Children Make Terrible Pets
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Children Make Terrible Pets (Lucy)

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  4,210 ratings  ·  387 reviews
Lucy Bear, practicing her twirls, spies a little boy in the woods. Mom warns "Children make terrible pets". "Squeaker", named for his "funny sounds", plays, eats, and naps with Lucy. Until he misbehaves. And vanishes. Who or what makes a good pet?
Hardcover, 34 pages
Published September 2010 by Hachette, Little, Brown and Company
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Extra Yarn by Mac BarnettChildren Make Terrible Pets by Peter  BrownSophie's Squash by Pat Zietlow MillerThe Quiet Book by Deborah UnderwoodI Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen
Favorite MODERN Picture Books
2nd out of 185 books — 30 voters
City Dog, Country Frog by Mo WillemsA Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. SteadChalk by Bill ThomsonArt & Max by David WiesnerBink & Gollie by Kate DiCamillo
2011 Caldecott Hopefuls
23rd out of 78 books — 136 voters

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Community Reviews

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Lisa Vegan
Nov 15, 2010 Lisa Vegan rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: kids who want wild animals for pets; anyone who enjoys humorous picture books
Recommended to Lisa by: Kathryn
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...more

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...more
Feb 23, 2011 Ann rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Ann by: Kathryn
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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.

Melissa McMaster
This story is about a young bear that finds a little boy in the woods and asks her mom if she can keep him as a pet, and the mother reluctantly agrees. The little boy is good at first, but becomes rambunctious. One day, she can’t find the little boy, so she searches for him, and finds out that he has a family of his own. The pictures in this story were fairly simple, and were kind of cartoonish, and this cartoonish nature was also portrayed through the use of speech bubbles for all of the dialog...more
Ashli Stroyan
We have all encountered that stray animal on the street and begged our parents to lets us keep it. In Peter Browns humorous picture book, the tables have turned. One day while a bear named Lucy was out about in the forest she noticed a little boy spying on her. When Lucy saw the young boy she immediately adored him and took him home, begging her mom to let her keep him. Despite her mom’s fair warning that “children make terrible pets”, Lucy insists on keeping the child and named him Squeaker. It...more
Araceli Aispuro
Lucy Bear found a little boy in the forest. She decided to take him home to keep him as a pet. Her mother hesitated at first but agreed. At first they were inseparable but over time Lucy realized he was too much trouble. But one day, squeaker disappeared and was no where to be found. Finally, through his sent she found him happily with a family of his own. She said her goodbye's and went back home. She spoke to her mother and decided that Squeaker too needs to be with his family.

The illustratio...more
Lucy is a bear who loves to dance in the forest. One day, she smelled something hiding in the bushes. A young boy walked out from the bushes and Lucy immediately fell in love. Lucy called the little boy squeaker, because all he did was squeak. Momma bear told Lucy that children make terrible pets, but Lucy convinced momma bear to let her keep squeaker as a pet. Lucy and squeaker did everything together, until squeaker started misbehaving. Later that day, squeaker ran away. Lucy was hysterical an...more
Heather Langendorff
This is a children’s book written by Peter Brown, about Lucy, a bear who begs her mother to keep a little boy that she found in the forest. Mom eventually agrees, and Lucy and the little boy play fun games together, eat and even nap together. The little boy gets the name Squeaker, since that is all he ever says. However, their new friendship was not all fun and games. Squeaker could not be potty trained and ruined everything. One day he disappears, and Squeaker was soon to be found at his family...more
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.
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!
Sami Wilson
I liked how the Illustrator used light delicate colors and drawings that were consistent through the whole book. I thought that author had a creative idea about having the story be told in caption boxes. It was different and eye catching. The fact that the bears were the ones taking in humans as pets was funny to be. The fact that the author used a different viewpoint to show how our pets might feel opened my eyes. It challenged my thinking and I enjoyed that. This book is a perfect way to get c...more
Carly Wesley
This book follows a brown bear named Lucy, she sees a child behind the bushes. It was her secret admirer. Lucy calls this squeaking secret admirer squeaker and brings him home and wants him to be her pet. He mother lets her keep him one on conditions, that she takes care of him and he is her responsibly. They played, ate and napped together, they did everything together. He ruined the furniture, was not potty trained and caused many problems. He threw food at her tea party, then he disappeared h...more
Rachel Atwood
Lucy Bear was practicing her twirls one day in the forest when she came across a small boy who she decided to adopt and name Squeaker. This story is a very creative and fun story about the alternative reality that animals had humans as pets. Squeaker does all the same things a new pet would do in your home. He makes messes, does not listen, and is just rowdy in general. She finally realizes that Squeaker needs to go home to his family and that he is not a very good pet for her family. I think th...more
Nominated for the California Young Reader Medal for the year 2013, this book is just fun to read. It has previously won the E.B. White award for Picture Book Read Alouds. The story is a real winner. Lucille is a bear who finds a boy in the forest that she wants to have as a pet. Things don't always work out as expected, as is the case in this story. Lucille learns that maybe children don't make good pets.
My students love the reversal of roles shown here. The book is hilarious and just plain fun...more
Nani Yanagi
This book is about a young female bear named Lucy. One day as she was walking in the woods, she found a little child spying on her. She wanted to take him home and raise him as her pet (named him Sweeker). They became best friends and did everything together. But at times he was very hard to control and take care of. One day he ran away and Lucy was very sad. She went looking for him in the woods and found him with his family. She realized that he was no pet at all, and that she needed to let hi...more
Jennifer Leigh
Squeak! While Lucy the bear is practicing her dance moves, she finds a boy alone in the woods and takes him home with her. She begs her mother to let her keep him, and her mother relents, stressing that it is LUCY's responsibility to take care of him. But Lucy soon discovers that children make terrible pets. Through exciting story-telling and unique artistic characterization, Peter Brown creates a humorous twist on a relatable story. Children of all ages will laugh a loud at this creative use of...more
Maria Andrade
This book was such a cute and colorful story, with such a humorous twist. When a young bear named Lucy, discovers a lost little boy, she brings him home and asks her mother if she can keep him as a pet, later only to regret that decision. The story definitely shows children not to make hasty decisions without thinking of the consequences firsthand, as well as the importance of responsibility. The illustrations were very medium toned colors that blended together well. The tone of voice is incorpo...more
Brown’s story takes the typical roles of humans as owners and animals as pets and reverses it. A diverse group of children would enjoy this book because it is funny and light-hearted. What really stood out to me in this book were the pictures. There is one page on which there is a map of the forest and the bear is searching for her pet “squeaker”. This map is fun to look at to follow the bear’s tracks and see where she has looked for her pet. Children typically like pictures in which they can se...more
An Abundance of Books
Lucy is an exuberant, melodramatic, beribboned young bear. One day, "while practicing her twirls" Lucy realized that she was being watched. She demanded that her "secret admirer" show himself, and the little boy did, with a squeak. Lucy jumped up and down and enthusiastically declared him "the cutest critter in the WHOLE forest!" The little boy just squeaks. Because, really, what would you do when faced with a bear wearing a tutu? She immediately takes him home to show off to her mother.

Lucy: "M...more
In this cute little story about a bear and her boy, a spoof about children and pets, Lucille (Lucy) Beatrice Bear finds a cute little boy in the woods, hiding behind some bushes. Lucy brings the boy home, hoping to convince her mother to let her keep him as her pet. She wants to name him "Squeaker", because all he does is squeak. The two do everything together: the play together, nap together and eat together, but all was not fun and games. Squeaker, destroyed the furniture, and began to cause l...more
This book is on my new favorites shelf; finding it was a happy accident. Bonus: Peter Brown is the illustrator of one of my other new favorites from this past year, Creepy Carrots! by Aaron Reynolds. I loooove Creepy Carrots!

Children Make Terrible Pets is a hilarious case of role reversal. Lucy, a bear, is playing in the woods when she finds a cute little boy in the bushes. She takes him home and begs her mother if she can keep him as a pet. Her mother reluctantly agrees, warning Lily that "Children make terrible pets." Natur...more
Christina Baldridge
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Anne Catesby
Children Make Terrible Pets by Peter Brown is such a heartwarming children's book. Lucy a young bear one day stumbles upon a little boy. Since she has never seen a little boy before she does not know what to make of him, so the only logical explanation to her is to make the little boy her very own pet. However, Lucy soon discovers that having a little boy for a pet is not all that it is cracked up to be. I absolutely loved this book and would be so delighted to have it in my classroom. I had no...more
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Peter has always loved telling stories. Growing up in New Jersey, he told stories by drawing whimsical characters and scenes from his imagination. Then, as a teenager, he fell in love with writing, and told his tales with words. While studying illustration at Art Center Coll...more
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