Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Pick the Perfect Pet- Monthly Challenge

By Janie Reinart

When I was little, I would pretend the pussy willows in my yard were my real pet kitties. What fur babies did you have for a pet when you were a child? Or did you care for more exotic pets? This month's challenge is to write a story about pets.

Perhaps you were like Bartholomew Botts and loved all pets.

By A. LaFaye
"Bartholomew Botts loved pets. Hoppy pets, hairy pets, and scaly pets. He loved them all so much
that he couldn't go to school without one." When Bartholomew starts taking a pet a day to class, his teacher, Mr. Patanoose started sharing new rules like "NO FROGS IN SCHOOL."

By Amy Young
Maybe you were like Lucy.
The ad said "Unicorn, 25 cents."
"Lucy sent in the money. She could hardly wait.  I will name him Sparkle. He will be blue with a pink tail and a pink mane... I will take him to show-and-tell. Everyone will love him."

But things don't always work out the way you hope they will. Ame Dyckman explains in You Don't Want a Unicorn.

Perchance your mum suggests you need a pet. Just ask Captain Crave as he and his crew chase critters in search of the perfect pet.

By Beth Ferry

"Think you're the Perfect Pirate Captain? she read.
Use our handy checklist to be sure.
Courage and daring?
Eye patch?
Peg leg? 0n me to-do list.
Well, shuck me an oyster and set sail for land. We needs to find me a pet."

And if you want a quieter sort of pet check out Charlotte's.

Share what kind of pets you had when you were young and what kind you have now. At present, I have several grand-doggy pets and my husband loves the fish in his aquarium. Happy writing. Metaphors be with you.


  1. Janie, great set of mentor texts showing so many ways to make a pet ostiary unique. TY for this set of books and the challenge.

  2. Thanks for these great mentor texts. I am excited to see what kind of pet story I can come up with

  3. When I think of my pets I had growing up, I get all sappy. Will have to see if I can write something that's a little more unexpected. Thanks for the prompt!

  4. Fun challenge - something everyone can relate to in some way.

  5. We had a basset hound named Daisy. She was very overweight and we had her on a diet but she never lost weight. Then we spied in her and followed her when she got out. Wouldn't you know - all the neighbors were feeding her!

  6. You came up with unique mentor texts for us, Janie. Dinosaurs and pets are popular Kidlit topics that have survived generations! As far as pets go, my family has had dogs, parakeets, cats, AND scorpions. Yep, scorpions! During his tween years, my son raised babies and sold them to a pet store. Unfortunately, after mating, the female eats her mate. UGH! Not sure that's a story for Kidlit! In January 2019, I posted on Julie Hedlund's 12 x 12 Challenge a story based on my spunky, wiggly, jiggly kitten named Skittles. Critique Readers offered sage suggestions that led to 21 revisions. Alastair Heim even critiqued it and gave me much encouragement at our local SCBWI KS/MO Conference, but currently, the market is flooded with "bad cat" stories. So I haven't received interest from publishers yet. Writing a "good" PB is quite the challenge, one that I'm thoroughly enjoying, except when I'm growling through "Learning Curve" hurdles. Again, thank you for taking the time to blog about pets and inspire us.

  7. Marsha,
    I'm proud of you! That is a lot of revisions. Good luck with your story. Metaphors be with you.

  8. Wonderful mentor texts, Janie :) I'm always working to make one of my pets the star of a story. Primary pets in my life are cats, dogs, goldfish,birds, and bunnies <3. Thank you for the challenge!

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