A pet hamster comes to Room 2-D: So cute! So fluffy! So…toothy.
“Look—don’t touch,” warns Mr. Drake, the teacher (a bespectacled black man who manages to look both groovy and stodgy). “Though the children nodded yes, / Did they mean it? Take a guess.” And no sooner is tiny, big-eyed Fluffity lifted out of her cage for a general pass-around than she suddenly displays impressively sharklike teeth. She proceeds to (bloodlessly) nip and harry the entire frantic class out of the room, into the hall, and down to the library. Not even the teacher is immune, for as soon as he catches up, “Quick as lightning, Fluffity / Opened wide… // …and bit his knee / (Hanging on tenaciously).” The discovery that Fluffity likes to fetch tossed pencils and other small items at last allows peace to be restored—at least until the arrival of the next classroom pet: Jake the (large) snake. Cue a final view of one panic-stricken rodent. Cole places the bitty biter into quarters that are much too confined, but in keeping with the rollicking rhyme, his cartoon students are comically popeyed as well as being diverse in hair and skin tone. Perl makes the lesson explicit: “Get to know your pet before / Opening her cage’s door,” and be sure to provide enough opportunities for exercise.
Another crowd pleaser from the creators of Chicken Butt! (2009). (Picture book. 6-8)