (Little Tiger Press, 2015)
title: Katie McGinty Wants A Pet
words: Jenna Harrington
pictures: Finn Simpson
publisher: Little Tiger Press
orig pub year: 2015
series: none
pages: 32
source: publisher
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.

Wanted: The Perfect Pet - Fiona Roberton (Hodder Children's Books, 2009)
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
pages: 32
source: publisher
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.

Aaaarrgghh, Spider!: Lydia Monks (Egmont, 2004)
title: Aaaarrgghh, Spider!
words: Lydia Monks
pictures: Lydia Monks
publisher: Egmont
orig pub year: 2004
series: none
pages: 32
source: bought
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.

This Moose Belongs To Me: Oliver Jeffers (HarperCollins Childrens Books, 2012)
title: This Moose Belongs To Me
words: Oliver Jeffers
pictures: Oliver Jeffers
publisher: HarperCollins Children’s Books
orig pub year: 2012
series: none
pages: 32
source: publisher
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.

Bridget Fidget: Joe Berger (Puffin Books, 2008)
title: Bridget Fidget
words: Joe Berger
pictures: Joe Berger
publisher: Puffin Books
orig pub year: 2008
series: none
pages: 32
source: bought
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.

Peculiar Pets: Victoria Roberts & Deborah Allwright (Scholastic, 2009)
title: Peculiar Pets
words: Victoria Roberts
pictures: Deborah Allwright
publisher: Scholastic
orig pub year: 2009
series: none
pages: 32
source: bought
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?”

“We’ll see.”

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.


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