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The title is one of Bill Peet's catchiest, but the story, a family documentary rather than comic fantasy is more easily passed over than his others (Farewell to Shady Glade, Chester the Worldly Pig, etc.). Capyboppy was the Peet family's own capybara (which ""is the largest existing rodent and looks something like a giant guinea pig""). He was brought into the family by the elder Peet son, and while affectionate, his less desirable antics ran the gamut from mowing down the family lawn and furniture (the animals grow to 200 lbs.) to converting the swimming pool to a swamp. When he nipped a neighbor on the head and then went into a three day state of shock, the Peets finally had to give Capy up to the local zoo. The illustrations are in black and white, which emphasizes the book's quality as on the spot record. They do bring out all the silliest features of the text--like the astounded cats, or the family vision of a boa (the alternative to Capy) reclining on the sofa--and like all the other Peet animals, Capy and friends are very personable. The book is definitely preferable to owning a capybara yourself, and a pleasant but not outstanding interlude for Peet fans.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1966
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin