The Best Pet of All by David LaRochelle

The Best Pet of AllIt’s the classic story of a boy who really, really REALLY wants a dog and a mother who says NO! What’s a boy to do but to keep asking since dogs are the BEST PETS of ALL, but once he is convinced that his mother is going to keep saying no, he comes up with another plan. He decides to ask his mom if he could have a dragon. Well his mom tells him that if he can find a dragon, he can keep it for a pet, of course never imagining that he will find one. The boy goes looking for a dragon, and finally finds one at a drugstore wearing dark glasses and a hat. Now the boy just needs to convince the dragon to come home with him and does so by telling him he can play with all of his toys.

Right away there are problems – first of all dragons really like to play with toys, BUT they do not like to put them away, and they do not like to help with chores, and they make messes in the kitchen, and they roast hot dogs in the living room, and they dance to loud music all night long. Finally, mom has had enough, and she demands that the dragon leave this minute, but the dragon just shakes his head and goes back to eating spaghetti in the bathtub. The boy tells his mom “Too bad we do not have a dog. Dragons do not like dogs.” His mother then has to admit that maybe they do need a dog. All the boy has to do is put a sign in the window “DOG WANTED”, and soon there is a knock at the door. Of course, it’s a dog, and that’s pretty much all the dragon needs to see, and he was out the door. In the end, mom of course realizes that a dog really is a good pet, especially in comparison to a dragon. And from over the hedge, the dragon gives the little boy the thumbs up signal — the boy (and the dragon’s) plan has worked! The best thing of all about this book is the wonderful 50’s and 60’s style illustrations. How clever and fun and a wonderful twist on the classic story!

Posted by: Mary

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