Piper Picks the Perfect Pet (Caroline Tuohey, illus by Nicky Johnston, Ford St)
From the alliterative title alone, you know this picture book must be read out loud to the little ones. Piper Picks the Perfect Pet even rhymes, which will add to the fun. ‘My dad says I can choose a pet. But I’m not sure which pet to get,’ it begins, with the main character then going on to narrow down the list. Children will learn various adjectives along the way: will it, for instance, be a scruffy, fluffy, flouncy or bouncy dog? Or should it be a purring creature instead, ‘A tabby curled up in a ball? A Burmese that’s not fussed at all?’ Or maybe a cool, unusual pet will be more impressive, like an axolotl, stick insect or ferret. Caroline Tuohey and Nicky Johnston’s book will appeal to all animal lovers, especially families that have pets or might be in the market for one. Johnston’s illustrations are simple and non-fussy, depicting an array of adorable animals being considered for adoption. Best for pre-schoolers, Piper Picks the Perfect Pet is easy reading for beginners and will kick off discussion about which pet is the most appropriate one for a child’s household.
Thuy On is a freelance arts journalist and reviewer, and the books editor of the Big Issue.