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Children Make Terrible Pets

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Meet Lucy. Meet Lucy's Pet. She calls him Squeaker. Lucy and Squeaker have the best day ever. Until things start to go wrong... Do children make terrible pets? What do you think?


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Meet Lucy. Meet Lucy's Pet. She calls him Squeaker. Lucy and Squeaker have the best day ever. Until things start to go wrong... Do children make terrible pets? What do you think?

30 review for Children Make Terrible Pets

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn

    Lucy, young bear, finds a very adorable creature (a little boy) in the woods one day and promptly brings it home to be her pet. Her mother warns that "children make terrible pets." But, Lucy is convinced that she and her boy will be very happy together. And they are--for awhile. But, when the boy goes missing one day and Lucy sets off to find him, she discovers more than she bargained for. I think Peter Brown is special because he can be funny and touching and offer lessons without being pushy or Lucy, young bear, finds a very adorable creature (a little boy) in the woods one day and promptly brings it home to be her pet. Her mother warns that "children make terrible pets." But, Lucy is convinced that she and her boy will be very happy together. And they are--for awhile. But, when the boy goes missing one day and Lucy sets off to find him, she discovers more than she bargained for. I think Peter Brown is special because he can be funny and touching and offer lessons without being pushy or sappy or obnoxious. (Reminds me of the fabulous Mo Willems in that regard.) I love, for example, how the child simply "squeaks" while Lucy and her mother speak to one another; it's so fascinating to see us portrayed as this cute, funny, incomprehensible little oddity! ;-) The lesson I gleaned from this story is that we should be careful when we take creatures from their natural habitat and should realize that they have their own lives and families that might not fit with ours. Or, more broadly, look at the totality of the situation and the interconnectedness--not just ones own selfish wants. The final page provides a fun surprise that leaves one closing the book with a smile to match the thoughtfulness the book encourages. I've been waiting eagerly and impatiently for this book to arrive at my library. Peter Brown is one of my favorite children's book authors (The Curious Garden is AMAZING!) so I had inevitable high expectations, heightened by the long wait, and I'm not sure it was possible for this book to meet all of my hopes. But, it is still an absolutely charming and humorous story. While this isn't my favorite Peter Brown book, it's still a very good Peter Brown book and, as such, is better than many of the other books out there! So, five stars from me :-)

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Vegan

    My favorite line was “Woof!” I giggled at that. The whole story and its pictures are adorable. This is a very cute story that children will identify with, especially those who long for unconventional pets or who care about wildlife. Lucy the bear finds a child she calls Squeaker and brings him home and begs to keep him. By the end of this experiment Lucy realizes that her pet belongs with his own kind and she also learns a bunch of reasons why children make terrible pets. And, then there is a ver My favorite line was “Woof!” I giggled at that. The whole story and its pictures are adorable. This is a very cute story that children will identify with, especially those who long for unconventional pets or who care about wildlife. Lucy the bear finds a child she calls Squeaker and brings him home and begs to keep him. By the end of this experiment Lucy realizes that her pet belongs with his own kind and she also learns a bunch of reasons why children make terrible pets. And, then there is a very amusing ending. The art is so different from what I expected from Peter Brown and this is no The Curious Garden, but luckily I wasn’t comparing the two books as I was reading this. The art is very interesting. The illustrations are “rendered in pencil on paper, with cut construction paper and wood and a wee bit of digital tweaking.” The many word balloons are “handlettered by the author.” (He has excellent printing skills, by the way.) This is a fun read aloud book and can be enjoyed by the youngest child. For older preschoolers and young schoolchildren, I think it could lead to some interesting discussions. The very short author bio gives a vignette that could explain why the author-illustrator created this particular book. I vacillated between giving this book 4 or 5 stars; it’s a 4 ½ star book for me. It’s funny, adorable, and brings up some great points in a fun way. But, while I loved the facial expressions and many of the details in the illustrations, I couldn’t quite love the style of some of them. But, I’ll go with 5 stars for the clever premise and the many hilarious bits.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Melki

    Though Lucy takes excellent care of her pet child, the time comes when he must return to the wild the suburbs. Another delightful book by one of my favorite pet authors.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Shiloah

    Cute one. 🤗

  5. 4 out of 5

    Abigail

    Lucille Beatrice Bear finds a boy in the woods and decides to adopt him as a pet in this hilarious picture-book from Peter Brown, the author/artist behind such classics as The Curious Garden and My Teacher Is a Monster! . Although her mother warns her that children make terrible pets, Lucy persists in keeping Squeaker - so-named because of the squeaking noise he makes - and at first all seems well. But when Squeaker makes trouble, and then disappears, it seems that Lucy's mother's warning Lucille Beatrice Bear finds a boy in the woods and decides to adopt him as a pet in this hilarious picture-book from Peter Brown, the author/artist behind such classics as The Curious Garden and My Teacher Is a Monster! . Although her mother warns her that children make terrible pets, Lucy persists in keeping Squeaker - so-named because of the squeaking noise he makes - and at first all seems well. But when Squeaker makes trouble, and then disappears, it seems that Lucy's mother's warning was on point... An entertaining inversion of the usual "child wants to adopt wild animal" scenario, Children Make Terrible Pets gently drives home the point that certain creatures (like bears!) are simply not meant to be kept as pets, while also offering an engaging story in its own right. By making the child the pet, Brown allows young reader/listeners to think about what it really means to be separated from one's own natural family and kept by another species. As always with this author/artist's books, the illustrations, created using pencil and cut-paper, are immensely engaging. Recommended to all Peter Brown fans, and to anyone looking for creative and fun stories addressing the issue of responsible pet ownership and interaction with wild creatures.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ann

    This is too funny! I'm a huge fan of Peter Brown's Flight of the Dodo and his absolutely fantastic The Curious Garden (if you haven't read this one - you simply must!). Therefore, I was thrilled when I saw this latest edition to Brown's collection. And what's not to love here? A humorous story where the tides have turned and a young bear decides to take in a child for her pet. Honestly, I think aspects of this might be funnier for adults than children, but definitely there's enough amusement for an This is too funny! I'm a huge fan of Peter Brown's Flight of the Dodo and his absolutely fantastic The Curious Garden (if you haven't read this one - you simply must!). Therefore, I was thrilled when I saw this latest edition to Brown's collection. And what's not to love here? A humorous story where the tides have turned and a young bear decides to take in a child for her pet. Honestly, I think aspects of this might be funnier for adults than children, but definitely there's enough amusement for any age. I love the cut-out illustration style! And the expressions of the bear and the boy are hilarious! I did dock one star, just because I felt some the plot was a tad vague (some of the "why did" questions that I can't really explain without giving away the ending - which I don't want to, because I still recommend this book!). It's great for anyone questioning why they can't befriend wild animals. And be sure to read the little bio at the end. ***** Looks like this just came out last month and since I've adored both previous Peter Brown books I've read, I can't wait to get my hands on this one!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Peacegal

    What child hasn’t dreamed of owning a bear, monkey, or other wild animal as a pet? Unfortunately, some of those kids never get the message that these animals aren’t lapdogs, and they grow up to be the folks driving the tragedy-filled exotic pet trade. With humor and wit, Children Make Terrible Pets advances a gentle lesson. Lucy the bear is playing outdoors when she discovers a little human boy. May I keep him?, she begs her mother. Mama bear reluctantly agrees, until they realize just what a mi What child hasn’t dreamed of owning a bear, monkey, or other wild animal as a pet? Unfortunately, some of those kids never get the message that these animals aren’t lapdogs, and they grow up to be the folks driving the tragedy-filled exotic pet trade. With humor and wit, Children Make Terrible Pets advances a gentle lesson. Lucy the bear is playing outdoors when she discovers a little human boy. May I keep him?, she begs her mother. Mama bear reluctantly agrees, until they realize just what a miserable pet he can be! “Squeaker” jumps on the furniture, refuses to use a litter box, and finally runs away from the bear family’s cave! When Lucy discovers that Squeaker has returned to his natural habitat (a suburban home) and is happy with his human family, she is saddened, but she accepts that this is where her “pet” really belongs. Children will naturally put themselves in Squeaker’s shoes and imagine themselves in the place of an inappropriate pet. Teachers and parents will no doubt get a kick out of the retro-style illustrations. Pets is a fine humane ed resource to spark discussions on the appropriateness of keeping wild animals as pets.

  8. 5 out of 5

    La Coccinelle

    Lucy is a bear. She's one of those kids who finds a creature in the woods, brings it home, and then whines until she gets to keep it as a pet. Her mother warns her that children don't make very good pets, but Lucy promises to take responsibility for Squeaker (as she calls him). But then... Squeaker goes missing. What's a bear to do? This is a really odd book. Though it's less than a decade old, it feels like something that got dragged out of someone's basement stash. And I mean literally. Everyth Lucy is a bear. She's one of those kids who finds a creature in the woods, brings it home, and then whines until she gets to keep it as a pet. Her mother warns her that children don't make very good pets, but Lucy promises to take responsibility for Squeaker (as she calls him). But then... Squeaker goes missing. What's a bear to do? This is a really odd book. Though it's less than a decade old, it feels like something that got dragged out of someone's basement stash. And I mean literally. Everything from the style of art to the choice of paper make it seem like a title from the 1950s or '60s. It's interesting... but I don't know if that's going to appeal more to kids or to their grandparents! The story is really simple, so there's not a lot to say about that. Lucy has a pet. Lucy loses her pet. Lucy potentially finds another pet. I don't think she learned anything from her escapade with Squeaker, so I'm not sure what the point of the story even is. Overall, this is a charming, inoffensive picture book about a bear in a tutu who likes pets. It's fun for a quick read, but that's about it.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    This one was okay. Lacked a little heart for me but probably a hilarious role reversal if you're three.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Hunter

    Absolutely hilarious! Our going-on-3-year-old giggled and giggled throughout. By putting a bear in the position of pet owner and a child as pet, Brown teaches young children some important lessons. Would you like to be neglected or disrespected? Probably not, so treat pets, animals, and other children with kindness and respect. ("Do unto others...",after all.) Do we sound strange to animals or people who speak other languages? Probably, so we should communicate carefully, and think hard before w Absolutely hilarious! Our going-on-3-year-old giggled and giggled throughout. By putting a bear in the position of pet owner and a child as pet, Brown teaches young children some important lessons. Would you like to be neglected or disrespected? Probably not, so treat pets, animals, and other children with kindness and respect. ("Do unto others...",after all.) Do we sound strange to animals or people who speak other languages? Probably, so we should communicate carefully, and think hard before we extract wild animals from their natural habitat. Are pets low maintenance? Nope, so be sure you're willing to take on the responsibilities of providing for their basic needs. Our toddler LOVED the scene where Lucy tries to potty train Squeeker in a litter box. Having gone through potty training with her recently and reading the book Big Girls Go Potty repeatedly, she could relate well with the situation. Her experience with our ornery chihuahua also helped her grasp the story's significance for pet ownership. Brown does a great job of using humor and silly situations to make simple educational points. There's really nothing to criticize with Children Make Terrible Pets. Enjoy!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Judy

    The idea for the book was good, but the reality fell short for at least three reasons. 1) My biggest criticism: The bears act and live like humans. Hence, the boy was taken into a familiar situation. Why didn't Brown have the bears live in their natural habitat? 2) The boy totally misbehaved in the bear's house, yet the house is like his own home, so the boy would have known how to behave. He wouldn't have ruined furniture, tracked in mud, thrown food, or used the chandelier as a swing. 3) The boy The idea for the book was good, but the reality fell short for at least three reasons. 1) My biggest criticism: The bears act and live like humans. Hence, the boy was taken into a familiar situation. Why didn't Brown have the bears live in their natural habitat? 2) The boy totally misbehaved in the bear's house, yet the house is like his own home, so the boy would have known how to behave. He wouldn't have ruined furniture, tracked in mud, thrown food, or used the chandelier as a swing. 3) The boy (and his real family) all 'squeaked.' Is that because the bears don't understand human speech? It would have been better if the 'pet boy' made gibberish sounds, which is how speech would probably sound to bears. Squeaking brings to mind rodents. Nope, I don't care for this book.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

    Ultimately, a tale about not keeping wild animals as pets. Lucy, the twirling, girly bear, finds a little boy in the woods and decides to keep him as a pet, since he is the cutest thing EVER! Alas, she discovers that wild animals make messes and ruin things at home. He belongs with his family and she makes the toughest decision to let him return home. We love the illustrations and details found on the beautiful pages - easily became one of our favorites at bedtime.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Teresa

    I think I would have rated this book quite highly anyway, but after attending Peter Brown's talk at a recent SCBWI conference, I have gained greater appreciation for his work. Knowing the thought process and the artwork attempts that led up to the final product only makes this book all the more amazing! He is incredibly talented and funny!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    Absolutely the most darling book. I love this little bear girl with her tutu and her bow . . . smashing her way through the forest and trying to keep a human child as a pet. The pictures are delicious, and the story is adorable.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jasmine

    Turns out you can't just grab ANYONE and use them as a pet. Cute and funny.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Brenda

    It was so funny!!! I love cute children's books ^.^

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

    Lucy the bear finds as stray human, and just wants to love him. But it doesn't work our quite like she had plannned. The little critter just has a haard time adapting to to the bear world. If you love someone...set them free.... Toddlers and preschoolers are sure to have some fun laughs at Lucy's antics.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Charlotte

    I liked the characters and thought it was funny because the humans squeaked.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Beatrice Fox

    Really fantastic book that won me over. The art style is weird. Looks like he made cutouts of construction paper and put the text right on that and put it in the book. Yet it works. The characters are funny and both the delivery and reaction shots are great. So good. Nice humorous book that made me laugh. About the responsibility of pets told from the other way. A bear named Lucy finds a human in the woods.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Randomanda

    Great read aloud

  21. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    For me, Peter Brown's illustrations are a lot better than his stories.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Alyssa Tabor

    Would work for elementary! So funny!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    I can't believe I've never reviewed this! (Well, I can, because I'm The Worst at at actually reviewing things in a timely manner, but still...) I find this story absolutely hilarious myself, and it's a great preschool storytime read-aloud, though IMO it works best with older preschoolers and Ks, since they get the humor of the role-reversal. Brown's lively, quirky art style is a good match for the silliness of the text. There's a sequel too!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Emmaline MacBeath

    Lucy the bear is walking through the woods and comes across a little boy. She takes him home for a pet. Mama bear isn't convinced this is a good idea, but lets Lucy keep him on the condition that she takes good care of her pet. Lucy and her pet have fun together, but he is not house broken and causes problems. One day, the boy is gone. Lucy searches everywhere. She finally tracks him down back at his own home. Lucy realizes little boys should stay in their own homes instead of becoming pets. The Lucy the bear is walking through the woods and comes across a little boy. She takes him home for a pet. Mama bear isn't convinced this is a good idea, but lets Lucy keep him on the condition that she takes good care of her pet. Lucy and her pet have fun together, but he is not house broken and causes problems. One day, the boy is gone. Lucy searches everywhere. She finally tracks him down back at his own home. Lucy realizes little boys should stay in their own homes instead of becoming pets. The illustrations are done in pencil along with construction paper and wood. At first I found the illustrative style to be a little flat, but it quickly grew on me especially since the facial expressions are very well done and the scenes were at times hilarious. This story was cute and funny. This is the story of what would happen if the pet situation were reversed and the little boy was taken home as a pet instead of the little boy bringing home an animal from the wild. Lucy is fantastic with her dramatic and overly enthusiastic personality. This is a fun story I think all children will enjoy. Advertized for ages 3-6 which is perfect.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Janessa

    I picked up this book when I was perusing stock at Barnes and Noble and never put it back down. It is hilarious. Seriously. My three and five year old boys love it almost as much as I do. Lucy, a brown bear in a pink tutu, is walking through the woods when she finds the perfect pet. A little boy. She brings him home and begs her mother to keep him, to which her mother reluctantly agrees. At first Lucy has a wonderful time with her pet boy (whose word bubbles are filled with small squeaks instead I picked up this book when I was perusing stock at Barnes and Noble and never put it back down. It is hilarious. Seriously. My three and five year old boys love it almost as much as I do. Lucy, a brown bear in a pink tutu, is walking through the woods when she finds the perfect pet. A little boy. She brings him home and begs her mother to keep him, to which her mother reluctantly agrees. At first Lucy has a wonderful time with her pet boy (whose word bubbles are filled with small squeaks instead of dialogue - so funny). But the good times fade fast when the boy starts making trouble: throwing food at a tea party and ruining the furntiture. In the end Lucy learns that what her mother said is true: children really do make terrible pets. The parting between Lucy and her pet is bittersweet, but the reader can clearly see that both the little boy and Lucy will be better off without each other, in spite of the fun they shared. I loved the cartoonish illustrations, in their retro sepia tones. The text design, with words printed in clearly spaced bubbles, added to the fun.

  26. 4 out of 5

    edh

    When Lucy the bear brings Squeaker the little boy home from her jaunt in the forest, Mama Bear tells Lucy that "children make terrible pets!" And although Lucy and Squeaker have fun frolicking together, she discovers that Mama just may have been right. Lucy learns the age-old lesson that wild creatures belong with others of their kind, as when Squeaker disappears only to find his way back to his family of humans (who all squeak too! So that's how we sound to bears). Peter Brown's cut paper and p When Lucy the bear brings Squeaker the little boy home from her jaunt in the forest, Mama Bear tells Lucy that "children make terrible pets!" And although Lucy and Squeaker have fun frolicking together, she discovers that Mama just may have been right. Lucy learns the age-old lesson that wild creatures belong with others of their kind, as when Squeaker disappears only to find his way back to his family of humans (who all squeak too! So that's how we sound to bears). Peter Brown's cut paper and pencil illustrations are a nice complement to this rustic little story about a girl (bear) and her boy. An example of the broadly over-the-top humor is an illustration of a failed attempt to toilet train the red-faced Squeaker in a cat box. Kids will howl and maybe even recognize themselves in the exuberant bear Lucy, who finds a new potential best friend in the end. Pair this with other humorous pet books like Palatini's The Perfect Pet or Shannon's Good Boy, Fergus for a storytime that is sure to please.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ariel Cummins

    Silly and fun story about a bear who finds the cutest little creature in the whole forest and has to make him her pet. Even though her mother warns her that children make the worst pets, she promises to take care of him. Of course, he eventually wanders off, and Lucy realizes he has a family of squeakers of his own. Very modern drawing style almost reminds me of the Nickelodeon cartoon The Fairly Odd Parents. Very cute, and the pages are bordered with a wood-grain, giving the book a unique look. F Silly and fun story about a bear who finds the cutest little creature in the whole forest and has to make him her pet. Even though her mother warns her that children make the worst pets, she promises to take care of him. Of course, he eventually wanders off, and Lucy realizes he has a family of squeakers of his own. Very modern drawing style almost reminds me of the Nickelodeon cartoon The Fairly Odd Parents. Very cute, and the pages are bordered with a wood-grain, giving the book a unique look. Fun for a pet story time - not too long and big!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Dolly

    This is a sweet tale about a little girl who finds a new pet and wants to adopt him, despite her mother's warning that "Children make terrible pets." The juxtaposition of the animal and the child create an ironic and funny twist in an otherwise common childhood story. The illustrations are great and our girls loved that the humans only said "squeak." Our girls narrated the "squeaks", while I narrated the rest of the story, which made for a fun collaboration.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Amy-Lynn

    Reread in preparation for a lesson -10/11/16. When Lucy bear brings home a little boy that she spies in the forest, she begs her mom to keep him as a pet. Lucy and her boy have lots of fun until, as her mother predicted, Lucy discovers that "children make terrible pets!" Silly and sweet.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lizzie

    Really fun role reversal. Good way to talk about the ups and downs of pet ownership. I liked how each "voice" had a different background color. I always wondered what we sounded like to bears, and I guess it is just some "squeaks".

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