Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Mama's Right, Again!

Ever hear these words: “He followed me home, Mom. Please? Please, Mom, can I keep him? Please?” Here's a clever twist. To the rescue!

CHILDREN MAKE TERRIBLE PETS by Peter Brown, Little, Brown and Company, 2010

Lucy, a little girl bear, finds a small boy lost in the woods. She thinks he is the most adorable critter in the forest, takes him home and begs her mother to let her keep him.

Mother says what all us mothers say with the added caveat that children make terrible pets. The worst.

Finally, Lucy wins Mother over, promising to take full responsibility for her new pet. She names him Squeaker because, well, that’s the only noise he makes. Squeak!

All goes well at first. But of course, that can’t last, can it? It turns out that Mother was right. Squeaker is hard to train. There are mishaps. What’s a nice bear family to do? Then Squeaker disappears. How Lucy finds him and how she makes a very tough decision will have pre-schoolers offering their own philosophies.

This is a fine way to start or end that discussion about pets. What are the best kinds of pets? Why? Who is ready to share one's home with a pet? These are your questions to pursue.

Only one question remains for me. Just where was author/illustrator Peter Brown when I needed this book for my own pre-schoolers?

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