Children Make Terrible Pets

7949530 Title: Children Make Terrible Pets

Author: Peter Brown

Illustrator: Peter Brown Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

Year: 2010

Word Count: 373


Story Element #4 DIALOGUE Dialogue is a conversation between characters. Authors often use dialogue to help the reader get into the character’s head without a lot of description. This is perfect for hearing the character’s voice in a story. It is especially effective in picture books where words are at a premium. Through sparse text boxes, dialogue, and facial illustrations Peter Brown is able to tell his story succinctly and humorously. AFLB0706-CHILDREN MAKE TERRIBLE PETS-IN   Dialogue is used as especially valuable as a tool to show tension between characters. Peter Brown masterfully synthesizes the relationship between the bear cub, Lucy and her mother on the issue of keeping a boy as a pet. He has a two page spread which brings the reader directly into the ‘Can I keep him?’ conversation. (Sorry, I couldn’t get a copy of that spread for you.) Peter Brown is a dialogue wizard. Not only are the characters’ voices authentic, he presents them in conversation bubbles which move the story along naturally without the tiresome ‘he said, she said’ tag lines thereby sounding like a real conversation. 11051230   Children Make Terrible Pets was followed the next year by You Will Be My Friend. Another story about Lucy and her over zealous ways of finding a new friend.

For more examples of his genius, check out two more of Peter Brown’s work.

Not having much luck with this link, but I’ll try again…. <script type=”text/javascript” src=”; ></script>

14 Responses to “Children Make Terrible Pets”

  1. SevenAcreSky February 17, 2015 at 11:37 PM #

    Yes…never heard Peter Brown in a conference setting before, but know his presentation would be a knockout. His books are great. This of course is a perfect example of dialogue, Juliana. Great choice!


    • Juliana Lee February 18, 2015 at 1:36 PM #

      Thank you. I guess we’re all agreed, the Peter Brown fan club is growing! 🙂


  2. Jane Heitman Healy February 17, 2015 at 11:09 PM #

    I love this book and his other work, too. I got to hear him speak at our state library association conference a few years ago. He was so nice and fun and real. Thanks for the post, Juliana.


    • Juliana Lee February 17, 2015 at 11:14 PM #

      I’m sure he’s a real character! I’d love to hear him speak some day!


  3. Linda E.H. February 17, 2015 at 8:35 PM #

    I like My Teacher is a Monster but haven’t read this one yet. Glad you posted about it.


    • Juliana Lee February 17, 2015 at 10:04 PM #

      I love all his books! Glad to show you one you haven’t seen yet. 🙂


  4. lauraboffa February 17, 2015 at 8:10 PM #

    I love this book! I agree, Peter Brown is a picture book genius.


  5. thelogonauts February 17, 2015 at 5:16 PM #

    I love the recent move towards using colored speech bubbles for dialogue in picture books. I think it makes it much easier for kids to grasp!

    (You have a semicolon at the end of the URL, it needs to be a quotation mark.)


    • Juliana Lee February 17, 2015 at 10:09 PM #

      I like the speech bubbles too. As for the URL, I’m not sure what you mean. I just copy/paste from Christie’s every day. From what I can tell, it’s working. Yikes! I definitely need a webmaster!


  6. Christie Wright Wild February 17, 2015 at 4:47 PM #

    I love this line you shared: “Dialogue is used as especially valuable as a tool to show tension between characters.” Good dialogue can up the tension and move the story forward.


    • Juliana Lee February 17, 2015 at 10:10 PM #

      Thanks Christie! And thanks again for so patiently helping me with the links. 🙂


  7. ManjuBeth February 17, 2015 at 3:24 PM #

    I met Peter Brown at an SCBWI conference. His keynote was very entertaining.


    • Juliana Lee February 17, 2015 at 10:11 PM #

      I would love to meet him! He is certainly one in a million!


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