Kids are often beguiled by the idea of owning a pet; unfortunately, taking responsibility for daily care may not be so exciting. This "Positively Pets" series, written with a veterinarian as consultant, is designed to provide easy-to-read information about the care of pets most often chosen. Starting with bright covers showing smiling children and their perky pets, the books stress responsibility while addressing eight topics important to future owners. In this title, hamster-lovers will learn about necessary supplies like cages or aquariums, water bottles, and exercise wheels. Other sections, each accompanied by a lively and well-chosen color photo, explain the essentials of feeding a hamster, cleaning its cage, and taking it to a vet. Readers are warned never to leave a hamster alone with other animals and told how long to expect a healthy hamster to live. One page in each book introduces wild relatives—in this case, rodents like squirrels, rats, and beavers; the last topic—decoding hamster behavior—offers helpful advice; for example, "Hamsters fold their ears back and partly close their eyes when they're ready to sleep or just waking up. Be careful—sleepy hamsters are more likely to bite." In place of sidebars, a small cartoon hamster (created by Kim Brown) speaks directly to readers: "I don't like to share my cage. If you put other hamsters in my cage, I'll fight with them." Each book in this useful, well-presented series includes a glossary, a bibliography, and an index.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-These three titles provide concise, competent introductions to the responsibility and fun of being a pet owner. Each volume introduces the creature in question, explains what is needed to keep it safe and healthy, and offers a bit about its life expectancy. There is also information on "Wild Relatives" (a nine-pound coconut crab in Hermit Crab) and decoding your pet's behavior. The FactHound Web portal presents safe, accurate, and current online resources. These books are hardly groundbreaking in terms of pet care, but they are attractive and well suited for young readers in both tone and content. The clear color photographs display the animals in all their glory. In each book, a cartoon pet provides commentary from outside the main text, similar to the cricket in Cricket magazine.-Kara Schaff Dean, Needham Public Library, MA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.