Children's Literature - Della A. YannuzziThe authors have added another "Cool Pet!" book to the "Far-Out and Unusual Pets" series. This is an informative guide for new pet owners as well as a brief history of potbellied pigs in the United States. Potbellied pigs are miniature pigs that reach no more than 150 pounds. Some dogs weigh more than a potbelly. Potbellies were kept as pets as long as 8,000 years ago. In the 1950s, Vietnamese potbellies were brought to Europe; they reached North America in the 1980s. They soon became popular pets. As with other pets, potbellied pigs need certain care. As they grow bigger, they may need special housing, although they like to be around people and can live happily in family homes. They can also be trained to use litter boxes. Potbellies, like all animals, can get bored; if left unattended in a home, they can cause damage. Potbellies also like to sleep with piles of pillows or comforters. In warm weather, they enjoy cooling down in a pool of mud. Potbellies love to eat and will look everywhere for food. They like leafy greens and vegetables and fruits, although they can be fed a special pig food. These pigs can also learn to do tricks. They live about fifteen years. They are certainly a different kind of pet, but can offer companionship and enjoyment for many years. Color photographs, sidebars, a glossary, and lists of related books and web sites are included. Reviewer: Della A. Yannuzzi
School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 2�5—This series offers detailed information on pets ranging from uncommon to truly exotic. Although the tone of the writing can be condescending ("Let's learn what you need to do…"), a wealth of information is provided on caring for these creatures. Readers looking for details on history or life in the wild, however, will be largely disappointed. Long blocks of text are broken up by photographs and cartoons or sidebars, sometimes in awkward places. A sometimes-annotated list of websites includes general interest links specific to the pet, though some are personal sites or bad links. While these books are not ideal, they will do the trick for libraries requiring a larger variety of pet books.
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