title: Katie McGinty Wants A Pet
words: Jenna Harrington
pictures: Finn Simpson
publisher: Little Tiger Press
orig pub year: 2015
version reviewed: HB 2015
(from Little Tiger)
Katie McGinty really wants a pet. But she doesn’t want an ordinary pet; hamsters, cats, and dogs are just…YUCK! What she wants more than anything else in the world is a … zebra! A zebra who slurps spaghetti, sleeps in her bunk bed and bathes in the local swimming pool. And she’s determined to get one!
This funny picture book will resonate with any child who has ever wanted a pet – and any parent who has ever been nagged for one! With joyful illustrations from Finn Simpson and a hilarious twist at the end, Katie McGinty Wants a Pet! is the perfect book for animal-mad children!
Do you remember what it’s like to really want something as a child? The days seem never ending when parents say “wait until you’re bigger”, and how big is bigger anyhow? Katie McGinty wants a pet more than anything. More than her friends want their wishes (but not as much as Posie (6) wants all the Sylvanians ever, apparently!)
Eventually the day arrives and Katie drags her Daddy to the pet shop. Katie’s parents have made a rookie parenting error here by promising “a pet” without agreeing any limitations. Silly Daddy thinks Katie will want a hamster, or a cat, or a dog. Silly Daddy! Of course Katie wants a Zebra.
Daddy plays along with this, thinking the pet shop won’t have zebras, so checks Katie’s understanding of what a pet entails by asking her where it’s going to sleep and what it’s going to eat. Katie has been waiting a very long time so has all the answers. Zebras eat spaghetti, sleep in bunk beds, and wear woolly jumpers to keep warm. As they approach the pet shop, Daddy tries to let Katie down gently, because pet shops don’t sell zebras. Or do they?
It’s nice to see a dad in a caring role in this story, taking his daughter to the pet shop and having a loving conversation with her. The chaoticians point out how Katie is cheating at being big by standing on a pile of books to get taller, which I think shows how the illustrations pull you into Katie’s world. The illustrations are fun and full of energy and expression. The ending isn’t quite what you expect, and raises huge smiles in Chaos Castle.
Katie is an adorable character, so much so that Posie keeps asking when the next Katie McGinty book will be out! I could see this as a series, and hope it does well. Jenna Harrington has written a fabulous debut, and the pairing with Finn Simpson works beautifully. Recommended to all children who want (or have) a pet.
Picture Books with Pets (with a difference…) – publishing Wednesday
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