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Daly, Cathleen (text) Stephen Michael King (illus.): Prudence Wants a Pet.

** DALY, Cathleen (text) Stephen Michael King (illus.) Prudence Wants a Pet Scholastic, 2011 unpaged $24.99 ISBN 9781741699654 SCIS 1523857


In an age-old dilemma for many parents, daughter Prudence really, really, really wants a pet. Despite their well-meaning arguments that there is not enough space or that it is too expensive, noisy or messy to keep a pet, Prudence adopts a variety of unexpected objects.

First up is Branch, an outdoor pet that unfortunately trips Dad up several times and gets broken into little bits as a result. After Twig goes missing, Prudence acquires Formal Footwear, a shoe which gets dragged around the block on the end of a leash and is used for tricks. Mum and Dad draw the line at her little brother Milo being a pet and a car tyre is a bit too big and heavy. Even the sea buddies which arrive via mail order are disappointing so Prudence decamps to inside a cupboard.

While the ending is easily foreseen by the adult reader, it is nonetheless satisfying for its predictability. The story is told with flair and humour and Prudence is a girl of great ingenuity. The illustrations are a good match for the tone of the book, with the pictures using perspective at Prudence's level. There is also a restricted use of colour with page backgrounds being almost exclusively white, with a couple of exceptions, and tints used selectively to highlight clothes or details. The unusual Kitsu XD typeface used for the text suits the illustrations admirably. A good collaboration has resulted in a cohesive combination of text and illustrations that hopefully will be a worldwide success. (American edition has a different cover!)

** Book by an Australian author or illustrator

COPYRIGHT 2011 Children's Book Council of Australia
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2011 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Babbage, Lynne
Publication:Reading Time
Article Type:Book review
Date:Nov 1, 2011
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