Extraordinary Pets

Barroux, Author . Blue Apple $15.99 (18p) ISBN 978-1-60905-011-5

Ostensibly urging children to consider unconventional pets, Barroux's (My Goldfish ) offbeat riff features a series of gatefold surprises. Each spread presents a child on the left who interacts with an ordinary pet on the right, along with a setup line about that pet's drawback (“A chihuahua has no hair BUT...”). Lifting a page-size flap reveals the virtues of the alternative (“...a tarantula has a hairdo!”). The children and their animals are sketched in pencil and shaded with wash, and there's always something about the child that gives a hint of the unusual pet to come—a girl's dress and handbag match an alligator's bumpy ridged back, for example. The gatefold punch lines are unexpected and often deliciously loony (“A mouse is a buddy BUT... an octopus is a swim buddy”). That mouse owners do not usually take their pets for walks on leashes, as one boy does, or that octopuses may not, in fact, make good swimming buddies is beside the point. Barroux's powers of persuasion should have readers considering the fun, if not the practicality, of the purchase of a penguin. Ages 5–up. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 03/01/2010
Release date: 03/01/2010
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