The Children’s Book Review | January 25, 2018
Written by Stephen W. Martin
Illustrated by Samantha Cotterill
Age Range: 3 and up
Hardback: 32 pages
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers
What to expect: Pets
Charlotte wants, more than anything, to have a pet. Any pet will do. A dog, a cat, even a pig! But when her parents give her an unexpected pet, Charlotte can’t help but feel a little…bewildered.
Her new pet is a rock. A large, round, plain rock. Nevertheless, Charlotte is a girl of perseverance. She takes the rock on rather difficult walks up and down hills, plays games with it, and learns that the rock is an especially good listener. Eventually she comes to love the rock, and wishes that it could somehow learn to love her too. That’s when the rock hatches, and out pops a giant dinosaur! At last, Charlotte has a living, breathing pet who can love her back! And a dinosaur wasn’t what her parents had in mind for a pet for their little girl, but they make do. Eventually the pet dinosaur becomes one of the family.
This is a sweet story about making the best of things, and how sometimes those things turn out far better than you ever imagined! Charlotte didn’t mope or pout about getting a somewhat disappointing present, she made the best of it. And then, in a darkly humorous way, her little heart was rewarded with the biggest pet any child could ever ask for!
The illustrations in this book set it apart from the pack. The soft water-color effect and attention to detail give the images a realistic but dreamy quality. I especially loved the opening illustration of Charlotte looking through a shop window. There are so many layers of details from foreground to background– it’s visually stunning. The story is sweet and funny with a dark little twist (sorry Mom and Dad, the joke’s on you!) that children and parents will get a kick out of. After all, who wouldn’t want a dinosaur for a pet?
About The Author
Stephen W. Martin is a writer and director, with several award-winning short films to his credit. He is the author of Robot Smash and is also the coauthor of Pop Manga with renowned manga artist and comics creator Camilla D’Errico.
About The Illustrator
Samantha Cotterill is an illustrator and textile designer. She works and resides with her family in Upstate New York.
Charlotte and the Rock, written by Stephen W. Martin and illustrated by Samantha Cotterill, was reviewed by Denise Mealy. Discover more books like Charlotte and the Rock by following along with our reviews and articles tagged with Dinosaurs, Pets, and Picture Book.
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