PreS-Gr 2-- Originally published in 1980 (Greenwillow), this story of a young boy's wish for a puppy has new, full-color illustrations that enhance the brief text. Done in watercolor and colored pencil, the humorous pictures show why the gerbil who cries all night long, the chameleon who glows pink and orange and purple all night long, and the frog who chews on furniture, are just not suitable pets. When the pet shop owner and his parents assure him that these animals will not cry, glow, or chew, John replies, `` `Mine will.' '' On their third visit to the store, his parents allow him to choose a puppy who will, : of course, be a perfect pet. This is an amusing story for reading aloud, and it's easy enough for beginning readers. The bright illustrations and clearly presented text will appeal to children, especially those who know exactly what is right for them. --Mary Rinato Berman, New York Public Library
Griffith's affectionate pet and family story, originally published in 1980, is newly illustrated in ebullient style. John wants the puppy that licks his nose in the pet shop, but his parents buy him a nice, quiet gerbil. He warns them that "his" gerbil will be noisy and cry at night, and it does--though when his parents come to his room, the gerbil is fast asleep. They try a chameleon, but John warns them that his chameleon will glow in the dark and keep him awake, and it does. On the third trip, he gets his puppy and assures them that it will be perfect, that "he will always mind me and he will love me better than anything." It's clear that his parents love John, too. Smith's watercolor and color-pencil illustrations reveal warm family interaction, and the scenes in which John imagines the unwanted pets misbehaving in the dark contrast with the sunny realism in the pet shop. There's a nice rhythm to the comic reversals as well as a satisfying climax, as determined John finally gets his way with the help of his vivid imagination.