As Allie and Ben readied for our trek to Plymouth Rock I read Catie Charlotte Voake’s Melissa’s Octopus and Other Unsuitable Pets (Candlewick, ages 3-5). We began by defining unsuitable, a word I thought of later when we saw the columns surrounding the hyped middling rock.
If you want to be similarly impressed with the unsuitability, view Catie’s (unedited) video.
At any rate, back to the book, Melissa’s splendid octopus is a messy bather while Peter’s big, heavy elephant is sometimes upstairs….and sometimes downstairs. (The double page spread showing him crashing through the ceiling.) Scariest is Bertrand and Bertrand’s crocodile. All the children leave their unsuitable pets at home to see its glittering teeth.
On this page all the children whose pets have been previously described are pictured with the croc. Catie saw the humor in each situation, but her engagement came on that page where all children stand beside the grinning croc. She wanted to know the name of each child. We went back through the story and found identifying features so that we could name each one. I love seeing books through Catie’s eyes.