John Willy and Freddy Mcgee

John Willy and Freddy Mcgee

by Holly Meade
     
 

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Guinea pigs John Willy and Freddy McGee find their seemingly perfect life (plenty of seeds, grains, and carrots to eat, a water bottle to drink from, a big pile of straw) "BORING." So when the cage door is left open, they make a run for it, chasing through the house, until "with a grunt and a squeak, they climbed UP and INTO the pool table!" With its many holes and

Overview

Guinea pigs John Willy and Freddy McGee find their seemingly perfect life (plenty of seeds, grains, and carrots to eat, a water bottle to drink from, a big pile of straw) "BORING." So when the cage door is left open, they make a run for it, chasing through the house, until "with a grunt and a squeak, they climbed UP and INTO the pool table!" With its many holes and tunnels, the pool table seems like guinea pig heaven until the family cat begins batting the balls into the pockets, frightening the intruders away and back to their cage—but not for long.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
With handsome large-scale gouache and cut-paper pictures, the Caldecott Honor illustrator (Hush! A Thai Lullaby) sends the title characters, two bored pet guinea pigs who escape from their cage, on an eventful romp through the house. They make straight for the pool table. As Meade's playfully repetitive narrative explains, "Guinea pigs don't care at all about playing pool. They DO care about scurrying around and around in tunnels. They liked being inside the pool table. They liked it a lot." After the household cat (introduced in the art only) rolls balls through the table's pockets and into the guinea pigs' crawl space, the two scamper back to their cage, evidently relieved to be "home at last" (or not--the ending literally leaves the door open for another adventure). Readers will happily trace the adventurous protagonists' path in the lighthearted artwork. Meade's palette changes with virtually every spread, as each room in the house has a different color scheme. The pool-table sequence is particularly inspired, with the "tunnels" laid out against black backdrops while colored, oversize type supplies sound effects ("tap... bonkity-bonk!"). Susan L. Roth's Cinammon's Day Out (reviewed June 15), offers a similar plot featuring a roving gerbil; there the treatment is a bit more tender. This one, by contrast, has a mischievous streak. Ages 3-8. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-John Willy and Freddy McGee have everything they need in their comfortable cage-food, water, straw-"It is so perfect. It is so BORING." When the door is mistakenly left open, the impetuous guinea pigs venture out into the house. After scurrying across the floor and climbing up a chair back, they launch themselves onto a pool table and run through the long, narrow tunnels. Meanwhile, above their heads, a curious cat sets danger in motion with the swat of a paw and, as billiard balls begin to roll, the rodents experience a few tight moments. Finally, with the cat in pursuit, the friends retrace their steps and make a dash for the safety of home. Then, after a couple of relieved sighs, the intrepid travelers spy the open door and head out for another adventure. Meade's colorful, cut-paper collages work in harmony with her text, adding details and extending the action of the story. Broad, double-page spreads show the guinea pigs' route, while close-ups of the animals highlight their personalities. In the tunnel-view scene showing Freddy McGee's close call, a black background focuses the eye on the confrontation, while the sound effects ("BONKITY BONK! BONK!) appear in jaunty orange and yellow type. A fine tale of two courageous creatures and their indelible spirit of discovery.-Joy Fleishhacker, School Library Journal
Kirkus Reviews
Meade (Minfong Ho's Hush!, 1996, etc.) solos for this fine adventure about John Willy and Freddy McGee, guinea pigs whose caged existence is boring. On the day when the cage door is left open, the two daredevils scoot out and start to explore, through the living room and into the game room, where they find the great green landscape (and tunnels) of a pool table. John Willy and Freddy McGee are busy cruising the tunnels when the cat that has been observing them tries to drive the pair into the open by dropping balls into the pockets. John Willy and Freddy McGee are banged about and nearly squashed, but effect an escape and scurry back to the cage and safety. Don't think of this as a cautionary tale on the perils of taking risks; instead, John Willy and Freddy McGee are the Lewis and Clark of their breed, finding not only the will to venture out, but the sense to know when it's time to go home. Particularly remarkable is how Meade, through impressive cut-paper pictures, captures the guinea pigs in their vacant, caged stage, and then, with little anthropomorphization, fashions two personable adventurers, full of brio. (Picture book. 3-8)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780761450337
Publisher:
Cavendish Square Publishing
Publication date:
09/28/1998
Series:
Accelerated Reader Books Series
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
10.26(w) x 11.47(h) x 0.45(d)
Lexile:
AD580L (what's this?)
Age Range:
3 - 8 Years

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