4 out of 4 stars
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The Worst Pet Peeve Ever: Beware of What Bugs You by Anne Marie Hanlon Cook explores one mother’s pet peeve. In this particular family, the mother can’t stand the idea of a dirty, messy animal. However, her children would love nothing more than to have a family pet! Being a cleanly person, their mother decides the only pet they can have is a ‘pet peeve.’ This pet is the perfect pet: it doesn’t make a mess, and doesn’t eat much or dig up holes in the yard. This mother ends up convincing all of her friends in town to do away with their pets and adopt a pet peeve instead. But what happens to the fleas in the area when all the pets are gone? Why they find a new host to feed on, of course!
This illustrated book is approximately twenty pages long and would be best suited as a read-alone book for early independent readers or for adults to read to younger children. Simply put, this book is laugh-out-loud fun! The story the author weaves is clever and unique – I’ve never read a children’s book about pet peeves or the disastrous effects of a flea infestation. Throughout the story, the reactions of the parents and children are appropriate and relatable, and often times down-right funny. The best part about this children’s tale is that it is just as relatable from an adult perspective as it is from a child’s. I found myself smiling the whole time I read this story.
In addition to the amusing storyline, the author does a great job creating rhythmic prose. Rhyme is utilized throughout the narrative, but the rhyming never feels silly, forced or juvenile. The utilization of rhymes may also prove helpful to early independent readers who need clues to discern any words in the narrative which they may be unsure of. For the most part, the vocabulary used is simple, so independent readers can read through this book smoothly without too many questions.
The illustrations are just as amusing as the narrative. They are hand drawn and look like something a youngster would create themselves. Additionally, the characters depicted are expressive, and their emotive faces clearly match the corresponding words on the page. Even better, the animals included in the illustrations are adorable to look at. These illustrations have just enough detail to appeal to early independent readers; they aren’t just for very young children.
The Worst Pet Peeve Ever is an absolute joy to read for both parents and children. The writing style is fluid and fun to read aloud, the story is silly yet endearing and amusing, and the illustrations are simplistically eye-catching! Since there is nothing to dislike about this book, I happily rate it 4 out of 4 stars. This book can easily be enjoyed independently by elementary school children or read aloud to a younger audience. I highly recommend parents read along with this entertaining, sing-song story because they will enjoy the comical tale just as much as their children!
The Worst Pet Peeve Ever
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