K-Gr 2-When the kitchen in their new home is turned topsy-turvy, Mama and Daddy are alerted to the fact that Poky the Beagle is not the only animal residing there. Of course, Poky has already discovered the previous resident, a hamster named Charlie, who has been raiding the dog's bowl. Generous Poky takes pity on the rodent and decides to share his food and to help his new pal avoid traps. A video camera enables the adults to discover the new friendship and to provide a proper place in their home for Charlie. Four simple episodes make this a solid choice for beginning chapter-book readers. The caring canine and his playful, energetic friend are characters whom children can recognize and care about. Simple and colorful cartoon drawings add to the story's charm.-Gloria Koster, West School, New Canaan, CT Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
A puppy named Poky and a hamster named Charlie are the main characters in this mildly entertaining mid-level easy reader. The story is divided into four short chapters with a small mystery or problem to solve in each. Poky, a beagle puppy, moves to a new house where he befriends a hamster left behind by the previous owners. Poky and Charlie become friends as they roam the house at night, and they get into several mild scrapes keeping Charlie out of mouse traps and provided with food until the resident humans catch the action on videotape. Finally, they adopt Charlie as the second pet of the family, with his own hamster cage and food. The plot isn't terribly inventive, though Poky and Charlie are amusingly innocent in their lack of understanding of household conventions. The overall effort is extended by Bjorkman's winsome watercolors, with a flowing, loose style and humorous expressions on the animal characters' faces. (Easy reader. 5-7)