A Lid for Every Pot! Who Wants Broccoli? by Val Jones
A HODGEPODGE OF PETS LIVE AT BEASLEY'S ANIMAL SHELTER.
And among the usual mix of homeless puppies, too-big bunnies, cats and kitties, cast-away parrots and overgrown turtles, there is Broccoli. Left as a pup in front of the shelter in a greengrocers' produce box, Broccoli has always lived in the shelter.
Mrs. Beasley loves all the animals, fluffing them and assuring them that they will all find their perfect "forever home" soon.
"THERE'S A LID FOR EVERY POT," SHE PROMISES CHEERILY.
But big, ebullient Broccoli is a hard pot to fit. He wants so badly to be chosen. But in his zeal to be noticed, he tosses his full water bowl up so that it lands on his head, wetting everyone and everything in range, chases his tail furiously, and barks--LOUDLY. Not surprisingly, nobody finds him the perfect adoptable pet.
But one day as he is looking longingly out the front display window in the shop, Broccoli notices a new boy moving in across the street. Oscar is playing with a ball, and he looks lonely, dreaming of a big, fun dog to play ball with in his big new yard, as lonely as Broccoli feels. He can't help himself...
BARK! BARK! BARK!
Mr. Beasley mops up the spilled water dish spatters and grumbles, moving poor Broccoli into the storeroom to keep him quiet.
"THIS NOISY, MESSY POT WILL NEVER FIND A LID!" HE MUMBLES.
But Oscar hears that bark. And when his mom feels they are settled in, Oscar, ball in hand, leads her across the street to Beasley's Animal Shelter to look for a big, fun dog to play with. But Broccoli is nowhere in sight, and none of the bunnies, turtles, or hamsters look like the pet he wants. Sadly he shakes his head, and they prepare to leave, Oscar accidentally leaving his ball behind. Mr. Beasley absent-mindedly sticks it in the storeroom.
And Broccoli recognizes that ball.
THE BALL! THE BOY! WHAT COULD BROCCOLI DO?
It's a made-in-heaven match, as Oscar hears that bark, the sound of a big, fun dog, in Val Jones' Who Wants Broccoli? (Harper, 2015) and boy, ball, and dog are brought together in a happy ending, in which Oscar joyfully plops his baseball cap--his lid--on the head of his new shaggy friend. Jones' story of true friends found is deftly paced to set up its joyful climax, and her characters are well defined, both in words and in her charming artwork, to make this boy-and-his-dog tale a sweetly satisfying one for young readers who have dreamed of finding the perfect pet. Val Jones' first picture book shows she has much promise as a rising author-illustrator.