Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wanted: The Perfect Story

Occasionally, a story comes along that shows the extraordinary emotional range of children. Fiona Roberton’s latest picture book, Wanted: the Perfect Pet, poignantly conveys what it’s like to long for something, be it a pet or simply a friend.

Henry takes out an advertisement for the perfect pet expecting a dog to arrive on his doorstep.  Instead, his plea is answered by a most unusually disguised duck. This story is just right for preschoolers because it uses simple, expressive illustrations to show a child dealing with emotions like longing, disapointment and empathy. The division of the story into three short chapters will help a young listener hone his/her narrative skills without detracting from the plot. Children will empathize with both Henry and the duck and will feel comforted by the final image of the pair asleep, Henry in his bed and duck sprawled at the end.

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