Justin Time The Big Pet Story: A review

Justin Time The Big Pet Story: A review

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SILVER SPRING, Md., June 29, 2013 — Justin Time: The Big Pet Story by Brandon James Scott ISBN:9781597020411

The character Justin Time is the focus of a TV series on Sprout of the same name which explores the imagination of Justin as it follows the adventures he takes with his imaginary friends. The Big Pet Story is certainly no exception to that formula.

Justin wants a pet, a really big one. He starts talking the idea over with his imaginary friend Squidgy. The pet grows and grows until Justin declares he wants an elephant, and that if he were a prince he would keep it in his palace. Next thing Justin and Squidgy know, there are in India being greeted as the Rajah by his friend Olive who is the royal pet keeper.

Photo by Robynlou Kavanagh.


Justin and Squidgy are introduced to Justin’s new pet Tiny, a giant pink elephant. Olive starts to explain the rules for caring for a pet. First, elephants need lots of playtime, but it is hard to play very long with an elephant before he breaks everything. Second, elephants need to eat a lot, but they run out of peanuts. Third, you have to always clean up after your pet, but when an elephant does its business it requires a shovel to clean. Fourth, elephants need exercise, but Justin cannot keep up with Tiny. Fifth, pets need naps, but Tiny takes up the entire bed. Finally, to care for a pet, you have to repeat all the other rules over and over again.

Justin realizes after just the first time through the rules that pets are more work than he thought they would be, but Olive saves the day. She leads Tiny and Justin out of the palace to the royal zoo where Tiny can play with other elephants and has plenty of room to be happy. Justin leaves his imaginary palace and elephant behind and returns home with the realization that pets are a lot of work, and maybe just going to the zoo would be better.


Photo by J. Aaron Farr. Click to enlarge.


This is a good book to address the desire almost every child has for a pet. Through his bright illustrations, Scott successfully shows how much work a pet can be. While it may not deter your child from begging for a new animal, it is a good way to prepare him for the work that is involved, especially if the animal is going to be “his responsibility.”

Just like the TV show, the book is aimed at audiences ages 3-6.

Published on June 11, 2013 by Immedium, Justin Time:The Big Pet Story is available only as a hardcover.


Follow Brighid on Twitter a @BrighidMoret and receive updates when new columns post on Facebook or Google+. Read more about first time parenting issues in Parenting the First Time Through at The Communities at The Washington Times. Find more reviews of children’s picture books at Big Reads For Little Hands.

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