Jack of All Tails

JACK OF ALL TAILS Illustrated by David Clark Published by Dutton Children's Books, 2007

Illustrated by David Clark
Published by Dutton Children’s Books, 2007

Published by Dutton Children’s Books

Kristi’s family is a bunch of animals: really, their business is posing as people’s pets! Kristi’s father trains kids in puppy ownership by tugging on socks and making puddles on the floor. Mom helps a family adjust to their new kitten by curling up on the piano or pouncing on string. Her brother makes a great lizard, snoozing under a sunlamp. As for Kristi, she keeps messing up and getting fired. Will she ever find her calling?

Occupational hazards include crickets for lunch and a trip to the vet in this imaginative and hilarious story about learning to use your natural talents.


Kristi, a creative child with bright ideas, persuades her family members to start a family business that helps customers with their pet problems. By acting like people’s pets, Kristi and family help train children how to own, train, and take care of a pet. Funny examples of their antics include eating crickets, chasing balls, and making puddles on the floor. Kristi helps to promote the business by pinning up posters, designing a website, and posting a sign on the side of their van. While Kristi’s family members have no trouble finding regular customers, Kristi’s mishaps make it more difficult for her to find her niche.
This amusing and well-illustrated book weaves important economics lessons about entrepreneurship, services, jobs, and training into an interesting and unique story about using one’s talents and starting a family business. Primary-grade teachers, parents, and volunteers seeking high-quality children’s literature with useful content will be pleased with this selection. Rutgers University Project on Economics and Engineering.

Kim Norman’s JACK OF ALL TAILS tells of an enterprising girl who convinces her family to begin a business posing as people’s pets. The humans do their job all too well – and trouble ensues in this engaging story which receives fun drawings by David Clark. Midwest Book Review

Sorry, out of print, but like-new used books are available through online sellers.