Review Blog

Oct 12 2020

Piper picks the perfect pet by Caroline Tuohey

cover image

Illus. by Nicole Johnston. Ford St Publishing, 2020. ISBN: 9781925804591.
(Ages: 3+) Highly recommended. Starting the book with the lines,
My Dad says I can chose a pet
But I'm not sure what pet to get
will fire the imaginations of all readers as they choose a pet along with the narrator.
And with every good verse story, the lines entice readers to predict the rhyming word as the pages are turned.
The choices are numerous, from a bouncy dog or a flouncy dog, a puddly dog or a jumpy dog, a perhaps a tabbly or Persian cat, a donkey, an axolotl, a horse or ferret. Every different sort of pet is illustrated and questioned over its suitability, until finally at a pet show at school, the narrator's choice is revealed.
A fun read, supported by delightfully comic illustrations, the verse tale will entreat and captivate readers, many of whom will have had the same dilemma, what pet to chose, and those that have not had to make this choice will be equally charmed, thinking about possibilities to come.
Johnston's pencil and watercolour illustrations reveal a playful family life, fill of animals and a supportive school which has a pet show to encourage and involve students. The antics of each of the animals portrayed reveals a subtle humour as they are shown in various guises. A poodle taking its place along the chaise lounge, a large dog taking up the whole chair, a Manx cat playing with the mouse, a donkey refusing to budge, while a goat takes its master up the hill. Children will laugh out loud at the antics of each animal as the pages are turned, wondering which one to choose for themselves and for the narrator. And there is a prize for every pet. Teacher's notes are available.
Themes: Animals, Pets, Humour, Choices, Alliteration.
Fran Knight

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