Prudence Wants a Pet

Prudence Wants a Pet

4.6 3
by Cathleen Daly, Stephen Michael King
     
 

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Prudence wants a pet. Desperately.
"No," says Dad, "pets cost too much to keep."
"No," says Mom, "pets make noise."
But Prudence is determined. She finds her own pet. It is a…branch. But Branch isn't exactly the pet of her dreams, and neither are Twig, Mr. Round (a car tire), or her baby brother Milo.
Poor Prudence. Will she ever find the

Overview

Prudence wants a pet. Desperately.
"No," says Dad, "pets cost too much to keep."
"No," says Mom, "pets make noise."
But Prudence is determined. She finds her own pet. It is a…branch. But Branch isn't exactly the pet of her dreams, and neither are Twig, Mr. Round (a car tire), or her baby brother Milo.
Poor Prudence. Will she ever find the perfect pet?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Waifish Prudence, whose parents refuse to get her a pet, compensates by adopting inanimate objects—and, in one especially ill-advised scenario, her baby brother. She first selects a tree limb ("Its name is Branch"), which her father consigns to the woodpile after it trips him eight times. She moves on to a brown men's dress shoe named from its label, Formal Footwear, which she twirls and balances to create the illusion of tricks. In her first picture book, Daly (Flirt Club) chronicles Prudence's misplaced affections—for things like a twig, a tire named Mr. Round, and disappointing "sea buddies" ordered from an ad—in resigned shrugs of sentences, rife with understated humor. (Of the sea buddies: "Dry animals in a package? They come to life in water? Prudence is so excited she can hardly stir.") King (Leaf) pictures Prudence's passive-aggressive charade in loose pen-and-ink sequences reminiscent of Quentin Blake's sketch art. Prudence does not complain outright, yet her doe-eyed, pathetic performance finally moves her parents to supply a kitten. This sly story suggests nonwhiny—if sometimes mischievous—ways to bend the most stubborn wills. Ages 4–7. (June)
From the Publisher

“In real life Prudence would probably be viewed as the weird kid with the branch, but in the literary realm she's an imaginative and determined heroine, and audiences will be glad to see her persistence rewarded.” —BCCB

“Sweetly illustrated by Stephen Michael King (Leaf), 'Prudence' deftly combines funny and cute, and has a resourceful heroine too.” —The New York Times Book Review

“In her first picture book, Daly (Flirt Club) chronicles Prudence's misplaced affections . . . rife with understated humor . . . . King (Leaf) pictures Prudence's passive-aggressive charade in loose pen-and-ink sequences reminiscent of Quentin Blake's sketch art.” —Starred, Publishers Weekly

“A classic theme feels fresh as a squiggling kitten.” —Starred, Kirkus Reviews

“I admire this book so much I have adopted it as my pet. I drag it around with me wherever I go, never letting it out of my sight.” —Lemony Snicket

“Small pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations on a white background reveal a time progression in vignettes that are spread across the pages. The humorous consequences of Prudence's experiments make this a lighthearted read about never giving up on one's dreams.” —School Library Journal

“It’s ultimately Daly’s dry humor and her wonderfully imaginative and persistent protagonist that elevate this book above typical kiddo-wants-a-pet fare. King’s deceptively simple illustrations—spare line drawings punctuated with color—are hilarious, perfectly chronicling the ups and downs of Prudence’s endeavors, as well as her emotions.” —Horn Book

Children's Literature - Heather Christensen
Prudence wants a pet, but of course, Mom and Dad are not too excited by the idea. Pets are expensive, they are messy, and they make a lot of noise. But Prudence won't give up; she comes up with a series of pets. All are unsuccessful. "Branch" trips Dad on the porch. "Twig" gets lost in the wash. An old shoe (appropriately named "Formal Footwear"), her little brother, and an old tire all prove equally disastrous. Finally, after a disappointing experience with "Sea Buddies," her perseverance pays off, and her parents find her a perfect birthday gift. Though the story is familiar, Daly's sparse text portrays Prudence's imagination and determination with an understated humor that is nevertheless genuine in its longing for a furry companion. King's pen-and-ink line drawings with a splash of bright watercolors show the energetic Prudence is star. Her mom and dad exist only as legs and the occasional pointing finger. Prudence dances across the pages with her succession of pets, her joys and disappointments visible through her expressive body language and eyes that sometimes threaten to pop off her head. This is a perfect story for a parent and child to share one-on-one, or a fun addition to any storytime about pets. Reviewer: Heather Christensen
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—Prudence doesn't beg, she doesn't plead, and she doesn't whine, but she longs for a pet. Though her parents calmly explain why that isn't possible, the child practices pet ownership anyway. She uses her vast imagination and adopts a wide variety of "pets," such as a tire, a twig, and a shoe (which she feeds, waters, and walks), until her parents finally realize that their daughter will not be dissuaded. As each new object fills Prudence with purpose and some satisfaction, albeit brief, it also brings with it some negative aspects. The tire gets heavy to carry around, and the shoe doesn't have much personality. She leaves the branch on the front porch and her dad trips over it eight times. The child remains steadfast in her desire, and her never-give-up attitude serves her well. Small pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations on a white background reveal a time progression in vignettes that are spread across the pages. The humorous consequences of Prudence's experiments make this a lighthearted read about never giving up on one's dreams.—Maryann H. Owen, Racine Public Library, WI
Kirkus Reviews

A classic theme feels fresh as a squiggling kitten.

Prudence pines for a pet and adopts anything handy. Will a tree branch do? A twig? A tire? Daly's matter-of-fact text is amusing but never mocking: "Prudence puts out a bowl of water for Branch. So far Branch has not been thirsty." But "Branch is an outdoor pet.... Branch tripped Dad.... / Dad broke Branch into little bits and put them on the woodpile." Other endeavors are equally short-lived. Pet Twig "ran away in the rinse cycle"; Prudence "frees" a pet shoe in the junkyard. (Narration toggles between past and present tense.) When "sea buddies" that "come in a package and are dry like Kool-Aid" fail to come alive, it's the last emotional straw: "Prudence goes to live in the closet for the rest of the day." Her crushing disappointment touches her parents, who kindly—despite qualms—take the only final step that could satisfy. With a touch of Quentin Blake flavor, King draws his animated figures in black line, washing selected bits in color. Eyes are sometimes dots, sometimes googly (sometimes one of each!). The book's shape is a horizontal rectangle; adults are too tall for their faces to show, underscoring its orientation firmly in a child's emotions.

Demure yet mildly impish; when Prudence's eyes "get hot and tingly" at the end, it's for the best reason of all.(Picture book. 3-6)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781596434684
Publisher:
Roaring Brook Press
Publication date:
06/21/2011
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
563,502
Product dimensions:
11.12(w) x 6.78(h) x 0.37(d)
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

CATHLEEN DALY is a writer and performance artist who lives in the Bay Area outside San Francisco. She is the author of Flirt Club, published by Roaring Brook Press.

STEPHEN MICHAEL KING is an award-winning author and illustrator with many books to his credit, including Leaf, published by Roaring Brook Press, and he has been nominated seven times for the Children's Book Council of Australia Awards. Stephen lives in a mud brick house on an island off the east coast of Australia with his wife, two children, and a menagerie of animals.

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Prudence Wants a Pet 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
HappyMomJH More than 1 year ago
This book is awesome. My husband, my daughter, and myself absolutely loved every second of it. The illustrations are perfect for the story and the character. It's so cute and silly, not to mention we had a few laugh out loud moments.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love Pru's tenacity in trying to get her parent's to agree to a pet. The best part is when she ties a string around her "pet" shoe named Formal Footwear (she found the name inside the shoe) and takes it for a walk. My four year old daughter couldn't wait to flip the pages and see what else Pru decided to make into a pet.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fun story with a persistent young heroine that my kids love!