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Children's LiteratureThis helpful introduction to guinea pig care focuses on how guinea pigs' characteristics and behavior should be considered by potential pet owners. Since guinea pigs prefer companionship and shelter, for instance, they should be kept in pairs and should be given ample places to hide. Sections include discussions of guinea pig breeds, appropriate equipment, grooming, handling, and visits to the vet. Highlighted sidebars include important reference information and helpful lists, such as a series of questions to help young readers and their families decide if a guinea pig is an appropriate pet and a list of foods that might make these pets ill. Illustrations include color photographs of guinea pigs, both alone and interacting with children. A large color photo also shows a complete cage setup with all the elements labeled. In addition, watercolor paintings of guinea pigs are sometimes effective but sometimes lack sufficient detail. Although this guidebook is not as in-depth as owners' manuals aimed at adults, it is a pleasant introduction to this popular family and classroom pet. An index and a somewhat limited glossary are appended. Part of the "Pet Care" series. 2004, Crabtree Publishing Company, Ages 8 to 12.