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Spencer's new pet
2019
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Summary
From the creator of Not Quite Narwhal comes a classic tale of a boy and his dog--except in this unique story, one of them is a balloon!

When Spencer gets a new pet, he's excited to do all the things that pets do--taking walks in the park, going to the vet, and attending parties together.

There's just one hitch: Spencer's new pet is a balloon.

And that means No. Sharp. Objects.

No drooling dogs at the park. No prickly porcupines at the vet. And absolutely no pinning tails on any donkeys!

Spencer's New Pet is a story of pure fun about a boy, his dog, and a friendship that endures life's sharpest...and most unexpected twists.
Trade Reviews
School Library Journal Review
PreS-Gr 2--In this mostly wordless title with a surprise ending, Spencer goes on many adventures with his pet balloon dog. This title is set up like an old movie and opens with the old fashioned film leader countdown of 3, 2, 1 in large circles. Keeping with the silent movie theme, the story line begins with Part I. Readers meet Spencer who leaves the circus tent with a balloon dog on a string leash. In this section and Part II: The Park, his dog escapes being popped by a variety of sharp objects including a hedgehog, a kite, and an eagle's sharp claws. Illustrations are crisp and clear and do an excellent job of conveying the story line without words. For example, when Spencer accidentally lets go of the balloon dog, it floats up in the sky and readers feels engaged as he tries to retrieve it. The art clearly shows the flight path of the balloon dog and its many near disasters including encounters with bees, a unicorn's horn on a carousel, a pineapple, a cactus, and a broken tree branch. Fate changes in Part III: The Party. After surviving a close call during the piñata game and with the candles on the birthday cake, a girl playing pin the tail on the donkey accidentally changes everything. This story has a happy ending thanks to a balloon-sculpting clown at the party. VERDICT This clever and imaginative title lends itself to discussion. Highly recommended for public and school libraries.--Robin Sofge, Prince William Public Library System, VA
Booklist Review
This homage to black-and-white silent films opens on a boy walking his new dog, who happens to be a bright red balloon animal. As they visit the vet, the park, and a birthday party together, the boy finds that there are many dangers in the world for someone made of balloons. A prickly porcupine, splintered tree branches, birthday candles these are just a few of the threats averted by the boy as he hurries after his dog. It's not until he catches up and snatches up the pup that he lets his guard down and POP! a brilliantly devised page turn reveals a truly jaw-dropping twist. Sima (Not Quite Narwhal, 2016), whose adorable illustrations never fail to charm, has crafted an entirely immersive reading experience. You can almost hear the purr of old film reels as the opening endpapers launch a countdown. Stylized title cards separate the robust page count into three acts, and despite using no words and precious little color, the emotion and drama burn bright. While the clever conceit could go over the heads of younger readers, they will nonetheless be delighted by this heartwarming and suspenseful story of a boy and his dog, the ending of which will leave them eager for a second reading.--Ronny Khuri Copyright 2019 Booklist
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