Spencer's New Pet
Spencer's New Pet
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Catalog Number: #191077
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
No other formats available
Special Formats: Hot Title Hot Title
Copyright Date: 2019
Edition Date: 2019
Pages: 56
Availability: Available
New Title: Yes
ISBN: 1-534-41877-6
ISBN 13: 978-1-534-41877-6
Dewey: E
Language: English
Publishers Weekly
With many nods to silent film-including a black-and-white palette, elegant title cards dividing the story into three parts, highly dramatic close-ups, and iris shots-Sima (Love, Z) tells the nearly wordless story of a bespectacled boy and the dog he loves very much. Only the dog is no ordinary pooch: it-s a seemingly magical, bright red balloon critter (one of few uses of color in the book) ostensibly created by a clown who doubles as a balloon animal artist. Like a real dog, the balloon cuddles, does tricks, romps (or at least floats) through the park, and stops at fire hydrants. But the dog also has an uncanny sense for getting too close to anything that could spell doom for a balloon, whether it-s a hedgehog-s spines, an eagle-s talons, or a piñata stick. Finally, a classic party game hastens the inevitable, and that-s when Sima offers a spectacular visual surprise. The event may initially alarm-there-s a whiff of Twilight Zone eeriness in the big revelation-but Sima swiftly assures readers that all is well. As long as there-s a powerful balloon artist nearby, that is. Ages 4-8. Agent: Thao Le, Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency. (Aug.)
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
A boy is devoted to his new pet in this wordless adventure.From the beginning there is something a bit mysterious and intriguing about this book. Endpapers mimic old-time movie countdowns—"3-2-1"—as if it were a show, and the story itself is divided by black title cards. Viewers are introduced to a child with a small, red balloon dog on a string, possibly made by a clown seen peeking from a tent. Spencer feeds it, reads to it, bathes it, sleeps with it, and takes it to the vet. During a walk in the park a gust of wind tugs the leash from Spencer's hand. An exhausting chase ensues, involving a carousel, an encounter with a sharp-toothed bulldog, and more before landing them both in the middle of a birthday party where there are many more balloon animals. A game of Pin-the-Tail-on-the-Donkey leads to disaster—and an amazing, incredible surprise. As befitting the vintage-movie conceit, there are close-ups, wide-angles, and multiple vignettes of the breathless, careening chase across the pages. The illustrations are in shades of black, white, and gray with only the red dog providing a splash of color. Spencer presents white, but there is diversity in the depictions of the additional characters. Young readers will be tickled and amazed and will want to view it again and again.Original and thoroughly delightful. (Picture book. 4-10)
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* This homage to black-and-white silent films opens on a boy walking his new dog, who happens to be a bright red balloon animal. As they visit the vet, the park, and a birthday party together, the boy finds that there are many dangers in the world for someone made of balloons. A prickly porcupine, splintered tree branches, birthday candles ese are just a few of the threats averted by the boy as he hurries after his dog. It's not until he catches up and snatches up the pup that he lets his guard down and P! brilliantly devised page turn reveals a truly jaw-dropping twist. Sima (Not Quite Narwhal, 2016), whose adorable illustrations never fail to charm, has crafted an entirely immersive reading experience. You can almost hear the purr of old film reels as the opening endpapers launch a countdown. Stylized title cards separate the robust page count into three acts, and despite using no words and precious little color, the emotion and drama burn bright. While the clever conceit could go over the heads of younger readers, they will nonetheless be delighted by this heartwarming and suspenseful story of a boy and his dog, the ending of which will leave them eager for a second reading.
Reading Level: 1.0
Interest Level: K-3

From the creator of Not Quite Narwhal comes a classic tale of a boy and his dog—except in this unique story, one of them is a balloon!

When Spencer gets a new pet, he’s excited to do all the things that pets do—taking walks in the park, going to the vet, and attending parties together.

There’s just one hitch: Spencer’s new pet is a balloon.

And that means No. Sharp. Objects.

No drooling dogs at the park. No prickly porcupines at the vet. And absolutely no pinning tails on any donkeys!

Spencer’s New Pet is a story of pure fun about a boy, his dog, and a friendship that endures life’s sharpest...and most unexpected twists.

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