Children Make Terrible Pets
Children Make Terrible Pets

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Annotation: When Lucy, a young bear, discovers a boy lost in the woods, she asks her mother if she can have him as a pet, only to find him impossible to train.
Catalog Number: #45817
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2010
Edition Date: 2010
Pages: 32
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-316-01548-2 Perma-Bound: 0-605-47349-8
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-316-01548-6 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-47349-2
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2010004982
Dimensions: 28 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Lucy, a tutu- and ribbon-adorned young bear, is instantly besotted with a human boy she finds in the forest. After naming him Squeaker (the only sound he makes) and bringing him home, she begs her mother to keep him, and Mom relents on the condition that Lucy take full responsibility for his care. The two have a ball playing together until Lucy confronts some of the less-appealing aspects of pet ownership, such as potty training and dealing with destroyed furniture. When Squeaker suddenly disappears, Lucy follows his trail, discovers that he has returned to his natural habitat of house and human family, and comes to understand, as countless children have, that not all critters are cut out for domestication. (A final spread shows that Lucy hasn't given up on her enthusiasm by any stretch, though.) Brown's distinctive multimedia art, featuring text in colored blocks and characters' asides printed in word balloons, has a playful, old-time style that matches the woodsy setting and the enjoyable story's upbeat tone.
Horn Book
Bear cub Lucy finds a human boy in the bushes. She makes the boy--called Squeaker--her pet, and all goes well...until it doesn't (he trashes the house, won't use his litter box, etc.). While this is a comedy and nearly every deadpan, mixed-media illustration will elicit grins, readers will surely be moved when Squeaker leaves the cub for a more suitable home.
Kirkus Reviews
Lucy, a tutu-clad bear child, begs her mother to allow her to keep a small boy she finds in the forest. Despite the titular misgivings, Mom relents, and Lucy and Squeaker (all he ever says is "squeak") play happily together for a time before—surprise!—problems emerge. Squeaker is "impossible to potty train" (he glowers from the litter box), ruins the furniture by jumping and tearing it apart, throws food at tea parties and then disappears altogether. Heartbroken, Lucy searches for him, and when she finally finds him with his human family, rightly decides to leave him there, concluding, "I guess some critters just aren't meant to be pets." The art, with narration in green text boxes and conversations in pink speech balloons, was created with pencil, construction paper, wood and computer. Squeaker, perhaps intentionally, is undeveloped and unconvincing, but the blocky bears are appealing. The story lacks depth and subtlety, although young children may find the role reversal hilarious, and the catchy title and '50s nouveau art provide a soupcon of charm. (Picture book. 4-7)
Publishers Weekly
In this tongue-in-cheek role reversal, a girlish bear named Lucy makes a pet of a small boy. She declares him ""the cutest critter in the whole forest"" and begs her mother, ""Can I keep him, please?"" Her mother, unbearishly seated in a comfy chair and reading a book, delivers the title's sound advice, but allows Lucy to keep the boy. Brown (The Curious Garden) mimes the escalating challenges of animal care. The boy, who Lucy names Squeaker, ""because he makes funny sounds,"" throws tantrums and will not use a litter box. Lucy is relieved when Squeaker escapes home, where his family enjoys a backyard picnic as though he had not been absent. Even though Brown's humans wear clothes and live in a house, they are basically squirrels: they all say ""squeak"" from the bears' POV, while the bears act like flummoxed babysitters: Lucy walks upright in a tutu, her mother wears a skirt and pearls, and their dialogue appears in prim construction-paper voice bubbles. Framed in wood-grain borders, the action takes place in an artificial outdoors and parodies those who are pushovers for exotic specimens. Ages 3%E2%80%936. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1&12; Lucy, a young brown bear in a pink skirt and hair bow, meets the most adorable little boy in the forest one day. She takes him home, excitedly shows him to her mother, and begs, "Can I keep him, PLEASE?" Though her mother warns her that "children make terrible pets," Lucy is bound and determined to prove her wrong. Agreeing to take full responsibility for her new companion, Lucy and Squeaker eat, play, and nap together. However, the cub soon finds that there is some truth to her mother's admonitions. The child is hard on the furniture, creates chaos everywhere, and absolutely refuses to be potty trained. When Squeaker goes missing, Lucy tracks him down and discovers that all involved will be better off if the lad remains where she finds him. It's a hard truth, but Lucy has to admit that her mother was right. The amusing, soft-hued illustrations on tan backgrounds are worked in pencil on cut construction paper and a bit of "digital tweaking." Each spread is placed on frames made of a variety of woods. The dialogue is shown in speech bubbles, hand lettered by the author/illustrator, while the narration is placed in rectangular boxes. Appealing and humorous, with a lesson to boot!&12; Maryann H. Owen, Racine Public Library, WI
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist (10/1/10)
Horn Book (4/1/11)
Kirkus Reviews
New York Times Book Review
Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal (9/1/10)
Wilson's Children's Catalog
Word Count: 373
Reading Level: 1.8
Interest Level: P-2
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 1.8 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 139688 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:1.4 / points:1.0 / quiz:Q63082
Lexile: AD510L
Guided Reading Level: K
Fountas & Pinnell: K

Check out this bestselling, rollicking, and humorous twist on the classic "first pet" story about a young bear and her favorite pet boy!

When Lucy, a young bear, discovers a boy in the woods, she's absolutely delighted. She brings him home and begs her mom to let her keep him, even though her mom warns, "Children make terrible pets." But mom relents, and Lucy gets to name her new pet Squeaker.

Through a series of hilarious and surprising scenes, readers can join Lucy and Squeaker on their day of fun and decide for themselves whether or not children really do make terrible pets.

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