My Pet Wants a Pet

I’m a sucker for a dog book. And cute, colorful illustrations. And out-of-the-box stories that offer new twists on familiar tropes. No wonder I’m drawn to Elise Broach and Eric Barclay’s 2018 book, MY PET WANTS A PET, which has all that and more.

The familiar: Kid wants a pet, wants something all his own to take care of.

The fresh twist: As you’ve guessed by the title, the boy and his pet share such a sweet, loving life that the pet soon decides he, too, wants a pet of his own to take care of. And then that pet wants a pet, etc. Things get silly in a hurry. And it’s all GOOD.

From the publisher:

Once there was a boy who wanted something to take care of. Something of his very own. He begged his mother for a puppy. Until she said YES!
The boy loved his puppy. He fed him and played with him and cuddled him. But soon, the dog wanted something to take care of―something of his very own. So the dog gets a pet cat; then the cat gets a pet bird; the bird gets a pet worm; the worm gets a pet flea . . . and on and on it goes as utter chaos ensues.

Super cute. And on plenty of Best of– lists at the end of last year, too. At one point, when the boy’s mother is getting fed up with all the pet-getting ridiculousness, the read-alouder gets to read this:

“Absolutely not,” said the boy’s mother. “That flea is the pet of the pet of the pet of the pet of your pet!”

SO fun to get your tongue around, yes?

The art throughout is bright and cheerful and inviting and irresistible. See?

I found this book on a New Book shelf at one of my local libraries. It was one of 10 picture books I brought home, because I hadn’t yet decided what to post about today. This one, I instantly fell for. And, of the 10, it’s the only one I’ll be buying for my own library. Does that tell you anything?

Go! Find it! Share it with a kiddo! Light and whimsical and silly summer fun. And the sweet ending will make your heart smile.

Jill Esbaum

Jill Esbaum has been picture book crazy since her 3 kids were little, and especially so after her first was published in 2004 (Stink Soup). Recent titles: Bird Girl - Gene Stratton-Porter Shares Her Love of Nature With the World, Parrotfish Has a Superpower, Stinkbird Has a Superpower, Sea Turtle Swims, Kangaroo Hops, Jack Knight's Brave Flight, We Love Babies!, Where'd My Jo Go?, Frog Boots, How to Grow a Dinosaur, Frankenbunny, If a T. Rex Crashes Your Birthday Party, Elwood Bigfoot– Wanted: Birdie Friends!, Teeny Tiny Toady, I Am Cow, Hear Me Moo!, and more. Coming in 2025: Polecat Has a Superpower!, It's Corn-Picking Time!, Giraffe Runs. She's also the author of many nonfiction books for young readers, as well as an early graphic reader series, Thunder & Cluck. Learn more at


  1. Kaye Frances Baillie

    Oh what a delightful story. Thanks for telling me about it, Jill.

  2. You’ll love it, Kaye. It’s ADORABLE!

  3. Angie Quantrell

    Sounds adorable! Love it!

  4. Thanks for the paws up–I’ll look for it:)!

  5. what a truly irresistible idea for a story! Love it!

  6. An over-done theme turned on its head! Congrats on your fresh approach -looks adorable!

    • Exactly. You’d swear there’s no new direction to take the “kid wants a pet” theme, and …surprise!

  7. This one looks like so much fun!

  8. I love chaos! This book sounds adorable.

  9. This book looks like a fun read! Thanks for sharing. Jill.

  10. Very sweet! Love the worm in his Number 5 race car!

  11. What a zany, original story! I’m requesting it from my library now. I especially love the understated interracial aspect of the art, with Mom appearing to be Anglo while the child is a person of color. This book doesn’t scream diversity, it just quietly is.

  12. Thanks for sharing, Jill. I just brought this home from the library, too! Now I’m super excited to read it!

  13. I shared this one with the first-graders I read to each week during the school year and they really liked it too. Lots of fun for them to predict what the next pet will be. Great choice! (And I hear you about the one-out-of-ten . . .)

    • That one-out-of-ten thing gets me down, esp when a pic book of my own gets turned down and turned down and turned down. 🙁 Oh, well. ONWARD.

  14. I bought this one the moment I read it. It’s so fun, and that flea is a bit of a shock. The fact that it actually gives a reason why people want pets sealed it for me.

  15. This looks like a really fun book. Thanks, Jill!

  16. Excellent post and book! I found it on our library new shelf as well and our whole family got a kick out of it!

  17. Oh this is so great!

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