Friday, 20 May 2011

Children and Pets

Do your characters have pets?

One of the things we tried when I was doing the rewrite for WRRW was giving my MC a pet. I went for a dog. But in the end he didn’t really work so I took him out again.

Yet when you think about it, there is often a pet, particularly in children’s books. How about Timmy in the Famous Five and Hedwig in Harry Potter?

We were discussing this over on the Litopia forums and someone said something that stuck in my mind – she said that most kids these days don’t have a pet but would like one, and so they like to read about them.

Is that really true? Do most kids really not have pets? Do your kids have pets?

I guess because I live, and always have lived, in the country, animals are very much a way of life.

And we don’t have many ourselves. I’d like to get chickens but my husband draws the line there. So for the past five years my kids have made do with only the guinea-pigs.

But now that has changed.

Please meet the latest additions to our household:


And Mimsy

A mother and daughter we have just adopted from the RSPCA.


  1. Aw, Dinah and Mimsy look like they're going to be great company. Though perhaps not for the guinea pigs:)

    My favourite kid-lit pet, if 'pet' is the right word, would have to be Lyra's armoured polar bear, Iorek Byrnison.

  2. Oh, that’s an interesting point about characters having pets. It’s never even crossed my tiny mind.

    I’m going to be a ‘dog owner’ for ten days while my brother’s family goes to Florida, so maybe that’ll give me a few ideas.

    But, now I’ve seen that picture of Mimsy, I want one too!!

  3. Just called in from 'That Elusive Line' as I heard the mention of kittens! They look like they are going to develop very interesting personalities, before you know it they'll be doing their own blog posts!

  4. Oh they're ever so cute. They've just gone for a nap so I might get a bit of writing done...

  5. A lot of my students don't have pets. I think people (in cities, anyway) are so busy that they don't have time for pets. But at the same time, a lot of kids would love to have one.

  6. I see what you mean about the pictures of kittens. They're cute. Our aging (but still ruthlessly murderous) cat Morgan would probably not be so impressed!

  7. I can't remember ever being without a pet. I have a soft spot for cats. I love them.

  8. I usually DON'T give my characters pets. Interesting. In my last novel I had a dog near the end of the book, even though they're not my fave pet. I love cats. :)


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