Molly is often called Molly Mischief, and for good reason. She's a troublemaker. In Molly Mischief: My Perfect Pet by Adam Hargreaves, Molly and her brother go to the zoo with their dad. Her brother likes the warthogs best. Meanwhile, Molly gets in trouble for tickling a penguin, chasing a parrot, waking up a flamingo, and feeding the crocodile. Then, she discovers the hippopotamus and decides she wants a bigger pet than the one at home. She has a mouse named Polka but mice are small. Molly wants a big pet.
Molly starts bringing home zoo animals. First she brings home a hippo, but her mom and dad aren't happy about that. The hippo is muddy. Molly brings home a polar bear but her room is too hot and polar bears don't fit in the refrigerator. So, she tries bringing home a giraffe. He is way too tall. So tall she has to cut a hole in the roof for his head.
You can see where this is headed. Molly keeps bringing home animals, eventually settling on an elephant, but the elephant causes enough chaos (squishing the family car, tearing up the neighbor's garden) that eventually Molly decides maybe a little mouse isn't so bad after all.
Although there are some things that are better when they are bigger . . .
The story ends with Molly dropping a very large water balloon on her brother's head.
Not a favorite - I noticed the illustrations in Molly Mischief look very much like the British Mr. Men characters and discovered that Adam Hargreaves inherited the Mr. Men franchise from the original artist. Interesting! I always liked Mr. Men books. But, I confess that the detail in some of the animals, with loose lines, didn't feel quite consistent with the tidiness of the human characters, so I'm not massively in love with the illustrations, although I don't actively dislike them. They just seem a little off. My problem with this book was that naughty characters usually learn their lesson in children's books and Molly is really not nice, not just naughty. On the page with the warthog, Molly says:
My brother liked the warthogs best of all. They are nearly as ugly as he is.
OK, sorry, I just don't like nastiness in children's books and that's mean. So is dropping a very large water balloon on someone's head. I also think it's a bad lesson to show a child teasing animals at the zoo without repercussion. So, Molly Mischief: My Perfect Pet didn't work for me, although it had its moments. The high point was definitely the hole in the roof Molly cut for the giraffe. That actually made me laugh. Since it's not a favorite of mine, I recommend that you flip through Molly Mischief before making a decision about purchasing. Fortunately, it's the only one of the 5 books Penguin Random House sent me for National Pet Day that I disliked. The next two are totally fabulous. Stay tuned!
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