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.