Best Pet Bet: Annie and the Wild Animals by Jan Brett
IT HAD BEEN SNOWING FOR DAYS.
WINTER WAS LASTING TOO LONG.
SOMETHING WAS WRONG WITH ANNIE'S CAT. TAFFY HAD STOPPED PLAYING.
SHE ATE LESS THAN USUAL.
SHE SLEPT ALL DAY LONG. SHE CURLED UP IN STRANGE PLACES.
Annie is worried about her cat, and when Taffy suddenly fails to come home one morning Annie looks everywhere outside but with no luck.
ANNIE WAS LONELY.
I NEED A NEW FRIEND, SHE THOUGHT.
Annie takes matters into her own hands and sets out to find a new pet. Since she lives in a snow-covered forest, a pet shop is out of the question. Instead, she bakes some fragrant corn cakes and puts one outside at the edge of the woods. The next morning, there IS an animal there, waiting for more. But... it's a ... moose.
HE'S TOO BIG FOR A PET, THOUGHT ANNIE.
Annie keeps trying, putting out a corn cake each evening, but all the applicants for Annie's new pet have their issues. A wildcat is too wild to tame. A brown bear is too grumpy. Annie decides she needs more bait, scattering a whole batch of her popular corn cakes at the edge of the woods, but when a wolf, a giant stag, and a black bear start fighting over the food, Annie despairs of finding a proper pet among these rambunctious applicants.
NOT ONE OF THEM IS SOFT AND FRIENDLY LIKE TAFFY, THOUGHT ANNIE.
This re-issued Yuletide-tinted edition of Jan Brett's Annie and the Wild Animals (G. P. Putnam's Sons, 2012, 1985) is a delightful blend of the picturesque and charming Ukrainian setting seen in her classic, The Mitten 20th Anniversary Edition. With its snow-covered cottage and evergreens and the pigtailed Annie's red coveralls, green, handmade sweater, and furry boots, this book is a delight to the eye, with Brett's trademark page frames providing dramatic irony as they foreshadow what comes next, espcially Annie's cat Taffy and her new kittens holed up in the hollow of a forest tree as the robin in the branches and the trilliums among the melting snow foretell Taffy's triumphant return with her three kittens. Classic Brett in a brand-new package!