Saturday, November 12, 2011

Creating a Stink: A Pet for Petunia

All families seem to go through a struggle, at some point or another, over whether or not to get a pet. And all children, inevitably, beg their parents for a certain kind of pet. But some children make less reasonable pet choices than others...

Petunia longs for a pet. Unfortunately the pet of her dreams is a skunk and her parents won't allow her to get one. For obvious reasons. However, Petunia thinks a skunk would make a perfect pet since skunks are so cute and they have stripes! Petunia's parents have the final word and tell her skunks stink. But Petunia is so shocked she can't believe it. And so, she decides to run away to the woods. Soon after entering the woods, as fate would have it, Petunia encounters a skunk. Petunia soon realises, though, her parents were telling the truth.

Author/illustrator Paul Schmid has written a laugh-out-loud funny story. A Pet for Petunia (Harper Collins Publishers, Jan. 2011) is a fun read for the whole family. I especially liked the entire page dedicated to Petunia's rant in response to her parents' thoughts on skunks. I have to admit, though, when I first picked up this book I was a little disappointed in the images. The entire book is illustrated in black, white and purple. Where are all the colours? However, once we started reading the text we were giggling so much that it was no longer important. The pictures are well drawn, expressive and add to the hilarity. And besides, a book about skunks doesn't really need any other colours.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Switching it Up: Children Make Terrible Pets

Peter Brown has a way with creating books that are funny for kids and adults both in his use of animated illustrations and writing. You may know of him through his other books, including Chowder (2006).

Children Make Terrible Pets (Little, Brown & Company, 2010) is a twist on the typical tale of a child and her first pet. Lucy the bear discovers Squeaker, a young boy, hiding in the woods. She takes him home to her mother and asks to keep him. Her mother reluctantly agrees but warns Lucy that Squeaker is her responsibility. You can probably tell where this is going. Lucy and Squeaker have a grand time until Lucy realises caring for a 'pet' isn't always fun. My girls found it hilarious when Lucy sends Squeaker to the litter box in attempt to train him.