Friday, December 20, 2013

"The Perfect Pet" by Samantha Bell

About the book:  After begging for a pet, a child’s mother finally says “yes.” But which animal will be the best pet? Using animal classification and habitat needs, the child narrows it down from Kingdom Animalia, through invertebrates to vertebrates. Reptiles and amphibians are out, and birds and fish are soon off the list. That leaves mammals, but which one? An elephant won't fit through the door, and a tiger would be too hard to walk. What's a child to do?

Review:  This is a very educational book and has engaging illustrations that are colorful, bold, with compelling interest for the reader.  I appreciate the rhyme that is used to tell the story as child and mother engage in a dialogue to determine what is just the Perfect Pet for the child.

But Mom said "no" to jellyfish and worms, and insects too.
I told her, "I don't understand; grubs don't appeal to you?"
"All invertebrates are out. Backbones are in," she said.
"Look through phylum Chordata. You can find one there instead."
Mom begins by telling the child to look at the animal kingdom, Kingdom: Animalia.  Then within the animal kingdom they look at animal classification and just what the identifying characteristics of each is. Then they determine if that classification would make a suitable pet for the child.

After going through them all, they walk into the Plant Shop and make the final decision. 

Engagingly written, the book will delight the child and hold his or her interest for repeated readings. The child will learn well from the actual story and illustrations. However, the back of the book has several pages of information that explain animal classification, explain the five major classes of vertebrates, and Compare and Contrast the Animals so the educational aspect of the book is more complete. This is a book I can recommend for the home library, schools, and public libraries.

About the author/illustrator:  The Perfect Pet is Samantha’s debut picture book with Sylvan Dell. Her stories, poems, and articles have been published both online and in print, including e-zines and magazines such as Wee Ones Children's Magazine, My Light, Guardian Angel Kids E-zine, Learning Through History, Boys' Quest, and Clubhouse Jr., and accepted for publication by Hopscotch for Girls. Her picture book, It's Birthday Time, Jake!, was released in 2010 by Guardian Angel Publishing; she has also illustrated Shaping up the Year, As I Watch, Growing Up Dreams, Cinderfella and the Furry Godmother, One Pelican at a Time, and Sea Turtle Summer. Samantha also writes instructional text for her website that features art lessons for children and adults, She served for two years as the managing editor of the Pen & Palette, the newsletter of SCBWI-Carolinas Chapter. Samantha is a homeschooling mom who keeps her constantly on her toes or in the car. A native of sunny central Florida, Samantha Bell grew up in an area brimming with wildlife; now living in the upstate of South Carolina with her husband and four children, she’s found there is lots of room for the family’s animal friends. Visit her website at

DISCLOSURE: A complimentary copy was provided by Sylvan Dell Publishing in exchange for our honest review. Opinions expressed are solely those of the reviewer.  No compensation was received for this review.

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