Advice on ""home zoos"" is certainly not hard to come by and Caras gets off to an unpromising start by taking us to the homes of several children who witness ""exciting"" dramas of pet life and death, and then proffering a list of high-sounding parent-pleasing arguments for freelance zoo keeping. His handbook will nevertheless be most useful for its specific caveats and cautions--good arguments (though not all of them) against keeping any monkey in your home; strictures against buying or collecting endangered species; warnings about placing seashells or coral in your freshwater aquarium or using hairsprays and other aerosol products near your caged bird; sensible disapproval of homemade ant farms (a favorite project of many other books of this type). Even with all these limitations, we wonder whether the time hasn't come to reexamine the wisdom of encouraging younger children to collect wild pets such as turtles, toads, mice and shrews. And of course the child who's already decided on a guinea pig or canary can fred whole books on his new hobby. Those who are attracted to exotic pets or determined to keep a snake, lizard, mantis or even tarantula (!) will definitely learn something here; Caras' vocabulary is admirably straightforward and his directions for cages, terrariums, and aquariums are clear and practical.