FICTION

My Perfect Pet

Grosset & Dunlap. (Molly Mischief). Feb. 2019. 32p. Tr $12.99. ISBN 9781524788025.
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PreS–First in a series, this British import introduces Molly, an impish troublemaker. She might think she is full of “good ideas,” but her parents do not always agree. While terrorizing animals at the zoo, the button-nosed menace decides she wants a pet “much bigger than [her] pet mouse.” She brings a succession of the largest animals home, only to return them when they wreak havoc—a hippo muddies the sofa, rhino tears up the newspapers, her father chastises her for destroying the roof for a giraffe, and so on. Though she has the most fun with an elephant, bringing him to the park and to school and building him a house in the backyard, when he devours the neighbors’ garden and squashes the family car, she takes him back, too. Molly is briefly content with her perfectly sized mouse, but more mischief awaits. Hargreaves’s black line illustrations are reminiscent of his renowned “Mr. Men” and “Little Miss” series with their vintage vibe, though there is an odd juxtaposition between the somewhat more realistically drawn animals and the cartoonish people.
VERDICT Molly’s expression and behavior might occasionally border on mean rather than mischievous, and the story is somewhat slight; nevertheless, the youngest readers will undoubtedly laugh at the child’s hijinks

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