Written by Foundling Friend and Guest Blogger Celia McGee
What Pet Should I Get?
By Dr. Seuss (Random House Children’s Books)
Ages: Pre-K-7 and the grownups who will enjoying reading to this to kids in their care!
As if one surprise publishing find and hoop-la of the year–Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman–weren’t enough, out pounces What Pet Should I Get? No deep shelter under a bright-blue rock or torrent of blinding snowflakes could have kept anyone from the news of this new Dr. Seuss release!
The sight and sound of the title alone represent inescapable hints that this is an addition to some of children’s top-of-the-pops favorites. With the return of the brother and sister from One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish of 1960, bells and whistles will go off for parents and grandparents.
Younger readers may not be capable or willing to notice, unless subliminally, that the gist and “Should” of this book by Dr. Seuss’s creator and alter-ego, Theodor Geisel, also reinforces the quiet strong-arming of a parental presence, which stealthily has the last word or admonishment in much of his oeuvre.
What Pet Should I Get? is Seussiana in milder form. This trip to a pet store is devoid of pranks and barely-averted disasters. It’s to choose one new animal family member—strong quandary alert for sibling shoppers who amount to more than one. Its subjects include the difficulty of decision-making, weighing options, pros and cons, and taking measured mental notes to prevent too much agony of choice.
Most of the pets on offer are as well of this reasonably everyday world, though rendered in Seussian-world colors and quirky details that any child can’t help but love. And, oh, how glorious the few pages where Dr. Seuss’s rather goody-goody duo let loose their imaginations, concocting entirely preposterous and vibrantly conceived animals of non-existent species, un-encountered outside the Seussiverse.
The Cat in the Hat isn’t exactly back. Still, to what creature do those eyes belong, peeping out from the dark of the covered basket our boy balances on his head on the way home, and on the final, open-ended page?