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School Library Journal
A well-organized, entertaining book. Keenan starts with the astonishing fact that there are more pets in the United States than people (and that the number of cats, dogs, birds, reptiles, and other small animals combined does not even add up to the number of pet fish). She then describes how changing religious and cultural attitudes led to the domestication of wild animals and their transformation from possible evening meal to beloved companion. This trip through history is followed by chapters about specific pets, with cats and dogs getting the bulk of the coverage. However, everything from furry to feathered to scaly gets a mention (as do pet rocks, sea monkeys, and Tamagotchis). The book ends with a chapter on "Eternal Pets," covering how animal burial and immortalizing is an ancient tradition. For a volume with such scope, it is disappointing that the ending is so abrupt. The book is well researched though, and includes a bibliography heavy on books, with periodicals, videos, and Web sites given space as well. Animals is written in a witty, casual voice that will attract and hold its intended audience ("some snakes, like the poisonous ones, shouldn't be pets at all . . . duh!"). Color photos and a snappy layout add to the appeal. You will want to welcome Animals in the House into your collection.
—Kara Schaff DeanCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.