Food-loving, adventurous Hazel and her mate, Tobacco, are faced with the unexpected arrival of baby guinea pigs and an invasion by an enemy guinea pig.
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Grade 2-4-- A short, three-chapter book about an attractive creature who gets stuck in a rubber boot; finds a new mate, Tobacco; and has babies. The chapters read well alone , but they all develop into a meaningful plot line. The guinea pigs are both rather simpleminded. The light humor comes from their imagined thoughts, actions, and conversations. Hazel and Tobacco are compared to a loving, married couple. : Although they have little memory even of their own offspring, their child owner becomes very attached to the runt of their litter. First published in Great Britain, this story of pets with personality has a universal appeal and a good touch of realism. The humans all have just enough character to make the story work. The slim volume is illustrated with full-page, black-and-white woodcuts. This book has potential for family read-alouds and slower independent readers. It's suitable fare for those who are almost ready for the Howes' Bunnicula (Atheneum, 1979) or titles by Clyde Robert Bulla. A good transitional choice following easy readers. --Susannah Price, Boise Pub . Lib . , ID
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Three easily read episodes, realistic except for the guinea pigs' spritely conversations that--though they do enjoy choosing just the right word--are mostly plausible verbalizations of what the little creatures might be experiencing. In the first chapter, fat Hazel gets caught in a boot and has to be extricated with scissors; in the second, she's joined by Tobacco, who has a contretemps with visitor Fudge--unlike the children, who imagine that Tobacco might father Fudge's babies, the guinea pigs know that Fudge is male. Later, Hazel gives birth, and her small owner, having bravely agreed to sell the whole litter to the pet shop, buys back the runt and is allowed to keep her. The comfortably ordinary events, narrated with enough vigor to hold attention, offer some insight into animal behavior. Boldly delineated b&w illustrations contribute to the inviting format. (Fiction. 6-9) -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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