By: Rick Osborne and Gary Chapman
Illustrated by: Wilson Williams
Publisher: Northfield Publishing
Publication Date: March 2012
Reviewed by: Holly Connors
Review Date: June 2012
Today is a special day! The twins, Penny and Peyton, are celebrating their birthdays! At breakfast, Penny says a breakfast prayer and then thanks God for their birthday adventure. Could they possibly, hopefully, maybe be going to Mr. Chapman’s Perfect Pet Pal Emporium for their birthday? Yes! Mom says “yes!” and the adventure begins.
Penny and Peyton meet several of their friends at the Pet Pal Emporium where they see many of the wonderful animals that live at the park. From farm animals, to jungle animals, and even robotic dinosaurs, this park has it all. While Penny is beyond happy and running around with her friends, Peyton keeps hoping that this animal or that will be his “perfect pet pal.” His choices are not practical and the reader will likely know that before Peyton. Eventually, the young man is convinced that he won’t get a perfect pal like the other kids and starts to get a bit grouchy.
After playing, opening presents, and having some rather interesting snacks (bug pizza anyone?), the children sit quietly as Mr. Chapman introduces the Five Love Languages. He explains that “Each of us especially likes to love and be loved in one or two of these languages…” and because “pets do the same things naturally…when you find one that matches yours, that’s a perfect pet pal.” Will each child find a perfect pet pal to compliment the way they show their love?
This is a lively and fun book that teaches children about the different ways people show their love. Readers will guess along with the children in the book about each character’s ways of loving. Mr. Chapman gives hints and then it’s time to figure out what type of love that person displays. The author has found a unique way to show how “God made us each special and we all love a little differently.” As an added bonus to keep children engaged, there is something to do on many of the pages: find various animals or bugs (some very well hidden), and even identify the mythical creatures surrounding a birthday sundae (which may require a little research). Note that the story is a bit long so younger ones who don’t like to sit may have trouble staying still throughout the story although the interactive aspects will help keep them engaged.
Quill says: Interactive, with a unique story and characters (and animals!) kids will love make this book a winner.