The Search for the Perfect Child

Overview

Where is the perfect child? A humorous, roundabout search leads back to the reader.

Fido Farnsworth, the cleverest, smartest, coolest dog in the whole world, is faced with his hardest job yet. How will he ever find the perfect child? Is the perfect child artistic (say, fond of painting on refrigerator doors)? Does he enjoy keeping pets (like an enormous tiger on a string)? Does she have lots of style (mixing a pirate's hat with Mom's high-heeled shoes)? With cheerfully comic ...

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Overview

Where is the perfect child? A humorous, roundabout search leads back to the reader.

Fido Farnsworth, the cleverest, smartest, coolest dog in the whole world, is faced with his hardest job yet. How will he ever find the perfect child? Is the perfect child artistic (say, fond of painting on refrigerator doors)? Does he enjoy keeping pets (like an enormous tiger on a string)? Does she have lots of style (mixing a pirate's hat with Mom's high-heeled shoes)? With cheerfully comic illustrations, Jan Fearnley makes it perfectly clear that all kids are perfect just as they are.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz
Fido Farnsworth, "the cleverest, sharpest, coolest dog detective in the whole world," tackles his toughest case: finding the perfect child. He lists some possible qualities, like being creative, or loving nature, or being happy to help with chores…never complaining about taking a bath, loving to monkey around…. For each brief attribute, the double-page illustrations offer a handful of comically active contradictions. For "happy to help with the chores," we see kids wildly tossing around the wash while hanging one youngster up on the clothesline; "creative" takes us into a messy kitchen with two children painting pictures, one right on the refrigerator door. Sketchy ink and loosely applied watercolors enhance the overall humor. Fido finally states that it is not easy to find the perfect child, but enthusiastically agrees with all the active characters that he has seen one, and "you are the perfect child." The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow on the back end-papers seems to symbolize his triumph.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-Fido Farnsworth, the world's most clever canine detective, has taken on a huge assignment. Although others have indicated that there is no such being, the sleuth is convinced that he can sniff out the perfect child. He confides that even though he has completed other challenging missions-such as locating the gold at the rainbow's end, flying pigs, and aliens-he is not at all sure what to look for. He knows that the perfect child is polite, cooperative, and clean, but also enjoys silly words, creepy-crawlies, and monkeying around. Just when Fido seems stymied, there is a rousing conclusion to all his hard work. Full-spread, full-bleed art shows a boy leading a large tiger by a pink ribbon ("The perfect child is kind to animals"), youngsters in silly attire ("the perfect child has style"), and other equally funny situations. Throughout, the furry white-and-brown dog stands on his hind legs, participating in the fun. Children will delight in the exuberant illustrations and lighthearted text.-Andrea Tarr, Corona Public Library, CA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Fido Farnsworth is the best dog detective in the world, and he's in search of the perfect child. But does the perfect child exist? What should he look for? Some say it's creativity, but painting the outside of the refrigerator could be considered creative, couldn't it? Kindness to animals is said to be a plus, but would the perfect child bring a tiger home? It could be the ability to appreciate nature, having a sense of style, helping with chores, eagerness to bathe and having many interests, but as the illustrations show, these attributes can be interpreted in many different and humorous ways. Finally, Fido asks some children if they have seen the perfect child, and they have indeed; Fido's quest is at an end. Addressing the reader, he explains, "I've found you, and you are the perfect child." Appealing watercolor-and-ink illustrations depict many mischievous youngsters enjoying themselves throughout. While perhaps a trifle thin, the celebration of childhood is engaging nonetheless, and the feel-good message at the end will not fail to draw a smile. (Picture book. 3-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763632311
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 10/24/2006
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.15 (w) x 10.94 (h) x 0.39 (d)

Meet the Author

Jan Fearnley was a teacher and literacy advocate before becoming a full-time writer and illustrator. She is the creator of many books for children, including NEVER TOO LITTLE TO LOVE, WATCH OUT! and JUST LIKE YOU. Jan Fearnley lives in Surrey, England.
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