‘Meilee, listen. I’ve got a pet.
My pet is cool. He’s a king.
He can sting. He’s flash and…fab!’
Tommy is excited about his new pet and wants to tell his friends. He whispers to his friend Meilee, but she is gone before he can tell her exactly what his pet is. So Meilee takes a guess from Tommy’s words and she tells Oliver. Oliver tells Alexa and on it goes. Each guess gets crazier and more outlandish, and includes a punk pig and a baker crocodile, until Melina challenges Tommy about his pet. All the friends run to Tommy’s place where Tommy repeats what he told Meilee. Even then there are wild guesses, until Tommy introduces his friends to his new pet. Then the game begins again.
The Chinese Whisper of Tommy’s friends passing on the news of his new pet runs in a blue ribbon across the top of each double-page spread. Their imagination and the animals they conjure fill the rest of each opening. There are clues in each spread as to what the next will reveal. The text is in red and black and varies in size and orientation, and each spread is full of colour and stylised images. There are simple rhymes to build the character and suggest the behaviour of the imagined pet. This is a fun, nonsense picture book that invites re-reading and reading aloud. Recommended for 2-5 year olds.
Tommy’s Pet, by Guundie Kuchling
Lothian Children’s Books 2007