Guide/Reviews Database
Tallec, Olivier

I Always Wanted One

(2) PS "I always wanted one," says the narrator, as a little boy and a beagle-ish dog face each other with wide eyes. Tellingly, it is the boy positioned under the Christmas tree (with the presents) in the illustration, and we quickly catch on that the narrator is actually the dog. The dog describes how its new companion "was so shy at first. We had to get to know each other. It's often like that with new friends." The funny twist of the animal being in charge is made even funnier when the canine perspective is what defines "normal." The narrator finds it difficult to teach the boy to eat on the floor, "like everybody else"; and the game of fetch "gets boring after a while" but they play it for hours. The words are placed above each picture, set against white backgrounds that make both text and illustrations pop. Tallec creates an appealingly bright world with sunshine yellow walls, neon green grass, an aqua sky, and delicate rakish lines giving each object and character personality. He gets the details just right, like the dog sitting on the couch with its paw tenderly resting atop the curled-up boy's head, emphasizing their closeness. Sweet but not sappy, this story gives kids a humorous introduction to the give-and-take of a dog/human relationship.


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