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HIDING HOOVER by Elise Broach


by Elise Broach & illustrated by Laura Huliska-Beith

Pub Date: July 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-8037-2706-2
Publisher: Dial Books

Readers may trip over some unfilled gaps in this tale of a single parent who—evidently—quietly changes his “No Pets!” stance. Knowing that their father has always denied their most earnest entreaties for a pet, two children desperately try to hide the friendly dragon that appears one day in the back yard. As it happens, they needn’t have bothered, for even though the new green “coat stand” eats his hat, the flaming “lamp” produces melting heat and the “reading chair” dumps its occupants, “Daddy never noticed a thing!” Though she does add plenty of amusing detail to her canted, topsy-turvy cartoon scenes, Huliska-Beith misses the chance to connect the dots here; showing not even a change of expression, Dad still comes off as totally oblivious—at least, until he casually sits down, post-bedtime, for a game of cards with the house’s huge new resident. From Steven Kellogg’s Mysterious Tadpole (1977) to M.P. Robertson’s The Egg (2001), tales featuring the sudden arrival of oversized pets generally show better-knit internal logic. (Picture book. 6-8)