A guinea pig becomes a doctor’s helper in this picture book.
In this tale from the team of Benishek and Cline (What’s at the End of Your Nose?, 2017), a fluffy, brown guinea pig called George lives with the family of a physician with the same first name. Dr. George still makes house calls. Because his patients phone him at home, the guinea pig believes the calls are actually for him and that he’s the real doctor. Dr. George, who is forgetful, always misplaces his medical bag, which his family finds and puts on the floor near the coat tree. The guinea pig crawls in the bag to travel with the physician for his house calls. But when the animal falls out of the bag, he’s not sure what to do. With bandages stuck to his fur, he travels to the nearest house—one of the stops on the doctor’s list—and the guinea pig, through the encouragement of the patient he helps, becomes the physician’s official assistant. Although the animal experiences a moment of fear when he tumbles out of the bag, his peril is never too great, and sensitive young readers should enjoy his slightly smarter-than-a-real-guinea-pig behavior as well as the doctor’s confusion at his sudden appearance. Cline’s illustrations in colored pencil skillfully blend realism with whimsy for the guinea pig—the only character shown—and are so vivid that children will feel they can reach out and pet him. Benishek’s charming, text-dense story offers only a few challenging vocabulary words (for example, “ointments”).
A sweet and funny animal story for newly independent readers.