“What Pet To Get?” by Emma Dodd

Suppose you want to get a pet for your child but you can’t decide what.  To help you with your dilemma, I suggest you go ahead  and do a little for-and-against analysis. Actually, Jack has already done it for you.

Jack wanted to get a pet but wasn’t sure what animal would be the best. An elephant sounded good. He could ride it to school. As his mother noticed, though, it would be hard to take an elephant on vacation. A lion eats a lot, a polar bear would be a great playmate, but it can’t stand the central heating. A rhino is too wide, a giraffe too tall and shark too exotic. Taking everything into account, Jack decided that a cute puppy would be the smartest choice.

You just have to see that puppy!

“What Pet To Get?” by Emma Dodd is a  hilarious take on a pet story. Outstanding humor in words and pictures. A greatly engaging read.

If you arrive at the same conclusion as Jack and decide to get a barking four-legged friend for your little ones, good for you. In the eyes of your children you are now the coolest parent. However, there is one more thing to remember when you have pets. Pet training. It doesn’t happen overnight, so I hope you have ample supplies of patience. And paper towels. Or a magical touch.  But  if you need help, “Arthur’s New Puppy” by Marc Brown might come in handy.

With one little puppy, Pal, Arthur brought home a lot of trouble. The puppy  turned the house upside down. Mom and dad wanted to move the dog the garage, but somehow the key was nowhere to be found. It was time for dog training in the backyard. In a week’s time, Pal amazed the whole family with his tricks and didn’t have to move to the garage anymore. Surprisingly, that’s when the key was magically found…

Reading the story with your children might prepare you all for lots of unpleasant surprises (wet carpets, destroyed drapes, scratched furniture…) or maybe even will help you to prevent them. Good luck!


“The Best Pet of All” by David LaRochelle

Last week I promoted cats as purr-fect pets for our children. If you’re unconvinced, I have one more book for you about the clever felines: “A Very Smart Cat. Una Gata Muy Inteligente” by Mario Picayo. The title speaks for itself and the engaging collages by Yolanda Fundora are a great visual for this humorous, bilingual story.  Enjoy it!

Or not. If you are not a fan of whiskers,  I can flood you with books and you won’t let a cat into your house. Unless it it the Puss in Boots, right?

Today I have a story for dog lovers. Not that they need a book  to get a puppy. If someone loves dogs, they will have them no matter what. But, often times, there is someone in the house that needs to buy into the whole puppy business. Surprisingly, it is usually the mother! (A coincident or do we  just know that as soon as the dog enters the house, it will be up to us to train, feed and walk this tail-wagging-furry creature at 5 am, summer or winter?)

This is how one smart kid talked his mom into getting a puppy:

A little boy kept asking his mother for a dog. Every time she would say no. Dogs are messy and loud. The boy asked his mother for a dragon pet instead. She agreed, if he would find one. It was a tall order, but eventually the boy came across a dragon at the drug store. After long negotiations, the fire-blowing beast accepted the offer and moved in with the boy. As it turned out, dragons are not the easiest pets. They make mess in the kitchen, listen to the music at night and eat spaghetti in the bathtub.  And the worst of all, they refuse to move out. Luckily, the boy knew a secret. Dragons are afraid of dogs…

Will mom finally agree to have a puppy in order to get rid of the dragon? What mom wouldn’t right? Even I would consider and I am not a dog person.

A  delightful read for any child longing to have a canine friend at home. What’s more,it’s  a great lesson on how to negotiate successfully. Comical, retro-style illustrations by Hanako Wakiyama

11. ¡Perros! ¡Perros! Dog! Dogs! by Ginger Foglesong Guy

Being multilingual and a linguist, I’ve made it my mission to expose my son to languages and hope he would view it as an opportunity. So far so good. His Polish is expanding from day-to-day and his Spanish is catching up thanks to my son’s wonderful teacher. I do my share with Spanish books.

Our latest discovery is ¡Perros! ¡Perros! Dogs! Dogs! It is a picture book written in both English and Spanish, but it is not a typical Spanglish, like “Fiesta Fiasco” for example, which I will surely introduce some time soon. This book is written in two language versions but it comes together as one. I love the idea! If only you know the basic pronunciation rules in both languages, you can easily help your child read the story. And if you don’t, you can do it my husband’s way and make it up as you go. Your child is smart enough to get the gist. That was me, the mom, speaking, not a language teacher, of course.

All kinds of dogs are running through the town. Where are they going?  Although the story is very simple, the added value of this book is its educational aspect. Accurately chosen descriptions of the dogs, teach adjectives in the two languages. The wording is limited, full of repetitions, to help the child isolate the target vocabulary and to remember it better.  The cartoonish pictures are entertaining and  play an important role as a visual learning element.

Read and learn Spanish. You have every reason to try this clever head and shoulders!

We started reading the book in the full double version. Then I read the Spanish version loudly and I whispered the English part. I made my son point to what I was reading. Now I point and my son “reads” in Spanish.