cover image PET OF A PET


Marsha Hayles, PET OF A PET Marsha Hayles

There's a bit of barnyard bedlam in this silly tale of role reversal. Tabitha ("Tabby, as she liked to be called"), clad in overalls and a pink striped shirt, has a pet horse named Brian who is so smart that she teaches him her favorite thing—how to add, using his hooves. Following that lead, Brian teaches his "talented" pet cow, Whinny, how to race. Whinny then shows her "amazing" pet pig, Clover, how to swat flies with his tail, and so on. It seems everyone on the farm has a pet they hope will adopt its owner's natural behavior, including the cat, who has a decidedly human-looking pet named... Tabby. Hayles's (Beach Play) narrative takes a few pages to pick up steam, but by book's end, young readers will be in on the joke, laughing at the animals shifting in and out of character. Nash (Over the Moon) fills a busy barnyard with friendly, bright-eyed critters, eager to please and comfortable in their springtime-bright surroundings. His strong pencil lines and sunny gouache hues—mud brown, overall blue, meadow green—effectively whisk readers out to the countryside. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)