Bringing Home A New Pet This Perfect Picture Book Friday.

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday! Today’s story from me, as well as the book I’m sharing, are about the joys of bringing home a new pet.

One of the pets in my little zoo came to live with me because he desperately needed rescuing. I remember the day I walked around the pet shop, greeting the fish, having a stare-down with a lizard, and watching the tree frogs play leapfrog. As I passed a row of terrariums, a rhythmic clunk-clunk-clunk caught all of my attention. I kneeled down and peered under a shelf at a seemingly forgotten terrarium. Inside, a tortoise was desperately trying to climb out. He placed his front feet on the glass where they slid down with a clunk–again and again and again.

I reached back and pulled out his terrarium. His water bowl contained a thin layer of brown film. A half-inch scrap of wilted lettuce poked out from under a piece of bark. A layer of crust rimmed the tortoise’s half-shut eyes.

I called the manager over and showed him the tortoise who needed and deserved care.

“He’s sick.” The manager shrugged. “When he gets better, he’ll be for sale.”

“He’ll never get better with the kind of care he’s getting here,” I said. “I want to buy him and bring him home today.”

“You can buy him when he’s better,” the manager said. “I’ll sell him to you for $100.”

I looked the manager in the eyes, I didn’t smile, and I didn’t blink when I said, “I’m going to pay you $150, and I’m taking him home today.”

Our staredown lasted for a long moment before the manager gave me a quick nod.

With a large, clean terrarium, a dish filled with fresh water, a fistful of crisp kale, and a whole lot of love, my tortoise grew healthy and happy.  And my animal rescue story brings me to today’s Perfect Picture Book Friday selection about a boy named Bruno and the guinea pig he brings home from the pet shop one day.

Title –  Bruno and Titch: A Tale of a Boy and His Guinea Pig

Author and Illustrator– Sheena Dempsey

Published by – Candlewick Press – 2014

Suitable for ages – 4 to 8

Topics – New pet, friendship

Opening –   I’ve been waiting three human weeks for a Big Person to come and bring me home. In guinea-pig time, that’s almost a year. Which is a VERY long time to wait. No matter how hard I try (and I try R-E-A-L-L-Y hard)… the Big People always choose some other guinea pig instead.

Amazon Review HERE. As the only guinea pig left in Mrs. Pinkerley’s pet shop, Titch is getting lonely and anxious. All he wants is his very own Big Person. Then one day a boy named Bruno comes into the shop looking for the perfect pet. Their eyes meet, and Titch has a home at last! There’s just one problem: Bruno loves to play and invent wild games and make big messes (and eat sticky pancakes). As for Titch, well, he prefers the quiet life — a nice nap, a plate of salad leaves. Will they find a way to make their friendship work, or will Titch end up back where he started, in the pet shop? Sheena Dempsey offers a contemporary and comical take on new pets — and new friends.

Why do I like this book? Frankly, any story about the adoption and good care of an animal wins my heart. In this story, Bruno not only gives Titch, his guinea pig, a good home, tasty food, and a cozy bed for sleep, but he takes his love for his new pet one step further and builds him a… Oh, wait! I can’t tell you what Bruno builds for Titch, that would give away the best part of this story. I hope you’ll check out this book and read it to find out for yourself.

Learn more about Sheena Dempsey HERE.

Until next Friday.

21 thoughts on “Bringing Home A New Pet This Perfect Picture Book Friday.

  1. Awe! What a sweet story. Well both of them, yours and Titch’s. We have a rescue dog and she is just the best thing that ever happened to us. She rescued us as much as we rescued her. My granddaughter had an albino hedgehog. He didn’t do too much but was loved all the same.

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    • Your albino hedgehog has captured my full attention. He must have been beautiful! I listened to a youtube video once of a hedgehog and fell in love with their sweet vocal sounds. My tortoise doesn’t do too much, either, but he sure does love when I pick him up in the morning. He sticks out his head and closes his eyes while I gently caress his neck.

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  2. Love this! I’m definitely going to look for it. I also love your personal anecdote about your tortoise. I have a soft spot for stories with animals (and a daughter that has her own extensive menagerie — sometimes it exasperates me but other times I think how wonderful it is that she’s so kind and loving).

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    • I can completely relate to your daughter’s love of animals. If I could, I would rescue every deserving animal. We got our dog from a rescue shelter where he was purchased and returned six previous times! For my sweet cockatiel, I chose him because the pet store said nobody wanted a bird with red eyes and foot problems. And my tortoise, well… his story is the one you just read above. Maybe it’s because I was born “factory defective” that I have such a soft spot for animals that need extra care.

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  3. I thought we had found every guinea pig book ever written, but here is one that’s new to me! Hope my library can locate a copy when it reopens. Something to look forward to! TY

    Liked by 2 people

    • I don’t have a strong memory of this, but my mother told me that when my sister and I were small (about three or four years old) we had a guinea pig. Hmmm…or maybe she said it was a gerbil. They’re both such sweet little critters, and I also like books about them. The little boy, Bruno, in this story has a BIG heart when it comes to making his new friend, Titch, feel welcomed in his new home. I think you’re going to love this book! 🙂

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      • If you follow Catherine Rayner on Instagram – she posts amazing guinea pig illustrations – super cute! Will look for this book for sure.

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  4. Never had a guinea pig, but wanted one as a child. I do love animal adoption stories. Such a big responsibility for kids. This book sounds fun! Like that you didn’t give away the ending. Always enjoy your personal stories at the beginning.

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    • I think the first pet we got was the guinea pig or gerbil when I was a toddler. Its untimely death caused a number of years to pass before my parents allowed us to have another pet. Now, I can’t imagine my home without the chatter of all of my sweet pets. Do you have any pets now?

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