There is a lonely place on the end of Kate's bed - a place where her cat, Tiger, used to sleep. Tiger died last winter, and since then there have only been Kate's two feet to keep each other company. But then, one bright summer morning, Kate leaps out of bed, runs to her parents' room, and says, "Let's get a pup!"
Her parents think it's a great idea, and at the breakfast table they look through the newspaper, hoping to find an ad for a brand-new cute little puppy that runs around in circles. Then they see an ad for "The Rescue Center: The center for dogs without a home. The center for dogs all alone." They run to the car, leaving their breakfast uneaten.
At the shelter they find the perfect brand-new cute little puppy, and it indeed runs in circles. They are delighted with their choice...until, on the way out, they see sweet, big, gentle old Rosie, who gazes after them mournfully on their way out. Back at home, they fall in love with the little puppy, but they all keep thinking about poor old Rosie. What to do, what to do?
The main reason I love this picture book so much is the way Graham has chosen to illustrate the family members. The mom has a nose ring and a tattoo of a rose on her arm. The father wears longish hair and several earrings. They are not the usual picture-book family, and I like that! I think that it's great for kids to open a book and find families completely different from their own -- and families quite a bit like their own. This is a lovable, touching book that is wonderful for all pet lovers, especially those who recently (or not so recently) have lost a pet.
Awards: Australian Children's Book of the Year; ALA Notable Book; Boston Globe Hornbook Award
"Let's Get a Pup!" Said Kate by Bob Graham (Candlewick Press, 2001)