Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Prudence Wants a Pet

Prudence Wants a Pet

Cathleen Daly
Illustrator:  Stephen Michael King 
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Macmillan, 2011   ISBN: 978-1596434684

Prudence is a little girl who really really really wants a pet, but her parents refuse to allow her to get one because pets “cost too much” and they “make noise.” Desperate to have a pet, any pet, Prudence gets a pet of her own, and it is a branch. She calls her pet Branch and she takes him all over the place. Then Dad trips up on Branch (who has to stay on the front porch) and after doing so eight times, he breaks Branch “into little bits.”

Prudence’s next pet is called Twig, which is what he is. He is small enough to fit in her pocket, which is very convenient. Unfortunately, Twig gets washed with Prudence’s dress and he is never seen again, even though Prudence puts up a lost pet sign in the laundry room.

Again and again Prudence tries to have a pet, and again and again her plan falls through until she finally gives up and takes refuge in the closet. No one seems to understand how she feels.

Most children, at some point or another, wish that they could have a pet of their own. This delightful picture book pairs a sympathetic story with wonderful illustrations to give children a tale that perfectly captures one little girl’s efforts to find a pet for herself. The story is funny, poignant, and just right.