The Perfect Pet

by Margie Palatini Year Published: Average
Palatini adds her own brand of offbeat humor and an unexpected ending to the traditional story of a child trying to convince her parents that she should have a pet. Elizabeth accepts the substitute cactus plant and even names it, but she doesn't give up, surprising her parents in bed, in the bathroom, and at the dinner table. While she enumerates the advantages of each animal, requesting everything from a horse to a rat, her parents counter with the negatives. Finally, the child finds her own solution. She adopts a bug, names him Doug, and provides him with a perfect habitat, good food, and companionship. He is the perfect pet, and Elizabeth loves him for his differences and individuality. Mother, on the other hand, is not happy with the idea. There is a happy ending, though, as Doug joins the family on the couch with a bowl of popcorn. The finely crafted illustrations in both delicate pastel shades and bright colors combine realistic pictures of animals and people with cartoon elements and an engaging little bug. Good for individual or group sharing. from Marlene Gawron, formerly at Orange County Library, Orlando, FL