Friday, December 15, 2017

Charlotte and the Rock by Stephen W. Martin - ADVISABLE

Martin, Stephen W.   Charlotte and the Rock  Illustrated by Samantha Cotterill. Unpaged. Dial Books for Young Readers, 2017. $16.99. PICTURE BOOK

When six-year-old Charlotte finally gets a pet like she's always wanted, it's not exactly a pet she had in mind. She tries to remain positive though, such as appreciating how good at listening her boulder-sized pet rock is and how hypoallergenic it is for her grandma's sake. But some things prove difficult, such as giving it walks, and having it eat her unwanted vegetables. She eventually becomes best friends with her pet rock, whom she names Dennis, and plays lots of games with it, but still, she wishes it could love her back. One night, after a loud crrrrrack, that is exactly what her pet does. Now it is her parents' turn to try to remain positive.

The illustrations' line drawings feel retro. They are digitally colored with a limited palette of muted hues and lots of white space, while the speckled pattern of the rock pops in contrast. It's a fun story with an unexpected twist at the end. The illustrations and words work well together, showing the humor and grit of a girl determined to make the best of the situation by treating her pet rock as you would any other pet.

EL (K-3) - ADVISABLE. Reviewed by P. K. Foster, MLS, teacher- librarian

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