8 CLASS PETS + 1 SQUIRREL ÷ 1 DOG = CHAOS by Vivian Vande Velde

8 CLASS PETS + 1 SQUIRREL ÷ 1 DOG = CHAOS

Age Range: 7 - 10

KIRKUS REVIEW

When Twitch, the schoolyard squirrel, gets into the school, all sorts of craziness ensues.

Told in the voices of classroom pets in various rooms, this fast-paced romp imagines a day in which the squirrel, pursued by an enthusiastic dog (owned by the principal, naturally), wreaks havoc in an elementary school. As Twitch races from room to room, the animals attempt to help him escape his tormentor. Running, in order, from first grade to fifth grade as well as to the library, art and science rooms, the animals leave a heap of damage in their wake. Traditional classroom pets (hamster, rabbit, rat, tetras, parrot, turtle, snake, geckos) narrate the action from their points of view. The action is predictably frenetic, but the changes in voice from chapter to chapter provide a refreshing and humorous diversion from most chapter-book fare. Each animal has a distinctive style of speech, which helps the reader keep everyone clear. Galileo and Newton, the two geckos, with their scripted dialogue, and the school of fish, chanting together, “We are in a school. We are in a school in a school,” are particularly effective.  Occasional pen-and-ink spot illustrations add energy to an already high-octane story.

A whole lot of fun. (Fiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: Oct. 15th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-8234-2364-4
Page count: 80pp
Publisher: Holiday House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2011




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