Luna’s Green Pet by Kirsten Pendreigh

Luna’s Green Pet by Kirsten Pendreigh
Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press
Genre: Children’s (0 – 6 years), Contemporary
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Luna longs for a pet but the apartment building where she and her family live has a very strict NO PETS! policy. Not even goldfish are allowed. While her friends try to help with alternate pet suggestions, none interest Luna. Almost ready to give up, Luna spies in the trash something small, something green, something someone has discarded–a wilted plant. Perfect! Luna names her new pet Stephanie, confident she can nurse the plant back to health. When others question Stephanie’s suitability as a pet, Luna’s devotion is unwavering. She knows Stephanie is perfect just as she is. But will Luna’s love and care be enough to bring Stephanie to full health? And what are those strange bumps growing on her? Brought to life with warm, expressive artwork, this charming story of one young girl’s belief, determination, and out-of-the-box thinking is perfect for anyone who has ever wished for a pet, only to be told no. Back matter includes tips on how to grow your own “Stephanie.”

Not every kid necessarily needs a pet, but Luna sure does!

Luna’s dream of finding a way around the no pet rule in her apartment building could equally apply to kids who can’t have pets for any number of medical, financial, cultural, or other reasons. I loved the inclusivity of her story and how few assumptions it made about why other families might be in the same predicament. There’s definitely something to be said for casting a wide net and inviting readers to join Luna on her quest to find something to love and look after.

Some of the most interesting scenes were the ones that explored how Luna’s friends and neighbors reacted to her adopting a sick plant and treating it like a pet. It certainly isn’t something most folks would think to do, but it fit her personality well. I giggled my way through these moments and wondered how their opinions on the topic might evolve as the plant gradually perked up with some sunshine, water, and love.

I also enjoyed seeing the main character treat her new little friend more like a dog than a houseplant. For example, there was a scene where she put her plant into a little wagon and took it for a walk. This showed me so much about Luna’s personality and made me excited to see what creative bonding activities she’d come up with next. She was a kind kid who was determined to make the best of everything.

Luna’s Green Pet was a heartwarming read.

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