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Friday, July 20, 2012

ME WANT PET! Written by Tammi Sauer and illustrated by Bob Shea. Simon & Schuster, 2012. $17.99 ages 2 and up

"Me want pet!
"Ug," grunted Mama.
"He too big.
Where he sleep?"
Cave Boy gave Woolly a hug.
"Me wish you could stay, pal."
Then Cave Boy tried again."

It is a universal story, with a great new twist. How many kids can you name that have never asked for a pet? I'll bet that number is very minimal, right? Cave Boy is no different.

He has lots, and he knows it. He doesn't have a pet. He begins a search for one. That search takes him far away and results in a woolly mammoth. It's a perfect pet...provides transportation, offers safety and warmth. You know how Mama feels.

The search resumes...not near and far this time, rather high and low. Will a saber-toothed tiger be acceptable? I think you know the answer to that question, too. Now, it's across, and over, and through! What can be wrong with a sobbing, lonely, baby dodo? There can't possibly be any issues with a tiny baby bird.

I'll leave you to discover what happens when a stampede threatens everyone, including the young dodo bird!

I guarantee you'll be talking 'cave boy' when you finish reading this book as many times as it is sure to be requested. And the kids will, too. Bob Shea creates a prehistoric world that is just as we would imagine it. The story itself is a winner! Taking an idea that many have chosen to write about, and  giving it a brand new twist is sure to make this a story time winner. The arguments are the same. The animals are quite the opposite, and yet.... Bob Shea runs with the idea in the back story creating drama and mood through use of an ever-changing color palette. The thick outlines are reminiscent of cave paintings, leaving readers feeling taken back in time to hear an age-old tale of family conflict.

I can hear the plea: Me like that story. Read again!

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