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Podcast Podcast

Episode 36 — Unusual Pets


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Chatting About Books: Recommendations for Young Readers

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Grades K – 5
Podcast Series Chatting About Books: Recommendations for Young Readers
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Duration 11:37
Original Air Date Published July 05, 2011

Music in this podcast is provided by Freeplay Music.


Book Chat

Expert Chat


Book Chat

book coverA Pet for Petunia
Author: Paul Schmid
Publisher: Harper, 2011

Petunia wants, wants, wants a pet skunk. She is absolutely convinced that a pet skunk would be the perfect pet for her. But her lunkhead parents dash her dreams when they tell her no way. Skunks stink! Petunia is absolutely convinced that her lunkhead parents are totally wrong, and she decides to run away into the forest. And that is where she meets her first real, live skunk and discovers that, yes, skunks are stinky, awesomely stinky! Anyone who has ever wanted an unusual pet will appreciate Petuniaís good spirit and determination.

Book coverWanted: The Perfect Pet
Author: Fiona Robertson
Publisher: G.P. Putnamís Son, 2009

Henry is determined to find the perfect pet, and he is convinced the perfect pet is a dog. It is a well-known fact that dogs are loyal and noble and have great personalities. So, Henry puts an ad in the paper, and he waits. An unlikely pet discovers the adóa duck. This duck is lonely and looking for a friend, and he decides that if he disguises himself as a dog he will have a friend at last. It doesnít take long for Henry to discover the duckís ruse, but at the same time, Henry realizes that ducks have many great skills, too. He decides that a duck, although not a dog, is a pretty great pet. Told in three short chapters, this sweet picture book offers a nice message: Sometimes the best things come to us in unexpected ways.

Book coverArnie the Doughnut
Author: Laurie Keller
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company, 2003

Arnie is just the kind of doughnut that heís always dreamed of being. Heís iced in chocolate and has a million sprinkles. (Okay, only hundreds of sprinkles, but whoís counting?) He canít wait for someone to pick him out to take home and then it happens: Mr. Bing orders Arnie and brings him home in a paper bag. Arnie canít believe his luck until Mr. Bing tries toÖeat him! This book is a funny examination of a doughnut in crisis. What would happen if a doughnut all of a sudden realized his fate? Luckily, after much negotiation, Mr. Bing and Arnie come to a compromise that leads to the invention of the most unusual pet ever.

Book coverLyle, Lyle, Crocodile
Author: Bernard Waber
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1965; renewed 1993 by Bernard Waber

This childrenís classic has a very unusual pet that all kids should be introduced to. Lyle is the most amiable pet you could ever meet. He helps the Primm children with their schoolwork, he can skip double-dutch, and could spend hours browsing with Mrs. Primm in antique stores. Everyone loves gentle Lyle. The only problem is heís a crocodile, and Mr. Grumps and his cat Loretta are not happy with his presence. This problem leads to bigger problems (Mr. Grumps gets Lyle sentenced to the zoo), but is solved when Lyle saves Mr. Grumps and his cat from a fire.† Also in this series is The House on East 88th Street; Lovable Lyle; Lyle and the Birthday Party; Funny, Funny Lyle; and Lyle Finds His Mother.

book coverMe and My Dragon
Author: David Biedrzycki
Publisher: Charlesbridge, 2011

Some kids want a cat. Some kids want a dog. But the kid in this book wants a fire-breathing dragon. And really, there are some great benefits to having a fire-breathing dragon, like you donít have to worry about bullies and in the winter they can clear the snow off the driveway pretty quickly. But there are some things to beware of, like feeding them broccoli. Broccoli causes gas in dragons, and believe me, in a fire-breathing dragon that is a pretty dangerous thing. And then there is the care for the dragon. They need plenty of space and room to fly. So, I donít know. Itís up to you. Is a dragon a good pet? Read this book to see if you are convinced!

Expert Chat

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Listen in as Emily chats with David Biedrzycki about the benefits of having a dragon as a pet and where you could get your very own!