Thursday, September 13, 2012

[BOOK REVIEW] No Plain Pets! by Marc Ian Barasch

Title:  No Plain Pets!

Author:  Marc Ian Barasch

Artist:  Henrik Drescher

Genre: Animal / Humor / Poetry

Year Published: 1991

Year Read: 2007

Publisher:  HarperCollins Publishers

Source:  Purchased

Content Rating:  Ages 5+ (Some Bizarre Imagery)


When I first read this book, I was just blown away by the surrealistic images in this book! “No Plain Pets!” is a children’s book by Marc Ian Barasch along with surreal illustrations by Henrik Drescher and it is about how a young nameless boy tells his mother that he wants an unusual pet, in other words, “NO PLAIN PETS!” “No Plain Pets!” might be a bit too surreal for some children to handle, but it is a brilliant book that everyone should read!

One night, a young boy tells his mother that he wants a pet and while his mother agrees with him, he goes on to explain to his mother that he wants an unusual pet, not just a plain pet. For instance, the boy wants a big black gorilla that seems to eat buildings and then he goes on to saying that he wants a flying fish and then he wants a camel to ride on. Will the boy find his perfect pet? Read this book to find out!

I was just so blown away by this book beyond all reason! I never would have imagined seeing a more surreal look at a child’s desires at having an unusual pet in this format! Marc Ian Barasch has certainly done an excellent job at writing this book as his poetic writing is silly and creative as the boy imagines that his pets could do surreal things such as having his bullfrog jump through a ring of fire or having a fish that flies through the air. Also, I loved the way that Marc Ian Barasch makes the story in rhyming proses as it reminds me of a somewhat wild version of Dr. Seuss’ works. Henrik Drescher’s illustrations are at their best here as each character looks surreal such as the young boy being dressed in purple overalls with wild and many creatures popping out of other creatures’ mouths (weird is it not?), which is Henrik Drescher’s signature characters. I also loved the constant smiles that the boy displays on each page as he shows his enthusiasm at being with every different pet he conjures up.

For parents and children who do not like surreal images, this book is full of surreal images. Some of the images in this book that might cause a bit of concern for small children might be the image of the boy lying on the tongue of a huge lizard as the boy is seen inside the mouth of a huge lizard and the image of the imaginary creature having six feet sticking out of its head. I think the right word for these types of images might be “morbid,” but this book is told in a hilarious way that maybe some small children might still enjoy this book for its wackiness.

All in all, “No Plain Pets!” is one truly unique and creative book that both children and adults who love reading about pets can easily enjoy for many years! I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since some of the images in this book might scare younger children.

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