Review Blog

Nov 14 2011

The best pet by Andrea Shavick

cover image

Ill. by Brett Hudson. Pearson Australia, 2011. ISBN 978 1 4425 4821 3.
(Age: Early Childhood and Junior Primary) Well recommended. Anyone teaching early childhood students will recognise this scenario. All the young students try to outdo each other with their pet's amazing attributes.  The illustrations give a clear and rather cheeky picture of each child's idea of their pet's ability. Alex falls for the trap of wanting desperately to have the best pet, but knows he hasn't a chance when Emma loudly announces that he hasn't one.  Alex proceeds to blithely announce that he has a pet which is 'better than all of yours!' p3. A recipe for disaster. The story gradually evolves as each student invites the group to their home only to find each pet does not perform up to the owner's expectations. Then comes Friday and Alex takes them to his home dreading the outcome. But with a delightful twist, all is restored and finally Emma wants to know the outcome of the competition. It's left to the reader to decide. It's a very comfortable story where much positive discussion could ensue. It's a pity a hamster was chosen for they are not able to be kept in Australia. Why not a guinea pig? Perhaps a good discussion point! The text is well spread out and the italics draws attention to the point of the story. Many can read the text via the illustrations which don't seem 'real' for themselves. A pity I think, for real people are more meaningful, but perhaps young students enjoy this style. A good length for students to hear and read for themselves. An enjoyable read.
Sue Nosworthy
Editor's note: This also available in paperback. ISBN 9781442548220.

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