Mason Dixon: Pet Disasters
by Claudia Mills
illustrated by Guy Frances
Book Jacket Summary
Soon-to-be fourth-grader Mason Dixon does not want a pet, but his parents think it will be good for him. Goldfish dies soon after his arrival (from overfeeding). Mason is relieved. Hamster escapes. Mason is relieved. Cat has to go back because best friend Brody is too allergic to ever be at their house while Cat is there. Mason is relieved. But when Dog comes, it takes a little dose of jealousy for Mason to realize he does want a pet, all of his very own. Claudia Mills introduces a new, hilarious character in Mason, and each of the three books about him will feature both boys as they cope with a new experience; pitch-perfect for 8- to 10- year-old newly independent readers, the books will maintain a consistent page count and feature black-and-while art throughout.
The books opens up on a death. A death of a goldfish that Mason got a week ago. This is the start of Mason's pet problems and the quest to find the perfect pet. Mason does not think of himself as a pet person and each pet that his parents bring home confirms his suspicions. First he overfeed Goldfish and he died, next Hamster ran away, and then his best friend Brody is allergic to Cat. They take Cat back to the shelter and Brody convinces Mason's parents to adopt a dog. What is Mason to do when Dog starts to fall in love with his new pet.
Mason is a kid who likes things the way he likes them. He does not like the strange meals his mom prepares and eat mac 'n cheese instead. He always wishes the snacks he eats are Fig Newtons. He also only wants to be friends with Brody. His heart does expand as he grows to love Dog. He tries to distance himself from the pets his parents bring by naming them after what they are and seems to be confused on how to take care of them. Brody is the exact opposite and loves everything! He gets excited over the littlest things and makes Mason seem very calm in comparison. They are exact opposites but this makes their friendship work.
This seems to be a good start of a series and I know our library is receiving them. I will have to check them out. The books do bring up euthanization but also teaches kids how to take care of specific pets. Mason is definitely a picky character but he grows as a person through the book.
Mason Dixon: 4th Grade Disasters by Claudia Mills
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