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Wanted: the Perfect Pet

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  414 ratings  ·  98 reviews
Henry wants a dog more than anything in the world?more than a cowboy costume, even more than an all-expenses-paid trip to the moon. So he puts an ad in the newspaper to find the perfect pet.

Far away, a lonely duck who desperately wants a friend reads the ad. He has the clever idea to disguise himself as a dog and apply for the job of Henry's best friend. But his cover is

Hardcover, 40 pages
Published May 13th 2010 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers (first published October 13th 2009)
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Average rating 4.25  · 
Rating details
 ·  414 ratings  ·  98 reviews

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This was a wonderful sweet book until I noticed something that was just not right. The boy writes a list of why a Duck is a good pet and on that list is "Spare feathers can be used to build indian headdresses..." Why did this have to be included on the list? It's culturally insensitive and reinforces a bad outdated offensive stereotype for people who are not part of the first nation community or culture. I am sure the author did not mean to offend, but why did no editor or publisher question thi ...more
I absolutely love the rounded lines and the creative typography and layout. This is a fun feel-good book about pets/friendship.
May 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
Very cute. I'd love a pet duck!
Nov 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Samara Gray
May 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a lovely book that can be used from KS1 up to year 4. It is about a little boy who wants a dog more than anything as he thinks this is the perfect pet. However, this is not quite what he receives....How will he react to this?

It shows a good example of descriptive writing and has great images to match! The book is broken into 2 chapters. Chapter one can be used for descriptive writing. The children can design a poster advertising for the 'perfect dog.' Thinking about what words they would
Jun 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Henry wants a dog and Duck wants a friend. Can a friendship survive the disguise?

Why I picked it up: We had the pre-school come to the library this morning and I needed some crowd pleasers... there was a large crowd.

Why I finished it: The kids loved and it was fun to balance this good duck with the bad duck in That Is Not a Good Idea!.
Mar 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
And yet none of my storytime kids were willing to trade in their dogs for ducks.
Maria Garcia
Henry has always wanted a dog. Once day he decided to put an ad in the newspaper asking for "auditions" for the perfect pet dog. Meanwhile, a lonely duck on the other end of town picks up the newspaper and sees the ad for the perfect dog. Duck knows that he is not a dog, but he really want a friend to play ping-pong with and to go to the movies with. Duck comes up with the idea of disguising himself as a dog and showing up to Henry's door. Henry soon figures out that duck is an impostor and is n ...more
Henry has lots of frogs, but what he really, really wants, is a dog. He places a newspaper advert, but the response is not quite what he expected. In a narrative shift (alowing you to explore the IB concept of Perspective) the story swaps over to the point of view of a lonely duck who really wants company, so he answers the advert and pretends to be a dog. Henry is very excited about his new "dog", though he soon realises that his new pet is not what it pretends to be. Despite his pet duck not b ...more
Catherine Austen
Jan 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
Adorable duck. Great story, wonderful illustrations with spots of colour among the black and white drawings. Lots of action and emotion, and two main characters kids can relate to. Just lovely.

I agree with another reviewer that the "Indian headdress" mention was dated, offensive, and unnecessary--the feathers are much better used for tickling sisters--so I docked it a star for that. Different cultural sensitivities in different countries, I guess. It's great that reviewers here can point this ou
Feb 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books-e
I like that this is broken into multiple chapters. It definitely added to the story and the final chapter brought the first two together nicely. The pace was good. I liked the characters and how it ended. The illustrations were cute and I like how it ended. A book I would be quite likely to recommend.
Mark Smiley
Jun 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Saw a review of this and since our family likes ducks, I thought to check it out. I read it to one of our grandchildren and we had a great time with it. The accompanying pictures were very good. We cannot wait to see further adventures of Spot!
Monaria Yulius
Mar 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: raygha
A Beautiful story about how accepted a friend.
Courtney Baird
May 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a very sweet book on how sometimes really all anything wants is to feel wanted. I would read this book any time during the year to show how people and animals all need a friend.
May 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
One word can be used to describe this book: adorable!
Mary Hamer
Jul 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
What’s better than dogs AND ducks?
Dec 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Why yes, that duck is wearing a dog costume. And yes, it is stinking cute.
May 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
More than anything Henry wanted a dog. More than chips, more than a trip to the moon, more than world peace! Henry already has lots of frogs, 27 varieties, but they are boring compared to a dog. He knows just the kind of dog he wants: one with personality, one that does tricks, one that has floppy ears and a warm, furry tongue. So Henry posted an ad in the paper and waited. The ad was read by a lonely duck who decided that being Henry’s dog was the perfect place for him. So he disguised himself ...more
Sweet on Books
Nov 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
Henry wants a dog. Duck wants a friend. Will they find each other? You bet! In this very entertaining story, we meet Henry first. He truly wants man's best friend, a dog! His mother says, " already have 27 different varieties of frog, surely they are enough?" But, no, Henry wants a dog. He puts a want ad in the paper and he waits.

Across town there is duck. He lives alone. Nobody ever calls, emails, or writes. He plays alone, reads alone, and does everything all by himself everyday:(. But
Josh Sonii
Sep 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is an entertaining book about a child named Henry that wants a pet that will interact with him. He already has 27 frogs and they are all different types. They do not do anything except hop around and say gribbit so he does not like them anymore. He decides that he wants a dog so he puts a newspaper advertisement out for the perfect pet. A lonely duck sees it and decides to disguise himself as a dog because he really wants a friend. He packs up all his stuff and just leaves his house to go m ...more
Nov 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Henry has always wanted a dog, one with floppy ears and a wet nose, one that he can play with and teach tricks to. So he places an ad in the newspaper: Wanted: the perfect pet. Duck lives all alone at the top of the hill. He has always wanted a friend. When he reads Henry's ad in the newspaper, he decides to give it a try. He may not be a dog, but he's good at disguises. Henry is thrilled with his new dog... until he notices that his dog is actually a duck. But maybe he was wrong about dogs... m ...more
Tim Roast
Oct 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a beautifully illustrated and beautifully written little book. There are three chapters: the first is where we meet the boy called Henry; the second is where we meet the duck, and the third is where they meet each other.

It’s funny. It has some great lines in it – “Woof” said the duck. The drawings are also funny. Seeing the duck’s house stuck high on a hill is funny the way it is drawn. And all the pictures use clean lines just like on the cover, and are all in colour although a limited
Mar 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I read "Perfect Present" and then learned it was a sequel. What the duck packs makes a lot more sense know that I've read the first book. The pictures are just as adorable. I love the duck putting on a disguise. I enjoyed reading the newspaper page. Very fun. This one has a lot more possibilities for a preschool storytime, even though the pictures would still be a bit small for them. But it's worth keeping in mind.

7/9/14: I used as the opener for my Animals preschool theme. They liked seeing the
Library Quine
A humorous tale of longing and friendship. One the one hand, Henry wants a dog more than anything in the world; on the other, duck needs a friend. Duck sees Henry's advert for a pet in the paper and decides that this is his opportunity to get a friend. He tries, with hilarious outcomes, to be the perfect pet that Henry longs for. I won't spoil the ending, but just say that both learn a great deal about compromise and friendship before the book ends. I adored this book, loved the ways in which du ...more
Melissa Gregory
In this story, a little boy Henry wants a pet. Well mainly he wants a dog that wont just be a pet, but a friend. He does everything he can to find the perfect dog. He even places an ad in the paper. One day, a duck gets ahold of this ad and decides he will be the perfect pet for Henry. Rather than making a rash decision, Henry takes the time to research the duck's pros and cons...and in the end realizes that the duck truly is the PERFECT pet for him. I love this book. It would be a great read al ...more
A Leisure Moment

My favorite part is when Henry tells duck, “So you might not be a dog..but you are certainly not JUST a duck. In fact you might just be The Perfect Pet for me.” Leaves you warm and fuzzy, right?

To read the rest of the review, and to find out more about the book, simply follow the link:
Judy Desetti
Feb 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Cute. Great Read Aloud. I think kids will like it. A heartwarming tale of friendship. Sparse line drawings.
Things I liked about the book: effort on duck's part to take charge and change things. Accepting something different, seeing good of an alternative, boy used and looked up resources and reference material to find facts about duck. Boy made an effort to help duck see he himself not as a lame substitute but perfect the way he is.
Too bad that it looks like the author is British as I'd love to see this nominated for a 2013 CCBA. Very cute story and illustrations that could serve as a writing lesson with older students to have them write want ads or skills lists. I loved just about everything about this one, from the language humor to the layout and font selection. Jacket says this is the author's first book pulished in the United States. Hopefully it will be far from her LAST!
Dec 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Take one boy who is convinced that he needs a dog-- with waggy tail, floppy ears, soft wet nose, warm furry tongue, and the ability to learn fantastic new tricks-- and places an ad in the paper to secure said dog. Add one lonely, nameless duck who reads the article. The result is a quietly hilarious story about friendship in unexpected places. Wonderful text + wonderful illustrations = a read-aloud that is sure to be a hit.
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Fiona Roberton was born in Oxford, studied art and design in London and New York, and has worked and lived and travelled all over the world. Travelling is one of her favourite things.

She has kept the wolf from the door for a number of years by designing stuff, but has since befriended the wolf, and now has him to tea on Tuesdays. Sometimes, they go out.

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