PeeWee's Tale

PeeWee's Tale

5.0 6
by Johanna Hurwitz, Patience Brewster

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A guinea pig in Central Park? PeeWee, once a boy's dear pet, has been secretly released into the wilds of Central Park. But instead of relishing his freedom, PeeWee is at first a stranger in a strange land—until he meets Lexi, a city-wise squirrel who gives his new stubby-tailed friend some tips as well as some confidence. A series of eye-opening… See more details below


A guinea pig in Central Park? PeeWee, once a boy's dear pet, has been secretly released into the wilds of Central Park. But instead of relishing his freedom, PeeWee is at first a stranger in a strange land—until he meets Lexi, a city-wise squirrel who gives his new stubby-tailed friend some tips as well as some confidence. A series of eye-opening adventures—from the search for PeeWee's former owner to his discovery of the power of reading—turns a timid rodent into an endearing hero that will leave Hurwitz fans cheering for more.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A guinea pig narrates Hurwitz's (One Small Dog) endearing story of the furry fellow's adventures in New York's Central Park. Nine-year-old Robbie, though disappointed when his uncle gives him a guinea pig rather than a puppy for his birthday ("I ran around inside my cage, trying to act like a puppy," says the narrator), soon grows fond of PeeWee. Not so his skittish mother who, one day while Robbie is at a sleepover, instructs her husband to set the critter loose in Central Park. PeeWee is at loose ends in this alien environment, but his new pal, Lexi the squirrel, passes on survival strategies (e.g., "Don't count your nuts until they are shelled"). PeeWee responds in kind by using his unorthodox skill: he learned to read from his mother, who lived in a cage in a schoolroom, and warns Lexi about the city's plan to cut down the tree that Lexi calls home. Through PeeWee's perspective, Hurwitz delivers some humorous and insightful observations about the urban outdoors and brings the tale to a satisfying resolution. Brewster's engaging, black-and-white spot art will draw readers into this story, and the smaller-than-average trim size complements its diminutive star. Ages 7-10. (Oct.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
Pee-Wee is the birthday present for a nine-year-old boy named Robbie Fischler. PeeWee soon realizes that Robbie really wanted a puppy and that Robbie's mom thinks he is a "disgusting creature." Pee-Wee puts on his best show, rubbing against Robbie like he saw the kittens do at the pet shop and wagging his stub-of-a-tail like a puppy. Robbie and Pee-Wee become fast friends¾Pee-Wee has a clean cage with food and fresh scraps of paper from the daily news (which he reads on a regular basis). Even better, Robbie treats Pee-Wee like a dog, letting him roam freely around his room, living a good life. Robbie's mother calls Pee-Wee a dirty rodent and is so paranoid that he will wander into her bedroom at night that she devises a sinister plan. She convinces Mr. Fischler to let Pee-Wee go to Central Park one night when Robbie is at a sleepover, telling Robbie that he has escaped from his cage. Pee-Wee discovers an entirely different world and fortunately, also finds a new friend, Lexi the squirrel, who is happy to teach him the ways of the wild. He has never seen such delights as ice cream sticks, candy wrappers, bits of sandwiches, and sweet apples, which Lexi shared with him. But Pee-Wee misses Robbie, and when he sets out to find him again, he uncovers more than he bargained for. Through a series of adventures, he saves Lexi, learns something shocking about Robbie, and discovers freedom and friendship. Written from Pee-Wee's point of view, this chapter book will delight beginning readers and animal lovers while sharing some very important lessons. The wide-eyed sketches of Pee-Wee and Lexi ignite the imagination. 2000, SeaStar Books, . Ages 5 to 7. Reviewer: Leslie Julian
School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-A charming chapter book for newly independent readers. Your average guinea pig would be ill-equipped for the rigors of life in New York City's Central Park, but PeeWee is far from average. He has learned to read from the newspaper scraps on the bottom of his cage. That talent alone isn't enough to protect him from the myriad perils of the park, but fortunately PeeWee also befriends a squirrel who teaches him how to watch his back. The story is loaded with simple, generally nonintrusive messages about the values of friendship, freedom, and reading. PeeWee is an appealing protagonist, intelligent and resourceful and brave when it really counts. The park's animal inhabitants always act in character for their various species as they scratch, scamper, and dig their way around their leafy urban home. Brewster's black-and-white drawings depict PeeWee and his squirrel friend as rumpled, big-eyed cuties, but PeeWee's many brushes with danger provide more than enough drama to offset the occasionally excessive sweetness of the illustrations.-Beth Wright, Fletcher Free Library, Burlington, VT Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A precocious guinea pig finds himself adrift in Central Park in a tale of high adventure. Readers follow Pee-Wee's progress as he moves from pet shop to the apartment of his new owner, Robbie. When Robbie's mother's abhorrence of anything rodent-like leads to Pee-Wee's abrupt arrival in the park, the naïve foundling endures several harrowing encounters with creatures of both the two-legged and four-legged variety. With the help of his new squirrel friend Lexi, Pee-Wee soon acquires some street smarts and a taste for freedom. A remarkable ability to read—he was taught by his mother from the newspaper scraps underneath their cage—enables Pee-Wee to warn Lexi and some other squirrel families that their trees are going to be cut down, engendering for him hero status among the park animals. When he discovers Robbie at the park one day, Pee-Wee decides that, perilous though it may be, he has learned to love his freedom. Told from the guinea pig's perspective, the animals in Hurwitz's tale come off sounding a whole lot more reasonable than their human counterparts. She liberally infuses the story with wry humor; the fast-talking Lexi's speech is peppered with adages that have received a squirrel twist—"A nut in the jaw is worth two in the paw"—and keeps the tale moving at a swift pace. Brewster's appealing pencil sketches appear sporadically throughout the text, complementing the tale. Winsome drawings depicting Pee-Wee's wide-eyed gaze and stout, fluffy little body are sure to melt even the hardest of hearts. A caveat: this tale of freedom gained may leave readers longing to emancipate their own caged darlings. (Fiction. 7-9)Ibbotson, Eva ISLAND OF THE AUNTS Kevin Hawkes Dutton (276 pp.) Oct. 2000

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Product Details

Chronicle Books LLC
Publication date:
Park Pals Adventure
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Sales rank:
File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
7 - 10 Years

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