PreS-Gr 1-Teddy isn't quite ready for a pet-he pulls the family dog's tail, chases the cat, and yanks the rabbit's ears. However, he still wants a pet of his own, so his mother gives him a plant. In his efforts to care for ``Spot,'' the boy learns what it means to nurture something, and soon the household animals find him nicer to be around. While Spot can't hop, purr, or fetch, it does reward Teddy for his care in a very special way-``And then one day-...Spot BLOOMED!'' A cheerful, clever response to a common problem, this book, with its pleasant, full-color cartoon illustrations, is fun to read alone or aloud.-Jody McCoy, Casady School, Oklahoma City
Teddy wants a pet of his own, a pet whose affection he can claim exclusively. His mother patiently explains that their current pets favor particular family members because of the care the animals receive from them. Teddy, on the other hand, clearly mistreats the pets. A compromise is reached when Mother brings Teddy a seedling houseplant. Despite his disappointment, he gives it a pet name. In tending Spot, Teddy learns to care for the animals as well, bargaining with them to behave in exchange for proper food and attention. In a satisfying ending, Spot rewards his master with a superb bloom. Hoban's line-and-wash drawings cleverly capture Teddy's Jekyll-and-Hyde behavior--from endearing wheedler, skilled at "working" his mother, to impish tormentor of family pets. The repetitive structure of the text, simple dialogue, and close coordination of illustration and narrative make this a good choice for beginning independent readers as well as younger listeners.