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What You Need to Know:
• Anyone who’s ever wanted a pet will relate to this story.
• Prudence Wants a Pet is Catherine Daly’s first picture book.
• She is also the author of the 2011 middle grade novel, Flirt Club.
• The clever writing style and subtle humor will appeal to adults as well.
• The playful illustrations are just as entertaining as the text.
Wanting something, anything, and being told “no” is never easy, but it's a lesson that most kids have to learn, at some point during their childhood. How they handle that disappointment varies greatly. If you’re looking for a good example that balances acceptance and determination, Prudence is your girl. She’s desperate for a pet, but her parents consistently deny her request. Does she have tantrums and stomp her feet? Nope. She’s patient and makes do with what she has. That’s where the story gets funny. She happily opts for a branch – she even names it Branch - as her pet until her dad trips over it and breaks it into a million pieces. Which brings us to her next pet, Twig. Sadly twig is lost in the rinse cycle and there are no responses to the “lost pet” sign that Prudence hangs in her laundry room. She goes on to try an old shoe, a car tire, and even her little brother but nothing works out. Feeding grass to her brother doesn’t go over so well with her parents, either. Despite some disappointment, Prudence doesn't give up her dream of a pet that can move, and readers will be happy to find that her persistence pays off in the end.
A great book to read aloud, kids will enjoy seeing the appealing illustrations while they listen to this funny story. The unusually wide, squat shape of the book makes it easy to hold and display to a group. It also allows for only the lower half of the adult figures to be seen, further emphasizing that Prudence is the star of this story. Prudence comes across as a friendly and welcoming character and the simple drawings seem to perfectly capture her thoughts and feelings. The pops of colors, also perfectly chosen, are striking against the line drawings and add life and charm to each page.
Click here for some inspiration from the artist who created the special illustrations found in Prudence Wants a Pet.
Stephen Michael King
2011, 32 pages
Animals, Determination, Excellent Read-Aloud, Family Life, Humor, Imagination
• Do you think that Prudence was patient while waiting for her pet?
• Have your parents ever refused to give you something you wanted? How did you feel? How did you react?
• What animal would be the best pet for you?
• Do you like the names that Prudence chooses for her pets?
• If you have a pet, how did you choose the name for it?
• If you don't have a pet, what would you name your pet if you had one?