Charlie has some unusual pets, but when he adds a skink to his collection his mother thinks he's gone too far.
School Library JournalGr 2-5-Charlie collects all kinds of animals, a hobby his mother is not fond of. When his friend Billy gives him a skink that escapes in the house, a madcap chase ensues, and Charlie teams up with his little sister to convince their mom that the reptile is harmless and cute. This beginning-chapter book is loaded with James's amusing cartoons and numerous dialogue balloons that are incorporated into the narrative. The text and pictures have a slapstick humor and excitement that will give this title wide appeal. An added bonus: there is quite a lot of good information about skinks.-Connie Parker, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Cleveland, OH
Susan Dove LempkeCharlie loves animals and would like to add more to his collection, which includes a mouse, a cicada, a garter snake, and a cat. His mother, however, won't hear of it. When his friend Billy gives him a skink, his mother isn't pleased, and the escape of his other pets doesn't help matters. Children having a hard time making the leap from easy readers to longer books will love this. It combines short passages of text with funny line drawings that frequently contain words delivered as sound effects or in speech balloons. Primary graders will think the humor is hilarious (Charlie includes his sister in his list of pets), and they'll also appreciate Charlie's ingenuity.
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