July 9, 2015
If I Had a Raptor by George O’Connor
In this first person story, the narrator explains what it would be like to have a raptor as a pet. Of course, you would have to get a raptor when it was still quite young and tiny. Because your shy, skittish raptor would be prone to hiding in the apartment, it would be necessary to bell it. As your raptor grows, she will be easier to find but that bell is still a good idea for altogether different reasons. Cat people won’t even have to ask why.
In fact, the raptor in this book is portrayed as quite cat-like. She has to be taught not to claw the furniture, claws need to be trimmed and she even gets stepped on in the dark.
But like any good cat owner, the narrator doesn’t see these as bad things or her raptor as a bad pet. As any pet owner knows, having a pet you love is the best thing ever.
O’Connor’s pencil and watercolor artwork is fun and cartoony and keeps it from being altogether creepy when the raptor is stalking the narrator through the house. Although O’Connor’s raptor is capable of some purely predatory facial expressions, she looks so much like an enormous, fluffy blue road runner that she is hard to truly fear. Yes, in some shots she looks positively feline but something about the tail is too birdlike to make that perception stick.
This book is a quick read and sure to set of discussions about what animals make good pets and which should be left in the wild. No, the raptor in the story was not a wild capture. She was adopted from a cardboard box of raptor kittens? Babies? Young?
Share this book to kick off discussions on pets and pet care and be ready for your young readers to be stalking you and each other through the halls.