What Pet Should I Get?

What Pet Should I Get?

Dr. Seuss

Publisher: HarperCollins
ISBN: 9780008183400
Price: £6.99

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What Pet Should I Get is about two small children, a boy and his sister, who visit the pet shop to choose a pet. However, as the pets on display become more and more outlandish, the children struggle to decide which pet would be best. They consider all of the options with the pros and cons; how big their house is, what equipment / supplies they have etc. The only problem is, their parents told them they could only have one pet and it is a difficult decision to make... When they do finally choose a pet, they leave with its eyes peeking out of a box - so the reader never discovers which one they have chosen! The end of the book includes a factual section about Dr Seuss and his pets.

What Pet Should I Get can be read and enjoyed by children across EYFS and KS1 and is a great book to read aloud to a whole class to introduce the following themes. Children in KS2 will also enjoy the humour in the story and the following discussions and activity ideas.

Discussion Ideas

Making decisions

This book is all about making decisions. It would provide a good starting point to talk about decision-making with EYFS and KS1. It raises the issues of thinking of others (the children have to make the decision together), listening to instructions (they are only allowed to choose one) and thinking about the consequences (they have to choose one that is suitable for life in their house).

Animal-related themes

It would provide an interesting starting point to an animal related topic (pets, farm animals, the jungle etc) with the weird and wonderful animals mentioned in its pages.

Looking after our pets

A great discussion starter for small children- what would you choose and why? What kind of things do we need to remember when looking after pets? What do they need to be happy and healthy. Create a list of ideas. Also this story could be a springboard into creating a persuasive argument for having a pet. Could all the pros and cons be explored?
Class debates

Cats vs. Dogs - or choose different animals to debate the pros and cons of each.


Creative Writing:

The story could be used for creative writing in English. Older children could retell the story from a different point of view including Kay's or the owner of the pet shop and even write the sequel to the story to show what pet they chose. Older children could extend this to create an adventure story for their pet, maybe with themselves in the story.

Design your dream pet:

What pet would you choose? For Years 2 to 4, the story could be used as a stimulus for designing a fantastical pet, focusing on adjectives and adverbs. What features would it have and why? What would it like to eat? How would you care for it? What would you call it? Where would it live?

Instruction Writing:

Children could use the story to inspire their own instruction writing for how to care for their pet of choice.

Persuasive Writing:

Convince the teacher to get the pet of your choice by writing persuasively about the pet.

Factual writing:

Children can choose a real animal that is often a pet and write some animal facts about the creature, including its habits and how to care for it.

Write a biography:

Using the information at the back of the book, older children from Year 2 upwards could write a biography about Dr Seuss - a useful activity around world book day. This book was published after Dr Seuss's death so children can investigate how the script was found and finally made into print. Encourage them to explore other Seuss books; which is their favourite and why?

Book design:

This work could be developed further, to look at book design and production, the use of colour schemes etc.

Maths cross curricular

What pets do you have in the class? Make a bar graph/pie chart to illustrate which are the favourite pets and what percentage of the class owns a pet.