2017-04-19 / News

Cute story illustrates why dogs make the best pets

By Susan Bowen
Person County Library Outreach Coordinator


The Best Pet of All by David LaRochelle. 2009 by Penguin Young Readers Group. Illustrated by Hanako Wakiyama. Hardcover, 32 pgs. $16.99. The Best Pet of All by David LaRochelle. 2009 by Penguin Young Readers Group. Illustrated by Hanako Wakiyama. Hardcover, 32 pgs. $16.99. In the springtime as the county animal shelter begins to fill with unwanted animals, I like to talk to young children about the joys and responsibilities of having a pet.

A dog is a good companion as long as the family takes time to train it, exercise it, and care for it. A cat does not need as much attention and makes a cozy cuddle buddy if the family is respectful of its nature and treats it gently. Some people like to keep unusual pets such as spiders and reptiles in aquariums.

So, would it be cool to have a dragon for a pet? Some children cheer, “Yes!” The more sensible ones shake their heads, “No!” They know dragons breathe fire.

I pull out one of my favorite picture books, The Best Pet of All, with illustrations in a 1950’s style.

“At the end of this book, we will know if the dragon makes a good pet or not,” I say.

A persistent little boy wants a dog. He asks his mother each day, and each day she says “No.”

Finally he approaches her from a different angle, he asks for a dragon.

The mother is shocked, but after pondering, she agrees to let her son have a dragon if he can find a dragon.

After much searching, he comes across a dragon in the drugstore.

Once he convinces the dragon to come home with him, the mother discovers dragons can be difficult.

They don’t put the toys away, they roast hotdogs in the living room, and they listen to loud music all night long.

The mother cannot make the dragon leave on her own. The boy suggests getting a dog to chase the dragon away.

As soon as the dog enters the house, the dragon runs out the door. The mother declares, “A dog is a good pet!” Behind her back, the boy and the dragon give each other the thumbs up as he agrees.

“Yes. A dog is the best pet of all!”

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