About the Holiday
International Book Giving Day can be celebrated in so many ways. Do you know an adult or child who would love a new book? Why not surprise them with a special gift? Or perhaps you have books you’re ready to pass on to others. There are many organizations ready to give those books new life with new owners. Check whether you have a chapter of Reach Out and Read or another literacy organization in your community and donate what you can to this very worthy cause. Your local library can help too!
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, 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
To learn more about Bob Staake and his writing as well as to view some pretty fantastic art, visit his website!
International Book Giving Day Activity
Peppy Puppy Bookmark
This printable Peppy Puppy Bookmark is happy to hold your place while you’re away from your book! Grab some crayons or colored pencils and make your puppy your own. To let your puppy hang onto the page, cut around the toes of the top paws, leaving the top of the paws attached.
Picture Book Review