Packed with memorable rhymes and fantastical illustrations that will delight fans of all ages, What Pet Should I Get? takes readers on a brand new adventure in a beloved and familiar Seussian world. Gazing upon new artwork by Dr. Seuss is a rare thrill, but nothing beats the unique pleasure of reading this newly discovered book with a child for the first time (for both of you!).
The story opens with a brother and sister (believed to be the same sibling duo from One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish) who have been assigned the momentous task of picking out a family pet. But once they arrive at the pet store, they realize there are many wonderful options, from cats and dogs to fish and rabbits, and choosing just one will be difficult.
Parents will appreciate the way these siblings are determined to follow Mother and Dad’s instructions that they must agree on a single pet—and be back by noon. It’s also lovely for young readers to see children being trusted to make such an important decision on their own.
“What if we took / one of each kind of pet?” they find themselves wondering. But they realize, “Dad would be mad. / We can only have one. / If we do not choose, / we will end up with NONE.” These are wise words for our small shoppers, and they also signal to readers that What Pet Should I Get? will not end whimsically (but irresponsibly) with the children filling their house with many different kinds of pets because they couldn’t decide between a puppy, a kitten, or a large, furry YENT who sleeps under a tent. It’s an apt reminder that bringing home a pet is a large responsibility that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Part of the magic of Dr. Seuss’s illustrations is the way his drawings imbue everyday creatures with gentle humor and charm, and he’s in rare form with the animals in What Pet Should I Get?. From a kindly cat with a jaunty ribbon around its neck, to a cheerful goldfish with a friendly smile and dazzling eyelashes, ordinary pets come alive in the pages of this book—and, of course, it features a few extraordinary options as well, including the boy’s contemplation of “A fast kind of thing / who would fly round my head / in a ring on a string!” Young readers will find it equally difficult to choose just one pet from among all of these enchanting options. (My vote is for the YENT.)
One of the most iconic images in the book is a wonderful two-page tableau in which a collection of strange and unusual pets hold up a series of banners reading “MAKE UP YOUR MIND.” There are also a number of smart, catchy Seussian rhymes about the difficulty of making a decision—these sweetly familiar visual and textual elements are what will make What Pet Should I Get? a seamless and welcome addition to your child’s Dr. Seuss library.
But wait—once you reach the end of story, you’ll find a captivating eight-page spread of notes from the publisher, a lovely bonus. It tells the story of the discovery of the original manuscript of What Pet Should I Get?, offers a behind-the-scenes look at Dr. Seuss’s creative process, and includes several charming photographs of Dr. Seuss with his beloved pets. These beautiful, moving photographs and the stories behind them are truly inspiring—and every bit as fun to read as the story itself.
Now, I know you’re all wondering—what pet do they get? I don’t want to ruin the surprise, but I will say this: children will love the answer.