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The Pet Shop Revolution
     

The Pet Shop Revolution

by Ana Juan
 

Mr. Walnut just might be the world's meanest pet shop owner! His pet shop is cold and dark, and the animals all live in very small cages. When a little girl named Mina can't find her pet bunny, she's sure that she must have gotten scooped up by Mr. Walnut. Can Mina save her beloved pet and lead the other animals to freedom?

Overview


Mr. Walnut just might be the world's meanest pet shop owner! His pet shop is cold and dark, and the animals all live in very small cages. When a little girl named Mina can't find her pet bunny, she's sure that she must have gotten scooped up by Mr. Walnut. Can Mina save her beloved pet and lead the other animals to freedom?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A gloomy story of neglect gets turned on its head, thanks to a determined girl who stands up to an awful pet shop owner. The shopkeeper, Mr. Walnut, is a comically tragic antihero with his potbelly, powdered wig, and absurd facial hair—a black plastic comb of a mustache and enormous crescent moon eyebrows. But he terrifies the townspeople, and the animals in his store are miserable: “they all looked out of their small steel cages with sadness in their eyes.” When Mina’s rabbit disappears, she suspects Mr. Walnut is to blame, and she engineers a rescue of the entire menagerie, delighting the town and enraging the vain Mr. Walnut. Readers have come to expect surprises and delights from Juan (The Elephant Wish), and this story offers both—she has fun teasing out similarities between the animals and the town’s residents (in one scene, a penguin and a dapper, slouchy mayor eye each other bashfully), and her characters burst with emotion. The happy ending—even for poor, ridiculous Mr. Walnut—compensates for some upsetting scenes and imagery. Ages 4–8. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Mary Hynes-Berry
Ana Juan's previous works include a picture book about Frida Kahlo and a dream like tale called The Night Eater—neither the ordinary fare for picture books. The Pet Shop Revolution is equally a bit fey. Mr. Walter, a bald pet shop owner starts out decidedly villainous and is disliked by almost everybody—most especially the animals he keeps in misery until they sell. A little girl Mina rescues her pet rabbit from Mr. Walter and in the process releases all the other animals. The creatures stay outside and cavort while Mr. Walter is too vain to go out and recapture them without his wig. However, eventually he gets back in business—selling toy animals instead of real ones. Like the storyline, the illustrations have a touch of the surreal—delightful to those who like that sort of thing but not to everybody's taste. Reviewer: Mary Hynes-Berry
School Library Journal
Gr 1–3—Mr. Walnut might just be the meanest pet shop owner in the world. His shop is dark and cold, and the animals' cages are dirty and small. The townspeople complain among themselves, but no one has the courage to confront the overbearing man. One day young Mina's rabbit disappears, and the child is convinced that Mr. Walnut has her. With the help of Bobo, a local delivery boy, brave Mina devises a plan to free all of the animals. Although Mr. Walnut longs to recapture them, he harbors a dark secret that prevents him from leaving his store. After days of isolation in the empty, gloomy shop, the man has a change of heart, which inspires a plan. Ultimately Mina, Bobo, and all of the animals pitch in to help him turn his dreary pet shop into a big, bright toy factory. This intriguing and thought-provoking tale skillfully illustrates the benevolence that is born when one walks in the shoes of another. It may also generate some activist thinking among young readers who may not have considered the dismal lives of caged animals. Juan's beautifully stylized and deeply expressive acrylic and colored pencil drawings perfectly capture the somber tone that prevails throughout most of the book and provide a suitable contrast for the upbeat ending.—Debbie Lewis, Alachua County Library District, FL
Lisa Brown
I’m a sucker for setting, and Juan's is terrific: a world that is part Edwardian London and part magic realism, with some 1950s-era technology thrown into the mix. The details are exquisite…The villain is likewise wonderful to behold, huge forearms covered with tattoos of his wares, impressive mustachios and bushy black eyebrows hiding beady eyes. Artfully painted in saturated acrylics, Juan's characters are slightly surreal and full of personality.
—The New York Times Book Review

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780545128100
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
10/01/2011
Pages:
40
Sales rank:
1,012,767
Product dimensions:
10.10(w) x 9.50(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile:
AD710L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author


Ana Juan illustrated Frida, Jonah Winter's picture book biography of Frida Kahlo, which was an ALA Notable Book and received an Americas Honor Award. She also received the Ezra Jack Keats award for The Night Eater, her first book as author-illustrator. She lives in Madrid, Spain.

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