My Pet Book

My Pet Book

4.5 2
by Bob Staake

View All Available Formats & Editions

Award-winning author-illustrator Bob Staake has created a rollicking picture book about a boy and his most unusual pet!
Most pets are cats and dogs, but what happens when a boy wants a different kind of pet, one that doesn’t meow or bark? Bob Staake’s exuberant tale of a little boy and the pet of his dreams will appeal to anyone


Award-winning author-illustrator Bob Staake has created a rollicking picture book about a boy and his most unusual pet!
Most pets are cats and dogs, but what happens when a boy wants a different kind of pet, one that doesn’t meow or bark? Bob Staake’s exuberant tale of a little boy and the pet of his dreams will appeal to anyone whose best friends are . . . books! Books make the perfect pets, the boy decides, and chooses a bright red one. When it goes missing, a lively adventure is in store for readers who love a happy ending. Soon kids everywhere will wish for a pet book of their very own.

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times - Sarah Harrison Smith
This boy is delightfully well-spoken, and distinctly precocious; children listening to My Pet Book or reading it to themselves will most likely see him as a kindred spirit, or at the very least find his quirks amusing…My Pet Book offers visual delights…Though Staake's style is bold and graphic, many of his pages are crowded with funny details…It's a goofy, good-natured adventure that should appeal to any book lover—even one who likes kittens and puppies.
Publishers Weekly
Staake, whose wordless Bluebird depicted a lonesome outsider, introduces a happier child, albeit one allergic to cats. “I want a pet that’s easy!” the boy declares, so his pleased parents steer him to a bookshop, where he chooses “a frisky red hardcover.” Staake’s bouncy hero resembles a Photoshop version of Crockett Johnson’s Harold as he casually walks his obedient book across a chaotic city bridge, oblivious to the mischief of real dogs and cats. In the only spread to picture him reading, he imagines battling a fairy-tale dragon and a purple octopus, reveling in “tales/ Of awesomeness and glory.” All is well until his book goes missing, and the family maid fears she has given it “to charity” while cleaning house. There are some missteps (like that anachronistic, uniformed maid), and a few stanzas include words and phrases that feel like filler (“Most pets, you know, are cats and dogs/ Go out and take a look./ But there’s a boy in Smartytown/ Whose pet is... a little book”). The appeal of a good book gets lost in the fray, despite much entertaining stage business in Staake’s images. Ages 3–7. (July)
Kirkus Reviews
In this cheer for books and reading, a boy wants a pet—but one that's easy, lacks fleas and won't run away.His accommodating parents suggest a book, and together, they trek to the Loyal Neighborhood Bookopolis, where a "frisky red hardcover" captivates. Leash-trained, this unique pet "never needed bathing. / And its ears would never droop. / But best of all that little pet… / It didn't even poop!" Everything's swell, until the day the boy returns from school to find that the maid has mistakenly given his pet to charity. The pair race to the thrift store to search for the beloved tome, finding it hiding in a doghouse in the store's pet section. Staake's quatrains scan well, though at times they approach—well, doggerel. The wacky premise is elevated to towering heights via the over-the-top digital illustrations, wherein round-headed people, multihued from persimmon to turquoise, cavort with dogs and cats of every description and temperament. Perspective in interior rooms is dizzying, while cityscapes are a gaudy geometry of tightly packed buildings, bridges, parks and populace. Obligingly, Staake finds room to portray this unusual pet's power to transport its owner through its "tales / Of awesomeness and glory."One of Staake's sillier, more ebullient outings—and that's saying something. (Picture book. 4-8)
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Jaunty rhymes tell the tale of a boy with an unusual pet: a book. His choice is, “…a frisky red [in red type] hardcover!” It has none of the needs or problems of a traditional pet. “It didn’t even poop!” It also contains many good stories that the boy can picture himself inside of. But one day on his return from school the boy finds his pet book gone. The maid admits that she gave the book to a charity. When they rush to the charity store, they cannot find the book and fear it has been sold. But then, thinking like a scared lost pet, the boy finds the book in its hiding place. He is so happy to have found it, because, “…every book is a friend!” Rendered in Adobe Photoshop, the illustrations are mechanistic, with stylized characters and scenery. Some of the characters, including the boy, have very large circular head and features. The single and double pages are busy and crowded with action and comic behavior, as are the end pages. Note the difference between the jacket and cover. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz; Ages 4 to 8.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—Every child wants a pet, but if one has allergies or limited space, it might be hard to find a pet that fits comfortably into one's lifestyle. "Most pets, you know, are cats and dogs./Go out and take a look./But there's a boy in Smartytown/Whose pet is…a little book." As difficult as it is to choose just one book for a pet, a little red volume with a tight binding stands out as a perfect choice in the bookstore. That is, until the boy returns home one day to find that the maid has mistakenly donated his pet book to a charity. They race to the thrift shop to try to recover it before the shop closes. The book is found, hiding in a safe place. The digital illustrations are wonderful—colorful, exaggerated, and whimsical. Readers will enjoy the silly details, like the depictions of some of the nasty behaviors of "other" pets. This book will tickle readers who have or long for pets. The rhyming scheme is reliable and children will enjoy predicting the last word in a stanza.—Mary Hazelton, formerly at Warren & Waldoboro Elementary Schools, ME

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.70(w) x 11.10(h) x 0.70(d)
AD560L (what's this?)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

BOB STAAKE is the creator of many books for children, including Bluebird; The Red Lemon, a 2006 New York Times Best Illustrated Book; The Donut Chef, a Children's Choice Book Awards finalist; and Look! A Book! He's also a prolific and highly acclaimed commercial illustrator whose work has appeared in the New Yorker, Time, the Washington Post, and the New York Times.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

My Pet Book 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
psycheKK More than 1 year ago
I have a little boy who loves books.  He takes books with him everywhere we go:  In the car; to church; out to dinner; to my parents' house, etc.  There are stacks of his books in every room of our house.    He loves books almost as much as he loves his cat, Molly Kitten.  And books, unlike Molly Kitten, have never destroyed a single doorframe.  It is easy to see how a child who loves books would love THIS book which is a silly and sweet love-letter to books.  But beyond that, I think this delightful red book could be the perfect hook for preschoolers and early elementary students who have not yet discovered the magic that books can contain.  The text is silly.  And catchy.  And so much fun to read out loud.  But it is the phenomenal artwork that makes this book so enchanting.  On one two-page spread, there is a dog drinking out of a toilet bowl; on the next, there is a dragon and a rocket and a purple octopus.  What more could any kid want?