Can I Keep It?
Can I Keep It?
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Annotation: As a boy searches his backyard for the perfect pet, his mother asks him to consider where a squirrel, frog, or bird would like to live.
Catalog Number: #194086
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
No other formats available
Copyright Date: 2019
Edition Date: 2019
Pages: 32
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-624-14696-1
ISBN 13: 978-1-624-14696-1
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2018061588
Dimensions: 24 x 26 cm.
Language: English
Kirkus Reviews
A young boy tries to get himself a pet in this picture book.The story opens with a double-page spread of a boy trapping a squirrel using a propped-up cardboard box. The boy's expression is hopeful as he asks, "Mom, if a squirrel follows me home, can I keep it?" This is a bending of the truth that isn't so much cute as it is the second display of the boy's questionable role modeling for readers. Mom, whose face readers never see, tells her son that squirrels like to climb trees and gather acorns. The boy gets the point and lets the squirrel go, even gathering it some acorns. (Against seasonal logic, the ripe acorns are shown on the same tree as a bird's nest containing eggs.) The boy tries this gig twice more with a frog and a bird, and with each his mother reminds him where the animal would be happiest. Meanwhile, a stray cat has been following the boy throughout, and the story ends as the boy finally gets a pet that has genuinely followed him home. Author/illustrator Jobe's watercolor, gouache, pastel, and digitally collaged illustrations inventively utilize negative and positive space—and kudos for the unusual viewpoints presented—but their clinical precision, as well as the faceless mother, gives the story a rather sterile ambiance. Both boy and mother present white.Dubious activities are paired with sophisticated but emotionally detached illustrations. (Picture book. 5-8)
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* This gently humorous title imparts a useful and empathetic aspect to finding the perfect pet. A young boy sets a twig-and-box trap and catches a surprised squirrel. Then he asks his mother, "If a squirrel follows me home, can I keep it?" Her answer f you were a squirrel, where would you want to live?" ts the boy thinking about whether or not the animal would be content being kept as a pet. Then he sets the squirrel free. After catching a few more wild creatures and having to consider their needs, he finally settles on the perfect choice. Observant readers will have spotted the boy's final selection early in the story, as it has been lurking in the background and has actually chosen the child itself instead of the other way around. Clear, colorful digitally collaged illustrations use watercolor, pastel, gouache, and texture on crisp white pages to create amusing pictures of a grubby little boy and the startled critters he catches. This tale imparts a powerful and important message as the child in the story is able to put himself in each animal's place and contemplate its needs before his own desires.
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Starred Review ALA Booklist (6/1/19)
School Library Journal Starred Review
ALA Booklist
Kirkus Reviews
Reading Level: 2.0
Interest Level: K-3

"Mom, if a frog follows me home, can I keep it?" One summer day, a boy ventures into his backyard on a mission to find the perfect pet. When he asks to keep the animals that happened to "follow" him home, his mom points out that birds belong in the sky and frogs belong in the pond. He starts to wonder: is there an animal that belongs right there with him? In a heartwarming conclusion, he discovers the perfect pet has been around him all along. Readers of all ages will giggle at the sly sense of humor, and adults will love how the mother's questions encourage empathy. Lively illustrations and dialogue play off each other with a sly sense of humor as the boy learns to walk in someone else's shoes--or paws.

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