Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Big Pet Day by Lisa Shanahan and Gus Gordon

Reviewed by Carmela Ramos  

  There are a lot of pet books around, but Lisa Shanahan’s originality brings this popular topic freshness in her latest picture book Big Pet Day. With an interesting and large cast of characters, Big Pet Day is indeed full of action and surprises. The reader is invited to explore what happens in Lily’s class on Pet Day. Lisa Shanahan makes it totally believable that a dragon could be a pet.

  Gus Gordon extends the fun of this story with his brilliant illustrations. He successfully creates an energetic and busy classroom environment. My five-year-old son enjoyed looking at the character’s reaction to the pets visiting the school, which resulted in very slow page turns. I personally liked the added touches, such as the dragon’s hat and the use of collage and vintage cutouts.

  With action-packed text and humorous illustrations, Big Pet Day is a highly appealing picture book suited for 4 to 8 year olds.

Thank you to Hachette Australia for our review copy of Big Pet Day, which we received in exchange for an honest review. 

For more information about the book, please visit:

Release Date: 12 August 2014
Back Cover Blurb

Everyone is so excited about bringing their pets to school that they don’t notice Lily’s pet isn’t quite like the others. When the ordinary animals cause a commotion, it’s up to Lily and her dragon to save the day.

Lisa Shanahan (AUTHOR)

Lisa Shanahan studied at UTS and trained as an actor at Theatre Nepean before discovering her true passion was not just writing, but writing for young people. Some of her well-loved picture books include BEAR AND CHOOK and DADDY’S HAVING A HORSE, illustrated by Emma Quay, both of which were shortlisted for the CBCA Book of the Year for Early Childhood and BEAR AND CHOOK BY THE SEA, winner of the CBCA Book of the Year for Early Childhood. Her first book for teenagers, MY BIG BIRKETT, was published to acclaim and shortlisted for the CBCA Book of the Year for Older Readers in 2007. Lisa lives in Sydney.


Gus Gordon illustrated his first children’s book in 1996 and has since illustrated more than seventy books. His debut as an author/illustrator, WENDY, was a CBCA Notable Book in 2010 and was highly commended in the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards. 2012’s HERMAN AND ROSIE was named Honour Book in the picture book category at the 2013 CBCA awards, and was selected for the Read with Australia national simultaneous storyline.

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