Would you rather have an octopus like Melissa or a mole like Thomas? These are just two of the possibilities Charlotte Voake presents in this funny consideration of pets exotic and rather more ordinary. Each one has its pros and cons; take for instance Arthur’s warthog, a handsome creature for sure but so very willful; then there is Caroline’s long-legged giraffe – gentle yes, but a bit on the tall side for Caroline. There is also Simon’s worm, certainly well behaved but communication is problematic and Peter’s pachyderm can come cascading through the ceiling at any time. Oops I forgot Betty’s chameleon but he’s easily missed. The twins, Kevin and Bertrand however, have a new, very toothy, reptilian pet they are eager to introduce to the other pet owners.
With arresting, giggle-inducing double spreads – one or two per animal, (one can detect the Quentin Blake influence here) wicked humour, a snappy ending and carefully chosen words presented in a large clear font, this is a delicious book for storytime sharing with under fives. The inviting presentation means that those slightly further along in their reading journeys might well want to try it for themselves.
Prepare yourself for a snappingly good storytime. My lively preschool audience gave it a cheer and a round of applause.