Written and Illustrated by Jane Marinsky
The young narrator of this sweet picture book is looking for a way to round out his family. It’s “Mommy, Daddy and I”, but he thinks four would be nice, too. So he consults his book, Animals from A to Z, for possibilities. He tries out a dog, but it sheds too much. Each animal is more unlikely because each animal’s unique characteristics make them incompatible to live with a human family. A porcupine is too prickly; an octopus makes too big a mess with its long tentacles; a dolphin needs too much water. Finally, along comes a baby that is the perfect fit for this family.
Since Mommy never appears pregnant, this could be an adoption story, especially if paired with non-fiction selections for an adoption unit. The text is large and sentence structure is simple so a second grader could handle the reading level. The bright illustrations are good for the wild-animal-in-the-house silliness that is kid-friendly and fun. A literacy activity could be to expand the list of animals that the young narrator considers, drawing pictures and writing an explanation like the ones in the book illustrating why they were ruled out as a fit for the household. Lots of possibilities! There are full spreads on the author’s website and note cards for sale with her illustrations: (http://marinskyillustration.com/children/Just%20Perfect/jpgodinesynopsis.htm )