Cover image for The Prince's new pet
The Prince's new pet
1st ed.
Publication Information:
New York : Roaring Brook Press, 2011.
Physical Description:
1 v. (unpaged) : ill. (some col.) ; 23 x 29 cm.
In a gray and colorless kingdom, the Prince receives an unusual, colorful new pet for his birthday.


Material Type
Call Number
Item Available
Book EASY AND 1 1
Book EASY AND 1 1
Book EASY AND 1 1

On Order



The Prince's birthday was just like every other day in his father's kingdom-drab, gloomy, and completely colorless. Years ago the Prince's father had banned all color from the kingdom, so the Prince now received the same gray gifts wrapped in the same gray paper and ate the same gray birthday cake, while outside gray skies loomed. But when a special package arrives at his party, the Prince is surprised to see a very unusual creature emerge. Will his new pet bring a splash of color to the kingdom?

Author Notes

Brian Anderson is the author and illustrator of the Roaring Brook Press title, Nighty Night, Sleepy Sleeps , as well as the creator of the runaway-hit comic strip, Dog eat Doug, which he began in 2004 as a webcomic and now appears in over 150 newspapers and is read by millions. He lives in the Boston, Massachusetts area.

Reviews 4

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 3-Queen Perylene loved color and her kingdom was awash with it. When she died, her brokenhearted husband banned it because it reminded him too much of her. The kingdom is now gray and sad, and young Prince Viridian hates what it has become. On his birthday, as he sits eating a piece of gray cake, a gift floats down on a parachute and plops in the palace courtyard. To everyone's surprise, a creature like no other leaps out of the sealed box. The soft and fluffy wooglefoof is every color of the rainbow. He is just what the prince longs for. The evil royal color catcher snatches up the creature and tosses him into the dungeon, and the prince soon follows. All's well that ends well when the villain inadvertently causes an explosion of color. Fans of Tim Burton's films will love the stylized artwork and the oh-so-dreary palette. To keep it visually interesting, Anderson plays with the design by adding insets that pop off the page despite the shared palette. Names like His Royal Grayness, the Baroness of Blah, and the Duchess of Humdrum contrast with King Cerulean and Prince Viridian. Careful readers will chuckle at the wordplay. They may also wonder who sent the package to the prince in the first place, and they will cheer when happiness is restored in the kingdom. Long live the wooglefoof!-Joan Kindig, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

Anderson's graphic novel/picture book hybrid features a dank prison, a gigantic explosion, and a mysterious multicolored creature no one's ever seen before. Young Prince Viridian's fight to restore color to his father's all-gray kingdom pits him against a villainous "royal color catcher" who patrols the kingdom with a net and a bicycle-powered dirigible. Allied with the prince are the imprisoned royal court painter, Murialis Mayhew, and a furry, rainbow-hued "wooglefoof," which arrives by parachute, for reasons that remain unclear, at Prince Viridian's dreary birthday party (the prince's cake is "eight layers of gray cake smeared with gray frosting without a single candle"). Anderson (Nighty Night, Sleepy Sleeps) channels Jules Feiffer and Norton Juster with a dollop of Roald Dahl, cranking up the tension with moment-by-moment panel sequences, particularly in the climactic events that have the prince and color catcher teetering on the edge of an abyss. Though the ending comes off a bit contrived, it's easy to imagine older siblings being drawn into a read-aloud session-and then spiriting the book away to inspect the artwork. Ages 4-8. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Kirkus Review

(Picture book. 5-10)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

Prince Viridian's birthday, like every other day, is miserable. After his mother, the queen, died years ago, the king hired a royal color catcher (who is a mustache-twirling, sinister fellow, naturally) to ensure that everything remains a sooty shade of gray. A crate falls from the sky, smushing the cake, and out springs a furry splash of rainbow-bright color against the Edward Gorey dreariness. It's a wooglefoof a sort of rabbit/squirrel/cat critter and after some bouncy high jinks, the royal color catcher snags it and tosses it into a deep dungeon. Viridian goes in search of the animal, meets the imprisoned royal painter, tussles with the royal color catcher, and, in a fiery sparkle of color, brings vividness back to the kingdom. With delightfully glum artwork, some bounding action (helped by a few comics-style compositions), a few sincerely scary moments, and a wooglefoof that's so feisty and adorable that kids will want to snuggle him right off the pages, this picture book strikes an appealing Tim Burtonesque chord of dark deviousness and wide-eyed wonder.--Chipman, Ian Copyright 2010 Booklist