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by Ted Hughes and illustrated by Tracey Campbell Pearson

Age Range: 3 - 6

Pub Date: March 23rd, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-374-39982-5
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Hughes’s ebullient poem about a boy’s clandestine collection of pets receives a picture-book makeover. From going to school with a mouse to sequestering a gorilla within their home, a boy takes his pet hobby to the extreme. In irreverent rhyming couplets, a child ponders the possible antics of the wildlife in her brother’s room. When all sorts of critters emerge from their hiding spots, they engage in a melee of house-shaking proportions. The ensuing ruckus, recounted in rollicking verse, is well-suited for exuberant read-aloud sessions. Pearson’s vibrant watercolor illustrations make it unnecessary for readers to look up the definitions of such exotics as Pangolins and Grampus. Rather, the pictures invite readers to look and explore both the familiar and exotic fauna riotously depicted within the pages. Her lively renditions of the child’s fanciful imaginings do homage to the poet’s prodigious talent. This merry read is both good fun and a dynamic introduction to a literary lion. (Picture book. 3-6)