Talking About Books Thursday - Who Wants Arthur?

The real question I have after reading this book is, "Who wouldn't want Arthur?"  Full disclosure: I am a dog person.  

Arthur is an "ordinary brown dog" that no one seems to want.  He's the only dog left in the pet store.  So, every day when the pet store owner features a new class of animals in the window, Arthur crawls in the window, too.  When all the rabbits are taken, Arthur is back the next day trying to act like a rabbit.  But, this time the feature pets are snakes.  Poor Arthur is always a day behind the trend.  But, what's a dog to do? He stays up all night trying to learn the behaviors of the pets that keep getting picked over him. Just as he gives up thinking that anyone would want just an "ordinary brown dog," a little girl and her grandfather show up looking for that extraordinary dog that can do all those tricks.  

A lot of the reviews I read for this book championed the idea that you simply have to be yourself to find your place in the world.  I really don't want to argue with that message, but I don't think it's the message of this book.  Arthur isn't acting like himself in the pet store window, but those silly antics are exactly what earns him what he wants.  I think the message is more along the lines, if you want something, don't be afraid to take risks and be creative about how to get it

Or, just read the book and don't worry about the message.  The pictures are clever, funny, and heartwarming.  The story has drama and a happy ending, too.  I read it to a group of 3 year-olds today.  We acted out all the parts with Arthur and had a blast!  This is an oldie, but goodie!


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