A lonely boy’s new pet grows into a rather large dilemma—and a Thanksgiving parade offers an uplifting solution—in this charming tale from the author of The Boy and the Airplane and The Girl and the Bicycle.
When Leonard takes a shortcut through the park, he finds an egg and takes it home, where it hatches into a lizard (or so Leonard thinks). Leonard names his new pet Buster and takes him all around the city: on the subway, to the library, to a baseball game, and more.
But Buster keeps growing and growing—and Leonard gets the sense that Buster is longing for something Leonard can’t provide.
Before long, Buster becomes too big to keep, and Leonard realizes he needs to set Buster free. So Leonard comes up with an inventive plan, one that involves all the balloons Leonard can find and the annual Thanksgiving parade, in an imaginative plot twist that will spark readers’ imaginations—and touch their hearts.
Curly-haired, brown-skinned Leonard finds a large egg in Central Park, takes it home, and plays with it, all with an air of quiet wonder. When a lizardlike creature busts forth from the egg, he names it naturally Buster. "Leonard couldn't wait to show this new friend the world outside." Readers will enjoy picking out New York City landmarks as Leonard shows Buster the Museum of Natural History and Monet's water lilies, then reads to him between the paws of one of the majestic "library lions." Buster's fast growth signals trouble, and Leonard tries several fixes, including disguising Buster in a fedora and sunglasses. The winning solution involves many balloons and a famous parade. In the final pages, Buster is revealed as a creation of Leonard's imagination, and the boy finds a human friend someone who has been courting him throughout, readers will see. Sometimes, Pett (The Girl and the Bicycle) suggests, fantasy can blind us to gifts that are right in front of us. Muted colors and low-key prose give this dinosaur tale unusual restraint. Ages 4 8.