From School Library Journal
Grade 3–6—Love and Drake explore the topic on 24 spreads such as "A Cat in the Family," "How to Love a Reptile," "Building a Rodent Relationship," and "Puppy Science: Dog Senses." Most spreads focus on pet-ownership requirements, domesticated and feral counterparts, animal behaviors, communication, breeds, and hybrids. Tails
concludes with a moving vignette about a girl with epilepsy and her seizure-response canine. The pages are illustrated with mostly subdued, sometimes humorous pen-and-ink and watercolor cartoons. A running time line from 100,000 BC through AD 2009 appears across the bottom of the spreads, succinctly and effectively infusing facts about pet evolution, burial with their owners, aquarium invention, and breed evolution over time. While the text is informative and the topic popular, the artwork is merely adequate and won't appeal to readers old enough to appreciate the text, especially the time line data.—S. McClendon, Friends School of Atlanta, Decatur, GA
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Focusing mainly on dogs and cats but with some attention to fish, reptiles, rodents, and birds, Love and Drake celebrate the affection that connects people with their pets. Along with providing a historical overview of animal domestication over a running time line of milestones, the authors profile some famous real pets, including the extraordinary whiskey-drinking, sailor-mouthed parrot, Polly. They run through major cat and dog breeds; discuss characteristic instincts, personalities, behavior, and body language; and explain how to plan for, choose (from either a store or a shelter, they make no judgments), and care for an animal. The cat chapter closes with a brief tale about a pet who experiences a year as a stray, and similarly, the one on dogs concludes with the bonding of a trained seizure-dog and a child with epilepsy. Slavin skillfully captures the bountiful warmth here, depicting a wide variety of pets and their young folk in watercolor portraits on nearly every page. Though not systematic enough to work as an owner's manual, this will draw animal lovers like a magnet. Grades 4-6. --John Peters