About the Holiday
Pets are often our best friends—they love us unconditionally, are always there for us, and make us laugh. Today we celebrate pets—whether they’re as small as a goldfish, as large as a horse, or as unique as…well, you’ll see as you read on. National Pet Day also raises awareness of the number of animals available for adoption and encourages people to donate to animal shelters or consider taking a dog, cat, bird, or other pet into their family. If you already have a pet, observe the day by giving them an extra pat, offering a special treat, or spending more time with them.
My Pet Book
By Bob Staake
In a town named Smartytown a little boy has a most unusual pet—a book! Not one for puppies and allergic to kittens, he wants a pet that’s “easy.” His mom and dad suggest a book, and the family heads to the bookstore to adopt one. The shelves are so full of appealing potential pets that it’s hard to choose. But then the little boy spies a small “frisky red hardcover,” and it’s love at first sight.
The tiny book turns out to be the perfect pet—it doesn’t need food or water, its cover never sheds or hides fleas, it never needs a bath, and best of all there’s no housebreaking required. The boy takes his pet for walks in the evening, finding it superior to dogs that yap and run away and cats that constantly purr and lick their fur.
With his new pet, the boy’s days are full of adventure, fun, and excitement. He can’t wait to get home from school and spend time with the little book. But one day when he walks into his house, the boy discovers that his best friend is gone. “‘He ran away! He ran away!’ / The boy began to bleat. / ‘How could a pet book run away / Without a pair of feet?’”
Soon the answer comes: “The maid could hear the crying boy. / (That sound was such a rarity.) / ‘I think I know what happened…’ (gulp) / ‘I gave your book to…charity.’” The boy and the maid race downtown to the thrift store, hoping to find the beloved book. They search through clothes, and furniture, through toys and shelves of books, but the little pet is nowhere to be found. There is only one conclusion—the book has just been sold!
The boy and maid sit down to cry, but then the maid has an idea. Maybe their pet is only hiding, Suddenly the boy remembers something that caught his eye in the dog-and-cat-stuff aisle. They race over to where a lone dog house sits. The boy says, “‘If I were just a scared pet book, / I’d likely sneak in here. / Perhaps the dark would help me hide, / And make me disappear!’”
He reaches in and discovers his pet book just waiting for him. The boy checks his pet over carefully and finds him well from cover to cover. The boy and the maid drive home relieved. Although they are tired, this crazy day has a happy ending, and now the boy and his pet have their own special story to share.
Perhaps Bob Staake is onto something in this humorous page-turner. Don’t we love our favorite books just like pets? And when they’re mysteriously missing, don’t we search and search for them? Through fast-paced and cleverly worded verses, Bob Staake leads his readers on a jaunt of book love that includes love, excitement, companionship, suspense, and a happy ending. What more can you ask for from a book—or a pet?
Staake’s vibrant and whimsical illustrations create a world all its own yet rooted in the here and now. A bit surreal, a bit silly, the action-packed scenes will have kids giggling and searching for every detail.
For book lovers, pet lovers, and those who love a good story, My Pet Book is perfect for snuggling up with.
Ages 3 – 7
Random House Books for Young Readers, 2014 | ISBN 978-0385373128
National Pet Day Activity
Adopt a Pet! Word Search
There are so many awesome pets to choose from! Can you find all the animals in this fun printable Adopt a Pet! word search?
Picture Book Review