cover image My Tiny Pet

My Tiny Pet

Jessie Hartland. Penguin/Paulsen, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-5247-3753-5

When a family’s household reaches maximum pet capacity (critters include “six poodles,/ ten cats, a tarantula, two/ snakes, three hedgehogs,/ ten mice, countless birds,” and more), it’s time to simplify. Painting in a playfully harried art style, Hartland shows the family rehoming the animals and establishing themselves in a modest woodland cabin. But the child narrator pines for a new pet. When she learns about the microscopic tardigrade, or “water bear,” she adopts one. She informs her worried parents that it will stay microscopic (they envision a nightmare scenario in which the tardigrade has grown gigantic) and will not bark or shed. An author’s note about the fascinating creatures concludes this clever story perfect for the era of tiny living. Ages 4–8. [em](Aug.) [/em]