By Kelly DiPucchio
Illustrated by Bob Shea
Dial Books, 2011
$16.99, ages 3-5, 32 pages
Gilbert has almost everything an aquarium fish could want.
A stone castle to swim through, a treasure chest that bubbles, even food flakes that fall from the sky.
Now if he could just have a pet to care for and love, he'd be the happiest little goldfish in a bowl.
The problem is, every creature that peers into his bowl isn't quite right.
A dog comes by and licks his bowl hello and bounds around it in circles. At first it's fun to follow him, but then he barks too much and laps up Gilbert's water.
Next, a small gray mouse sniffs at the glass and Gilbert's heart goes "pitter-patter-swish." Finally. A quiet pet.
But as soon as the mouse realizes Gilbert isn't a chunk of cheese, he scampers away. And Gilbert's heart goes plop.
This one's active and Gilbert flips up to say hello. But suddenly out of nowhere, a swatter appears. Thwack! and the buzzing stops, just like that.
Poor Gilbert. He cries so long and hard that water overflows his bowl and washes down the bookcase below like a waterfall.
The next morning, Gilbert pulls himself out of his castle and there, to his delight, is a creature with pointy ears and whiskers casting a shadow over his bowl.
Though wary of another heart-ache, Gilbert starts to think this could be the one. The creature jumps when he jumps. Not only that, he's not too loud and not too squished!
Could this fellow be the perfect pet?
Gilbert notices that he looks hungry, so he takes the plunge and invites him in to share his food flakes. (Uh, Gilbert, are you sure about this?)
From the best-selling author of Grace for President and the award-winning illustrator of Dinosaur vs. Bedtime comes a sweet book about wanting a pet oh, so badly, feeling like you'll never find one, then discovering one day, you've found the best one ever.