Book review: Colette’s Lost Pet, by Isabelle Arsenault

Arsenault, Isabelle. Colette’s Lost Pet. Random House, 2017. $17.99. Unpaged. ISBN 9780553536591. Ages 3-6. P6 Q7

Colette, who has never been allowed to have a pet, has just moved to a new neighborhood. After inventing a lost pet, she enlists help from the local kids to find it. Her initial fib compounds as she spins the story of her imagined pet. How will her new friends react when they learn she was dishonest? We are told Colette’s tale through hand-lettered text that resides in dialogue balloons. The sketchy illustrations are deceptively detailed and have a pleasingly limited color palette.  While the book’s message champions imaginative play and community engagement, I am somewhat hesitant to recommend it.  There is no discussion addressing Colette’s dishonesty and its potential consequences.

Verdict: Colette’s Lost Pet is a good-looking book about childhood acceptance and understanding. The message is one of inclusion, celebrating individuality, and teamwork. A rejection of dishonest behavior would have been welcomed, as there is none. Nevertheless, it is recommended to fans of Arsenault’s previous works, as well as children experiencing a move.

April 2018 review by Lillian Curanzy.

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