Critter Sitter

( 1 )

Overview

Henry has started his own critter-sitting business, and his neighbors are his first paying customers. Watching this unruly menagerie is hardly a job for a beginner, but Henry is a true professional and never loses his cool. Still, it takes all his clever critter sitter tricks and a little luck to tame these animal antics and have all the furry, feathered, and slithery creatures back where they belong before the Mahoneys return. With a new, brighter palette and the same intricate detail and amazing perspectives, ...

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Overview

Henry has started his own critter-sitting business, and his neighbors are his first paying customers. Watching this unruly menagerie is hardly a job for a beginner, but Henry is a true professional and never loses his cool. Still, it takes all his clever critter sitter tricks and a little luck to tame these animal antics and have all the furry, feathered, and slithery creatures back where they belong before the Mahoneys return. With a new, brighter palette and the same intricate detail and amazing perspectives, Critter Sitter will have readers poring over each page.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 1-4

Though it's Henry's first pet-watching job, he feels confident: "Critter Sitter is my name and Creature Control is my game." However, the antics of the Mahoneys' menagerie, including a bloodhound with wanderlust, a tank-escaping snake, and a mischievous cat, soon have him at wit's end. Flying by the seat of his pants, Henry manages to restore order just as his clients return-and try to book the exasperated boy for a three-week gig. The storytelling is well paced and amusing, but the artwork is the real grabber here. Created with colored-pencil and watercolor, the illustrations cleverly mix realism with humorous exaggeration. Clothing, furniture, and other details set the story in the mid-20th century, but the bright palette and color blends provide a modern flair. Much of the plot is conveyed through the pictures; for example, Henry chases the runaway dog into Mrs. Angora's yard, and his encounter with this rabbit-loving (and look-alike) elderly neighbor is hilarious. From an off-kilter view of the kitchen to an inside-the-toilet-bowl look at a fish (mistakenly) being flushed, the perspective is constantly changing, keeping kids on their toes. This madcap story can be incorporated into discussions of responsibility and used as an example of realistic fiction that leans toward tall-tale status.-Joy Fleishhacker, School Library Journal

Kirkus Reviews

Henry gets much more than he bargained for—and, happily, so do readers—as he attempts to "creature control" a bevy of pets of assorted species: goldfish, boa, tree frog, cockatiel, cat and Slobberchops, the bloodhound. Naturally, as soon as the owners leave the premises, the expected bedlam ensues, as each animal gets out of hand—and most out of their respective enclosures. Richards's illustrations are comically endearing and expertly drive the rollicking story, bold colors and exaggerated angles milking the chaos for all it's worth. Watch for sly, uh-oh details in both text and art—the slightly nutty Mrs. Angora, whose kerchief is tied like rabbits' ears, and Slobberchops's repeated baths among them. As plot goes, it's a little on the light side, but with these illustrations who cares? Kids who appreciate critters and stories about them will truly enjoy sitting with this one. (Picture book. 5-8)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802795953
  • Publisher: Walker & Company
  • Publication date: 9/30/2008
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 798,100
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD850L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.90 (w) x 12.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Chuck Richards is an associate professor of art and design at Iowa State University. His first book, Jungle Gym Jitters, received a starred review and several awards and was called “consistently engaging and madly thrilling” by The New York Times Book Review. Chuck’s own experience pet sitting a neighbor’s tree frog with his daughter inspired this story. He lives in Ames, Iowa, with his family.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Jennifer Wardrip aka "The Genius" for Kids @ TeensReadToo.com

    When Mr. and Mrs. Mahoney leave to pick up their kids from Camp Yippie-Yahoo, Henry has his first job as a Critter Sitter. <BR/><BR/>The Mahoney's don't just have a dog and cat, though. They also have a tree frog, a fish, a bird, and a boa constrictor. It doesn't take long for Henry to find out that keeping Slobberchops in the laundry room, and the bird in its cage, and the snake in its tank is no easy task. <BR/><BR/>The dog escapes into Mrs. Angora's yard (she's the old lady who lives in a spooky mansion on the top of the hill!), the fish is almost flushed down the toilet, the bird makes a run for it, and there are live crickets all over the kitchen! <BR/><BR/>Creature Control may be Henry's game, but the Mahoney pets are not making his job easy! <BR/><BR/>Children will delight in this fun story, and the full-color illustrations only add to the humorous chaos. This is a great bedtime - or anytime! - read for the whole family.

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