The Pet


Digby David demands a pet, a ‘guinea pig that’s twice as big‘ as Reuben’s. Despite the pet shop owner’s warnings that the guinea pig he chooses ‘must be groomed with special care’, Daddy pays double. We can HEAR Digby David’s angry tone, and realise his ‘violent red’ face and know Daddy is tired and threatened by this boy!

What’s more, we know that it will not be long before ‘Digby [leaves]her in her hutch, and demands ‘a better pet’. Of course Daddy jumps with an ‘I’ll call the pet shop right away’! Thereafter, the pet shop owner is warning about the dog that Digby wants, for it ‘needs walks three times a day’. Yet again, Daddy pays over the odds!

Will the dog get its walks? What pet might Digby demand next? Is there no end to his demands? Or might there be The Pet who plots toward an outcome that might satisfy everyone? Might it include a little rehoming?….

David Tazzyman’s pictures are a myriad of delight. There is so much to see, laugh over and discover. Then there’s Catherine Emmett’s sublime rhyming storytelling. Her humour and word play are so enjoyable! We love the addition of children’s pet illustrations through the book and within the end papers too.

Bookwagon is excited to recommend The Pet. It is an outstanding picture book likely to be read, reread and treasured by many lucky readers!

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The Pet

Cautionary Tales for Children and Grown- Ups

Catherine Emmett and David Tazzyman

(Pan Macmillan)

Poor Daddy’s hair turns ‘slightly grey‘ at the end of every day. It seems that he faces Digby David’s demands one after the other for The Pet that might rival his classmates.
At first it’s ‘a guinea pig- that’s twice as big‘ as Reuben’s. It seems that a ‘guinea pig with such long hair- [that] must be groomed with special care’ is the one Digby David has his eye on. Despite the pet shop owner’s warning, Daddy wants a peaceful life and ‘pays double‘. As we suspect, Digby David is not a reliable carer. Thereafter, he’s demanding a new, different animal, one to rival ‘Lily Jean’s’. Which creature might Digby David alight upon? Might it be a dog that ‘needs walks three times a day’?
It seems that we can predict Digby David’s behaviour and then his reaction. He seems rather familiar to us, rather in the mould of Lucy Lupin from There’s a Lion in the Library. However, we are unprepared for Digby David’s final act, when he seeks to surpass all his peers- ‘Don’t want a dog, or frog or rat/ Daddy, Daddy! I want THAT!’ What might THAT be? Thereafter, could it be the undoing of Digby David, or might it be able to outmanoeuvre this little tyrant!
Catherine Emmett’s rhyming text is vibrant and so funny. We love her storytelling as evidenced in King of the Swamp. Thereafter David Tazzyman’s pictures are truly distracting. It seems there are things to discover and laugh over at every reading! Bookwagon is overjoyed to read and recommend The Pet. 


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