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Cover image for My pet wants a pet
My pet wants a pet
First edition.
New York : Henry Holt and Company, 2018.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
General Note:
"Christy Ottaviano Books."
A boy's mother, reluctant to allow him even one pet, is increasingly unhappy as each pet wants a pet of its own.
Reading Level:

530 Lexile
Added Author:


Call Number
JP Broach

On Order



Once there was a boy who wanted something to take care of. Something of his very own. He begged his mother for a puppy. Until she said YES!The boy loved his puppy. He fed him and played with him and cuddled him. But soon, the dog wanted something to take care of--something of his very own. So the dog gets a pet cat; then the cat gets a pet bird; the bird gets a pet worm; the worm gets a pet flea . . . and on and on it goes as utter chaos ensues.This charming picture book cleverly captures a universal wish--to love and care for something--and shows that you're never too little to share in that dream.A Christy Ottaviano Book

Author Notes

Elise Broach is the author of the acclaimed novel Shakespeare's Secret, as well as several picture books. Her newest book is entitled, Masterpiece. She lives in Easton, Connecticut, with her family.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 5

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-There was a boy who wanted a pet. He begged and begged for a puppy of his own to take care of and do fun things with. The boy's mom finally relents and get the boy a puppy. He and puppy are such good companions that the boy decides his pet needs a pet. Thus begins a whole chain of pet acquisitions in the boy's house. This sweet story with beautifully vivid illustrations demonstrates how caring for others leads to personal happiness. While the story structure and repetition are similar to many classic children's tales, this book's kind message and colorful illustrations set it apart from the rest. VERDICT A winning choice for storytime and family sharing.-Nicole Detter-Smith, Homestead High School, IN © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

A familiar conceit-a child begs a parent for a pet-takes a humorously absurd turn when that pet, a frisky puppy, wants (and gets) a pet of his own, an orange kitten. "Truth be told, the boy was surprised at this choice," writes Broach (The Wolf Keeper). "'Dogs chase cats,' he told the puppy." Before long, the kitten decides she also wants "something of her very own" to take care of, and adopts a bird, who then takes in a worm that gets a pet flea. By this point, the boy's mother, who has begrudgingly acquiesced to each new creature, is out of patience: "That flea is the pet of the pet of the pet of the pet of your pet!" Barclay's simple, cheery ink-and-watercolor pictures foreshadow each adoption and emphasize the joy shared by the boy and the many pets, if not by Mom. Broach's language is similarly straightforward as she underscores the responsibilities and rewards of caring for another and the expansive possibilities of family. Ages 4-7. Author's agent: Edward Necarsulmer IV, Dunow, Carlson & Lerner. Illustrator's agent: Lori Nowicki, Painted Words. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Horn Book Review

Once there was a boy who wanted something to take care of. Something of his very own. The corresponding opening illustration shows a boy looking wistfully out his window onto his sunny city street full of dogs and their owners. He eventually persuades his mother and becomes the proud owner of a puppy. Spot art develops this pairs relationship and exhibits the rewards (and humor) that come with responsible pet ownership. Things go so well that the puppy decides that it, too, needs a pet of its own to care for. And so the puppy got a kitten, a furry orange kitten. Truth be told, the boy was surprised at this choice. And so it goes, the warm and funny cartoon illustrations helping to predict each new arrival. The kitten adopts a bird. The bird adopts a worm. The worm adopts a flea. Finally, with satisfying circularity, the flea adopts the puppy. Everyone finds this delightful cycle of nurture fulfilling except the mother, who grows more resistant with each new addition. (What?! cried the boys mother. That worm is the pet of the pet of the pet of your pet! He does NOT NEED A PET.) The boy considers what to do about Moms unhappinessthe illustration shows him in deep concentration on the toilet surrounded by the concerned pets. His heart-tugging solution brings home the books most valuable point: Whenever you take care of something, that something takes care of you. julie roach (c) Copyright 2018. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

From Broach and Barclay comes a story about the affection that grows between living beings who care for one another.A boy looks out the window of his brownstone home at the people walking and driving with their dogs. He begs his mother for "something to take care of," until finally she says yes. They walk home, the boy with a puppy on a leash and the mother struggling with large bags filled with pet supplies. The boy and his puppy love each other and have so much fun together that one day, the puppy decides that he also wants a pet. The boy's mother thinks this is a terrible idea. But the boy cannot refuse the puppy, who chooses a kitten as his pet. They love each other and have so much fun together thatguess what? The kitten wants a pet. And the cycle continues, until the pet's pet's pet's pet's pet has a pet. But the mother grows so unhappy that the boy has to find a solution to make her happy too. The charming pen-and-watercolor illustrations add to the humor and fun of this adorable book, investing each of the pets with its own personality (the worm in a beret is a special treat). The boy is brown-skinned with tightly curled black hair, and his mother is tan with straight brown hair. A sweet choice for a simple story that parents and children will enjoy laughing at together. (Picture book. 4-8) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

In this book about a comically expanding family of pets, a boy campaigns to convince his mother to get him a puppy. After much wheedling, the mother finally gives in, and the boy gets what he wants: something to take care of. Something of his very own. But after the boy and puppy have such a wonderful time, the puppy, too, wants a pet: a kitten. And pretty soon that kitten wants a bird. And the bird, a worm. And the worm, a flea! The story functions by this principle of addition, in a way similar to There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly, except here, each animal gets smaller. (And there's a happy ending.) Barclay's ink-and-watercolor illustrations are jaunty and cartoonlike, reminiscent of the work of Richard Scarry, with all characters two-legged, four-legged, or no-legged having a fantastic time playing and chasing each other. Except for the mother, that is, though the boy finds a nifty way to resolve that dilemma. Great comedy throughout, with an inspiring closer.--Fletcher, Connie Copyright 2018 Booklist