The Best Pet of All by David LaRochelle

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Admittedly, I did not plan this story time very well. It was book fair week and the library was selling, rather than lending, books. Since the library shelves were temporarily unavailable, we took  the library to the classrooms – kind of like a book mobile, but bringing only what we could carry. During these visits, I always read a few stories that are available at the book fair. It builds interest and yes, increases sales. Usually, I have a few books in mind that I already know or a title I’ve heard about, and those are the ones we bring to promote the fair. This year a cover of a book I didn’t know caught my eye – David LaRochelle’s picture book, The Best Pet of All.

The cheery retro-looking cover looked promising so I added it to my pile.  Before I read the first few pages, I knew this was a keeper, and one that would enter our very selective group of books to keep close by in case of a story telling emergency presented by a parent or teacher. The Best Pet of All is not original. It’s about a boy who wants a dog. You’ve heard that one before. But trust me. This one is different. It’s witty and funny and absolutely charming.  In this version of boy on a quest for a pet, he begins by asking his mother for a dog. No, his mother tells him. “Dogs are too messy.”  Not one to be deterred, the boy asks if he can have a dragon instead. His mother, thinking it’s safe to agree with this request, agrees that if her son can find a dragon, he can keep it. He finds one. At the drugstore, reading a magazine. 

If you know a child between the ages of 4 and 8 who enjoys funny stories, add this one to your library list. I bought a copy for Inly’s library as soon as I returned from the class visit.

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