Stephen W. Martin’s latest book for children is a fun, clever story. Six-year-old Charlotte Grey wants a pet. She’s not particularly choosy—any animal will do. When her parents present her with a very large pet rock (really, boulder) for her birthday, Charlotte is a bit disappointed, but also determined to make the best of it.
Her pet rock, Dennis, cannot do many things that “normal” pets can do—like eat your broccoli for you under the table or go for walks. Still, Charlotte learns to appreciate what it does offer and becomes very fond of Dennis. If only Dennis could love her back! With a clever twist, Charlotte is rewarded for her love and devotion.
Martin’s story is a lighthearted read but opens the door to discussions about acceptance and patience with young audiences. Illustrator Samantha Cotterill’s minimalist drawings with a two-color wash are perfect for the simplicity of the story.
Jennifer Bruer Kitchel is the librarian for a Pre-K through 8th level Catholic school.