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The Perfect Present
     

The Perfect Present

by Fiona Roberton
 

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The much-anticipated follow-up to the IRA Children's Book Award winner

From the moment Spot answered Henry's ad in the newspaper, the two have been inseparable. But then on Henry's birthday, he gets a dog—the pet he's always wanted! Feeling left out, Spot leaves for his old home, and gets caught in a terrible storm. Henry is devastated when he finds Spot

Overview

The much-anticipated follow-up to the IRA Children's Book Award winner

From the moment Spot answered Henry's ad in the newspaper, the two have been inseparable. But then on Henry's birthday, he gets a dog—the pet he's always wanted! Feeling left out, Spot leaves for his old home, and gets caught in a terrible storm. Henry is devastated when he finds Spot missing and is quickly hot on his trail. With the help of his new dog, Henry saves him and Spot finds out that even with a new pet in his life, Henry would never let his best friend go.

A delightful story with loads of heart, The Perfect Present showcases the strength of Henry and Spot's friendship. This irresistible duo will win over readers everywhere.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
When readers left Henry and his pet duck, Spot, in 2010’s Wanted: The Perfect Pet it was the beginning of an unlikely but beautiful relationship. Now it’s Henry’s birthday, and Spot has picked out a perfectly thoughtful birthday present: a fishing rod that Henry has been eying. But what’s this in the box from Henry’s grandparents—an adorable puppy? Before readers can say “alienation of affections,” poor Spot is packing his bags and writing a good-bye note, convinced that “Henry’s always wanted a Dog, and now he has one.... I might as well not be here.” Readers may guess that Roberton will make sure it all works out in the end of her three mini-chapters, but that won’t stop them enjoying the high-stakes adventure that ensues when Henry and Dog (who, in the tradition of Mickey Mouse’s Pluto, is a nontalker) go after Spot. Once again Roberton proves she can create a resonant emotional landscape with simple, crisp line drawings and minimal detail—perhaps nowhere as evident as in the poignant hug between Spot and Henry after they are (spoiler alert) reunited. Ages 3–5. (June)
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Henry and his pet duck Spot from Wanted: The Perfect Pet return for Henry's birthday. Henry is happily anticipating his presents and trying to guess what Spot is giving him. Spot is sure that he has selected the perfect present, a fishing rod Henry has long admired. But on his birthday, before he can open Spot's gift, Henry is delighted to have a "PERFECT" dog delivered. He goes off to teach his dog tricks; Spot is miserable. Knowing Henry has always wanted a Dog, Spot feels left out and decides to leave. On his way to his old house, he is caught in a storm and a rising river. Meanwhile, the Dog has awakened Henry and taken him to the river. After the exciting rescue, there is a new trio of friends. The illustration on the jacket depicts Henry, Spot, and the new arrival just emerging from a large box. The visuals are stylized drawings with touches of color, some filling a whole page with others much smaller. The sentimental tale of friendship and adventure with a touch of humor is told in "chapters" for eager readers. The end pages are filled with wrapped presents. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Kirkus Reviews
Spot the duck became Henry's pet when he disguised himself as a dog in Wanted: The Perfect Pet (2010), and in what initially feels like a cruel twist of a sequel, he seems at risk of displacement by Henry's new pet. Henry eagerly anticipates his birthday, and Spot is excited about gifting him a fishing rod. But then Henry's grandparents give him "A Dog!" and poor Spot feels pushed aside. Forlorn, he leaves Henry a note and, suitcase in wing, decides to return to his "egg house." Spot strikes a pathetic figure as he attempts a stormy river crossing, only to get stuck on a branch. When Henry wakes and reads Spot's farewell note, he and Dog leave to find him, Henry donning red boots and a jaunty, green scarf-and-cap set. Dog heroically dives into the river to rescue Spot, but he sinks "like a stone," prompting Spot to dive in to save him. Luckily, Henry has his trusty new fishing rod, and with "a strange Ffwwiiiiiiiiizzzzz Plop" he catches Spot's collar and pulls both pets ashore. Their reunion is made even sweeter as Henry wraps his scarf around Spot's neck and persuades him to accept Dog as a "Perfect Pet" they can share. Throughout, friendly, cartoonish line drawings employ minimal setting, humorous detail and ample expressive power. Utterly charming. (Picture book. 4-7)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780399257735
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
07/05/2012
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
9.20(w) x 9.60(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
3 - 5 Years

Meet the Author

Fiona Roberton was born in Oxford and studied art and design in London. She has kept the wolf from the door for a number of years by working as a designer, but has since befriended the wolf, and has it to tea on Tuesdays. She won the IRA Children's Book Award last year for her first picture book, Wanted: The Perfect Pet. She lives in London, England.

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