Guinea Pig

9781625880291. ea vol: 24p. (My New Pet Series). glossary. illus. index. notes. photos. Smart Apple Media. 2014. lib. ed. $25.65.
K-Gr 2—Narrated by a child whose photo appears on the first page, these titles introduce the basics of pet care and selection. Large print and short declarative sentences make these titles accessible to early readers. Since each child is anticipating the pet they will get, they speak mostly in future tense ("I will be gentle with our new puppy…"). Their words often seem like a list of rules, without the excitement of a pet experience. Animal photos are generally strong, but they are combined with flat, static illustrations that are less appealing. Most books close with a child finally holding the anticipated pet, although it's a different child than the one who introduced the book. The use of a drawing, rather than a photograph, for that pet arrival scene further lessens its impact. Pet books always circulate heavily, but most young readers will find more engaging titles.
Young children learn what it takes to care for a new pet. Large print and a combination of photos and drawings of familiar critters present the responsibilities--providing food, water, a place for sleeping and play, gentle handling, regular attention, and veterinary care. The books are narrated simply in the first-person voice of a child; a few notes for parents wrap things up. Glos., ind. Review covers these My New Pet titles: Guinea Pig, Hamster and Gerbil, Kitten, Puppy, and Rabbit.

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