The Great Pet Heist

S. & S./Atheneum. May 2020. 256p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781534455368.
Gr 3-6–This cute tale about five household pets in a New York City apartment revolves around their plan to pull off a heist and become “independently wealthy” after their owner is taken away for a medical emergency. Teaming up with ventilation system rats, a lonely girl, and a crafty octopus, they set their sights on a frightening neighbor and his stash of unusual coins. Ecton creates a strong personality for each animal, from the hyper dog Butterbean to the know-it-all bird Oscar, and pet lovers will be sure to enjoy the banter between them. Some plot elements involving the humans are a little less fleshed out and stretch plausibility, leading the book’s resolution to feel rushed; but this will be easily overlooked by those who enjoy the pets’ adventures. Adorable illustrations from Mottram help readers visualize the characters and add an appealing visual element.
VERDICT A story sure to charm children who like to imagine what their beloved pets are up to when they are away. Purchase for fiction collections that serve patrons who enjoy animal-centric stories.

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