For his birthday, Danny is allowed any pet. After deliberating, he tells his parents, "All I really want is a turtle." But everyone in his family has a better idea. His dad suggests a dog, which won't sit "still like a log. His mom suggests a kitten ("soft like a mitten"), and his brother and sister think a rat and bird would be fun. Danny tries accepting each idea, but ultimately rejects them all. A dog might run away, a cat might cause sneezing, a rat has scary "beady eyes," and a bird nips. After an exasperated Danny exclaims, "Not one of you listened to anything I said," his family follows his original request for a turtle. The colorful, animated illustrations incorporate exaggerated close-ups, unusual perspectives, and witty details that extend the humor in the words. Young readers and listeners will enjoy the simple, well-paced, rhyming text and will appreciate Danny's frustrations, as well as the satisfying conclusion
This is a picture book for all parents who think they know better. Little Danny is promised any pet he wants for his birthday. After long deliberation, he decides on a turtle. Dad disagrees. "You don't want a pet that sits on a log," he says. So he goes out and buys a dog. Sound familiar? Yes, everyone's got their opinion and they all come home to roost. Told with a great sense of humor and timing, this story will make both children and parents laugh out loud.
Children's Literature - Phyllis Kennemer
Danny's birthday is coming and his parents have told him he can have any pet he wants. Danny considers the pros and cons of several different animals and announces that he wants a turtle. His dad thinks Danny needs a more active pet, so he brings home a dog. The rambunctious puppy knocks Danny over and runs away when they go outside. Danny repeats his plea, "All I really want is a turtle," each time well-meaning family members introduce something else. His mom thinks he needs a kitten, his brother brings him a rat, and his sister appears with a bird. None of these animals appeal to Danny. Finally his family gets the message and Danny gets his turtle. Written in verse, the rhyming words create a cadenced flow. The colorful illustrations set on white backgrounds contribute to the fun of the story as they show Danny pulling his hoods and collars up to look like a turtle and his preoccupation with making himself a turtle shell with a large cardboard box. A fun read aloud with a subtle message. Reviewer: Phyllis Kennemer, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
In this rhyming picture book, Danny decides he wants a pet turtle for his birthday. His family members, however, have different ideas and he gets a dog from his father, a kitten from his mother, a rat from his brother, and a bird from his sister. Finally, Danny convinces them that all he really wants is a box turtle, and while the others keep the pets they acquired, he finally gets his wish. While Javernick's verses are simple yet clever, it is O'Malley's energetic drawings that make the book shine. As each person speaks to him, Danny is shown wearing things that look turtle-ish, adding visual humor to the story. Meanwhile, there is a hint in the pictures and rhyme that forecast which pet he will receive next. The use of perspective as each new creature arrives grabs readers' attention and clearly shows how Danny feels about it. The bright pencil and marker illustrations practically jump off the page, while the large print makes the text easy to read. A brief note at the front informs parents that box turtles are challenging pets and need proper care. This is a great read-aloud, no matter what type of pet children prefer.-Martha Simpson, Stratford Library Association, CT
A little boy is inundated with new pets he doesn't want in this humorous reminder that listening counts. When his folks offer to give him "any kind of animal" for his birthday, Danny announces that all he wants is a turtle. Instead, Dad gets Danny a dog. Then Mom buys him a kitten, his big brother comes home with a rat and his older sister opts for a bird. Not surprisingly, each pet proves disappointing. Eventually, the family clues into Danny's wishes and he gets the turtle he's yearned for all along. The simple verse text allows readers to anticipate and complete rhymes from page to page, thereby participating in Danny's dilemma. O'Malley's expressive, action-packed illustrations, created with design markers and colored pencils, feature close-ups of Danny's overzealous new dog, his screeching new kitten, his beady-eyed new rat, his squawking new bird and finally his slow and steady new turtle, providing amusing contrasts between the pets his family selected and the pet Danny prefers. Funny and varied perspectives on the perfect pet. (Picture book. 4-8)