A witty celebration of the tiny tardigrade, a microscopic creature that looks like a bear
Living in a tiny house has one huge drawback--no space for pets. So when a little girl's parents announce that it's time for the family to simplify, downsizing from a huge home in the city to a tiny house in the woods, it's quite a blow--after all, she's grown quite fond of her pet poodles, cats, tarantula, snake, hedgehogs, mice, birds, fish, octopus, rabbits, pony, pig, and turtles. Fortunately, she finds them all good homes, and she has to admit that she enjoys her new simpler life.
There's just one thing: She still really wants just one pet.
At first the answer is no. But using a little scientific savvy, she finds one that could be just the right fit--how could anyone turn down a pet smaller than an ant's eye that doesn't need special food or toys or walking, and will always be small enough to squeeze into their home, no matter how much they downsize?
Jessie Hartland creatively blends fantasy and science in a far-out story that bursts with exuberance. Her whimsical art celebrates one very thoughtful, persistent little girl and introduces readers to the tiny tardigrade, with its fascinating array of survival skills.
August 6, 2019
Preschool - 3
Lexile: 520L | Fountas/Pinnell: L
Jessie Hartland illustrated Lexie the Word Wrangler
(by Rebecca Van Slyke), a Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Book, and has written and illustrated many picture books, including Steve Jobs: Insanely Great!
, How the Dinosaur Got to the Museum
, Bon Appetit: the Delicious Life of Julia Child
, and How the Meteorite got to the Museum
. Her paintings have been exhibited in Venice, Tokyo, Long Island, and New York City. She has painted murals at a Japanese amusement park, designed Christmas windows for Bloomingdale's, and put her mark on ceramics, watches, and all sorts of other things. Her illustrations have appeared in the New York Times
, Travel and Leisure Family
, Martha Stewart Kids
, Bon Appetit
, and Fit Pregnancy
. She lives in New York City.
“What's a kid got to do to get a pet when the parents subscribe to the tiny house philosophy? . . . Hartland's ingenuous gouache illustrations are chock-full of playful, humorous details, and the book's fresh storyline exposing the tiny world of tardigrades will have an undeniable appeal to young readers. Visually, crisp dialogue bubbles mix with text and full-bleed illustrations to create a lively, engaging presentation (including an author's note with tardigrade fun facts). . . . Original, superinteresting, expertly presented.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“Paint[ed] in a playfully harried art style. . . . An author’s note about the fascinating creatures concludes this clever story perfect for the era of tiny living.”—Publishers Weekly
“The loopy gouache artwork captures the antic family decampments and the narrator’s can-do attitude toward making the best of her situation even as she angles to get her way. . . . [Readers] will surely wonder at the worlds that exist just beyond their sight.”—The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Almost every child yearns for a pet, and this book’s protagonist is no different. . . . Hartland uses a simple narrative and hilarious, detailed gouache paintings to tell a story that will have every child asking for a micro-pet. Fun and informative.”—School Library Journal