Reviews for Me Want Pet!

Booklist Reviews 2012 March #1
Cave Boy is living the dream: he sleeps by the fire next to his other Cro-Magnons, frolics with butterflies in the flowers, and has an array of interesting sticks. But all is not well. "Me sad," he says. "Want pet." So off he goes, looking both under rocks and across the forest until he finds a friendly woolly mammoth. His family, though, is not so thrilled with Woolly. "‘Ug,' grunted Mama. ‘He too big. Where he sleep?'" Cave Boy tries again with a saber-toothed tiger and a dodo bird to similar results. It's a pattern familiar to oh-so-many picture books about the overwhelming desire to take care of an animal. The adorably stilted language gives this go-round a fresh appeal, as do Shea's wonderful digital illustrations, which put the roughly sketched Cave Boy atop constantly shifting and emotionally appropriate backgrounds of stone gray, hopeful yellow, and so on. The conclusion, in which the three animals save the day and all become pets, may make parents nervous. Pet-crazy kids, though, will say, "Me like." Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2012 Fall
Searching for a pet, Cave Boy brings home a woolly mammoth (too big), then a saber-toothed tiger (Papa has allergies), then a dodo bird (not housebroken). But the animals all help stave off a stampede, changing the minds of Mama, Papa, and Gran Cave. Shea's stylized illustrations, with their thick lines, abstracted human figures, and flat perspectives, resemble Chris Raschka's.

Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2012 #2
In his search for the perfect pet, Cave Boy first brings home a woolly mammoth (too big), then a saber-toothed tiger (Papa has allergies), and lastly a dodo bird (not housebroken). The three pets are rejected by members of the Cave family until the animals all help Cave Boy stave off a pending stampede. It's not clear exactly how this happens because it takes place between page turns, but whatever occurred, it's enough to win the hearts and change the minds of Mama, Papa, and Gran Cave. Shea's stylized illustrations raise the book far above the ordinary; with their thick lines, abstracted human figures, and flat perspectives, they resemble the work of Chris Raschka. The textured backgrounds of the paper frequently suggest cave walls and rough exteriors, and the clean design and grit primer font both contribute to the overall aesthetic. The end pages cleverly show patterned drawings of the three pets, which Cave Boy might have painted on the walls of his home. kathleen t. horning Copyright 2012 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2012 January #2
Although the setting is prehistoric, the parental excuses standing between the protagonist and potential pets will sound familiar to contemporary listeners. A gap-toothed Cave Boy appears on the red cover, writing implement in hand; on the wall behind him are the drawings of the animals he attempts to bring home. Alas, the woolly mammoth is too big to fit in the family dwelling, the child's father is allergic to saber-toothed tigers and the dodo bird is not potty-trained. It takes a buffalo stampede pummeling toward the baby dodo, an attempted rescue by the boy and a successful intervention by the larger would-be pets to convince the elders of the animals' value. Sauer's bare-bones, Stone Age lingo ("Me sad," says Cave Boy. "Want pet") meshes nicely with Shea's heavily outlined, primitive caricatures. His uncluttered, digital compositions sport bold color contrasts and pleasing patterns, offering a comprehensible but dynamic interpretation of this satisfying, circular tale. Readers may wish for a return to simpler times, if getting your heart's desire could be guaranteed to come in triplicate. This account of the age-old bond between animals and children is ideally paced for read-aloud pleasure. (Picture book. 3-6) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 January #5

In this Stone Age comedy, Sauer (Mr. Duck Means Business) and Shea (I'm a Shark) imagine a child with a demand as old as time. Cave Boy begs his parents for an animal companion, but Mama sends Cave Boy's woolly mammoth away ("He too big. Where he sleep?"), Papa is allergic to saber-toothed tigers ("Make me sneeze! No can stay"), and Gran does not trust a baby dodo's bathroom habits. Yet when a buffalo stampede threatens the family, Cave Boy's friends prove they could be helpful around the encampment. Shea composes digital cartoons in saturated hues of iron-ore red, fiery yellow, and mossy green. His thick outlines mimic strokes of charcoal, and he pictures the iconic Cave Boy with a mop of black hair and a leopard-print off-the-shoulder onesie--he's younger and more wild-looking than the similarly single-minded prehistoric hero of Jeremy Tankard's Me Hungry (2008). If Sauer's humor basically depends upon caveman-pidgin English jokes, Cave Boy's quest (and Shea's in-your-face artwork) will resonate with readers. Ages 3-7. Agent: Laura Rennert, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. Illustrator's agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Mar.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2012 February

PreS-K--Though he lives in a far-removed prehistoric world, Cave Boy suffers from that classic dilemma: the desire for a pet despite parental resistance. The youngster has all of the basics--rocks, sticks, and a club--yet his life is not complete. "'Me sad,' said Cave Boy. 'Want pet.'" He searches the wilderness and brings home various primeval candidates. In response to the woolly mammoth, Mama says, "'He too big. Where he sleep?'" In response to the saber-toothed tiger, Papa says, "'Make me sneeze! No can stay.'" Even the dodo bird is rejected. "'No can keep! He no potty-trained,'" says Gran. But when Cave Boy's furry friends fend off a stampede of wild beasts, the child finally gets his wish. While the plot may be formulaic and the prehistoric human-animal relations as romanticized as a Tarzan film, Sauer has crafted a humorous read-aloud that's both age-appropriate and entertaining. Youngsters will likely be inspired by Sauer's play on primitive speech to repeat the silly sentences or to blurt out their own statements. Likewise, Cave Boy's unusual pets may inspire a sudden interest in saber-toothed tigers and woolly mammoths. Shea's electric illustrations, painted in thick, bold strokes with limited but well-chosen washes of color, seem to channel a primal mode of expression that intuitively suits this tale of cave life. Beginning with the cover image of a smiling, razor-toothed boy scribbling his own dream-pet illustrations, Sauer and Shea's collaboration will entice readers.--Jayne Damron, Farmington Community Library, MI

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