Tonight I read 'Wanted: The Perfect Pet' by Fiona Robertson to Noah at bedtime. It was a Christmas gift from his Uncle Nic who had bought after it got great reviews in the newspaper in Sydney. It has the sweetest storyline and the cutest illustrations and if you are ever in the market to buy a lovely children's book, you couldn't go far wrong with this one!
The basic plot is that Henry, a little boy who already has 27 varieties of frog, is in the market for the Perfect Pet. He thinks a dog would make the perfect pet, so he advertises in the local paper, and waits.
Far, far away lives a lonely duck with no name. He never receives letters, phone calls or emails, and goes to the movies, plays ping-pong and watches the sun rise and set all on his own. He opens up the newspaper and sees the advertisement and decides that if he could pass as a dog, he could have a friend at last. So after creating the perfect disguise, he sets off to met the boy.
Henry is so happy to meet the dog, but all too soon it becomes apparent that his dog isn't very good at doing 'dog' tricks like catching balls, and instead of running after Henry, he can only waddle, then he slips and the the disguise falls off.
The duck is so distraught and sad and admits to Henry that he is not a dog, that he is 'just a duck'. However, Henry carries the duck home and gives the duck a bath and a cup of tea. He then makes a list of all the wonderful things a duck is good at, and decides that, in fact, a duck is actually the Perfect Pet for him.
I am not at all ashamed to admit tears well up in my eyes every time I read this story!