8 Class Pets + 1 Squirrel ÷ 1 Dog = Chaosby Vivian Vande Velde, Steve Bjorkman (Illustrator)
Twitch, the school yard squirrel, has really gotten himself into a bind this time. While trying to escape from a hungry owl, he roused the principal's dog and got chased into the school. Now he's locked in for a dangerous and disastrous night. Can Green Eggs and Hamster, Sweetie the library rat, and the other school pets save Twitch from the crazed dog, Cuddles? In this uproarious chapter book, a group of small animals manages to turn an elementary school into a real zoo.
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)
Meet the Author
Vivian Vande Velde (born 1951, New York City, New York) is an American author who writes books primarily aimed at young adults. She currently resides in Rochester, New York.
Her novels and short story collections usually have some element of horror or fantasy, but are primarily humorous. Her book Never Trust a Dead Man (1999) received the 2000 Edgar Award for Best Young Adult Novel. She resides in Rochester, New York.
Steve Bjorkman is a cartoonist who has illustrated countless greeting cards and advertisements for magazines. He has illustrated more than fifty books for children, including Supernouts! which he also wrote. He lives with his wife and three children in Aliso Viejo, California.
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