In spite of the title, this book will be as useful in school classrooms and camp nature programs as in homes-- perhaps more so, and the ""first, complete"" in the publisher's description can be challenged. None of the more elegant exotics (say, ocelots) or the more threatening (bears) or troublesome (monkeys) are confined here. The unusual pets are the ones more probably found outdoors (say if you live in the west) rather than in the expensive pet shops: armadillos, gophers, and tarantulas which are not as deadly as you might think. The authors have organized the book by phylum, class, order, species and therefore proceed from mammals, birds, amphibians, to spiders and other anthropods and insects. They give brief factual coverage on range, habitat, life span, description, and breeding as well as the essentials of handling, housing and feeding. There is a section- a full one- on various vivaria and their maintenance, and also one on the culture and preparation of food (mealworms, ants, crickets, etc.) Bibliography. A book which will help to domesticate a large part of the animal kingdom and its strongest value is for referral.