Children Make Terrible Pets


Written and Illustrated by Peter Brown

Little, Brown and Company, 2010

One morning, Lucy was practicing her twirls when she noticed she was being watched.

Previously Reviewed Books from this Author:  Chowder

I became a fan of author/illustrator Peter Brown after reading Chowder, his story of a unique dog and his quest for acceptance.  This book has the same sense of humor and tells the common story of a girl bringing home a pet that she found and wants to keep.  There’s a fun role reversal in this book, though, because the girl is a bear and the pet is a human boy that she names Squeaker, due to the funny squeaking noises he makes.

I imagine all bears occasionally pretend to be kangaroos.

I imagine all bears occasionally pretend to be kangaroos.

The book gives us a true picture of pet ownership, with its positive moments and its challenges, but Lucy is determined to make this relationship work, in spite of her mother’s assertion that children do not make good pets.  (I love the unspoken notion here that many animals have tried to make pets of children.)  When Squeaker gets lost, Lucy panics and chases after him, finally finding him reunited with his real family.  She knows it’s best to leave him there, so she goes sadly home and admits that her mother was right.

Mr. Brown’s artwork is outstanding, with wonderful expressions, colored text boxes and speech bubbles to bring the pictures to life.  The pictures are also framed on the pages by wood backgrounds, which gives the book a very outdoorsy feel. I love Lucy’s exuberance and was glad to see that she is featured in a follow-up book called YOU WILL BE MY FRIEND! in which she is determined to make a new friend.

And what did we learn?  What I take away from this book is that not every adorable creature makes a good potential pet.


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