a new kind of new pet book

710UiQRkfYLSpencer’s New Pet by Jessie Sima

Simon & Schuster, 2019.  Hardcover Picture Book, 56 pp

This is not the usual sort of new pet picture book…

Oh, this one is clever. I won’t spoil it, but…oh, my. I laughed aloud at the pleasure of that ending…and then flipped back to re-read it. What I did notice, and will share, is the humor in just how many glinting points threatening Spencer’s pet dog as they traversed the story in 3 Parts of this silent film-inspired picture book.

I wish I could talk about how that ending adds an especially brilliant nuance to the story and how Spencer was navigating it, but as a parent (of puppy or otherwise) you would know to be mindful of those sharp objects, wouldn’t you? Also, you have to revisit the small herd of balloon animals at the Party…


snp1fullSima also rewards the reader of their earlier books with cameos (e.g. vet’s office). I also love the Pygmalion reference.

Sima has yet to fail me on an entertaining and thoughtful picture book experience. I love their work. They are a solid storyteller in text and visual art. If you are unfamiliar with their work. Change that: Start with Not Quite Narwhal or Harriet Get’s Carried Away. You’re welcome.



Jessie Sima is an author/illustrator living and working in New York City. She grew up in a small town in southern New Jersey, unaware that she was a storyteller. Once she figured it out, she told her family and friends. They took it quite well.


Published by L

I read, and I write. and until recently, I sold books.

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