Review Blog

Feb 24 2016

What pet should I get? by Dr Seuss

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HarperCollins, 2016. ISBN 9780008170783
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Humour, Pets, Decision making, Families. Children will be surprised at seeing an unfamiliar Dr Seuss and adults will wonder whether they remember this book from their childhood. This is a new publication of a story found long after Dr Seuss' death in 1991. Originally put aside by his wife, it was rediscovered by his former secretary and taken to a publisher who saw the links between this and several others of similar quality and theme. So it is now published for a new generation of children excited by the idea of looking for a pet, wondering through the text what sort of pet would suit them and making a decision about what to get. All of this is envisaged by the sparse rhyming text so familiar to generations of children.
The rhyming lines lead the children to predict the word which will rhyme, to learn some of the lines to repeat when the book is read again, which will happen often. The energetic illustrations sweep the story along, with the siblings looking at all the animals in the pet shop. A myriad of animals is presented to the children, each having different qualities and things to consider, until they come to being called out of the shop by their parents and must make up their minds. The cliff edge question is left up to the reader, and will engender lots of discussion amongst classes, or at home.
On the last few pages, an outline of Dr Seuss' life and body of work is given, as well as a summary of how this book came to be. It adds a level of information to the book and gives background information which may inspire others to let their imaginations soar.
Fran Knight

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