From School Library Journal
Gr 1-4-When children read the foreword, which includes the warning, "Animals aren't always charming," they will know that this is not going to be your average, warm and fuzzy animal poetry book. The tongue-in-cheek verses serve as a "research guide" (and alert) for youngsters who are considering getting a pet. A young girl armed with a notebook in which to write her observations visits a farm, a zoo, and the woods to gain insight into how various creatures really live in order to decide on the right kind of pet and whether or not she would be able to care for it. Humorous first-person rhymes show her findings, which ultimately highlight the downside of the various animals. For example, monkeys smell "funky" and horses have a tendency to kick. The girl also performs a "home study" wherein she observes goldfish; an ant farm; and standard pets like cats, dogs, and gerbils. Ultimately, she decides that animals are probably not worth all the trouble and asks her parents for a microscope instead. OHora's illustrations, done in muted acrylics, add to the whimsy and even give the silent creatures personality. While the rhyme falls flat at times, kids will love the silly humor and animal discussion.-Rita Meade, Brooklyn Public Library, NYα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
This one comes with a warning: “Animals aren’t always charming.” When the girl in this picture book of rhymed poems asks her parents for a pet, the “science-minded folk” suggest she do her research first. Good idea. Armed with notebook and pen, she meets a cow who looks peaceful, but “upon closer inspection / she seemed sort of mean / nudging me into the mud.” Next up are a kicking pony, a pooping dove, and a dead goldfish. Throughout, animals are “test subjects,” and her observations appear periodically on lined notebook paper. After a series of disappointments, our gal comes to an important conclusion: she is not a kid cut out for too much pet responsibility. She is the kind of kid who settles on a microscope to view teeny tiny “beasties.” Wheeler’s simple poems are fun and funny, and they introduce a wide variety of critters. OHora’s thickly lined acrylic illustrations add to the entertainment, with a bespectacled, science-minded girl (yay!) at the helm and humorous interpretations of animals, set on white pages. Also, this one might talk kids out of wanting a pet. You’re welcome. Grades K-3. --Ann Kelley
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