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Stanley and the Class Pet
     

Stanley and the Class Pet

by Barney Saltzberg
 
Uh-oh! Stanley learns the hard way not to bow to peer pressure in a gently humorous tale about responsibility — and the value of supportive friends.

Finally! It is Stanley’s turn to take the class pet home for the weekend. He can’t wait to show Figgy to his mother and spend some quality time taking care of the bird. But when Figgy flies the

Overview

Uh-oh! Stanley learns the hard way not to bow to peer pressure in a gently humorous tale about responsibility — and the value of supportive friends.

Finally! It is Stanley’s turn to take the class pet home for the weekend. He can’t wait to show Figgy to his mother and spend some quality time taking care of the bird. But when Figgy flies the coop, Stanley is faced with a very tricky problem. What to do? And whose fault is it, really — his, for agreeing to open Figgy’s cage, which he knew was a bad idea, or Larry Finchfeather’s for suggesting it? In this third story about the lovably earnest Stanley Birdbaum, everyone’s favorite hamster once again finds a way to make things right — with a little help from his friends.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal

K-Gr 2- In Crazy Hair Day (2003) and Star of the Week (2006, both Candlewick), Stanley landed in awkward situations, but all was happily resolved with the aid of his kind and insightful teacher, Mr. Winger. While this book follows the same formula, the result is problematic. Stanley finally gets to take the class pet home for the weekend. Persuaded by his friend Larry that the bright green bird needs exercise, Stanley opens the cage door and Figgy escapes, never to return. At first Stanley blames Larry, but he eventually accepts responsibility, and both boys apologize to Mr. Winger. At his suggestion, the children share a few fond memories of the bird and then the class replaces him with not one but four new pets. On the last spread, Figgy is pictured against a serene blue background enjoying his new life in a tree with other birds. First, allowing a pet to go home with a child who does not have a clear idea of how to care for it is tantamount to abuse. Second, domestic pets released into the wild rarely survive; Stanley's actions have probably killed the bird, and picturing Figgy enjoying his freedom is misleading. Third, the idea that living things are so easily replaced does not sit well.-Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ

Kirkus Reviews
In his third outing, Stanley the hamster learns firsthand what happens when you give in to peer pressure. When his turn finally arrives to take class pet Figgy home for the weekend, he and his friend Larry include the bird in everything they do. But when Larry announces that Figgy needs some exercise and should be allowed out of his cage, Stanley doesn't think that is such a good idea-until Larry's arguments wear him down. Larry points out that Stanley should not have listened to him, but that does not help them get Figgy back when the bird flies out an open window. Saltzberg's acrylics perfectly capture both Stanley's delight in finally acting as caregiver for the bird and his anxiety over choosing between that role and pleasing his friend. A final illustration depicting Figgy perched in a tree with a couple of wild birds sugar-coats the likely end of an escaped pet but will alleviate young readers' distress on his behalf. An excellent choice for discussions about both peer pressure and friendship. (Picture book. 4-8)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780763635954
Publisher:
Candlewick Press
Publication date:
06/10/2008
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.60(w) x 10.70(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Barney Saltzberg is the author-illustrator of two other much-loved books about Stanley Birdbaum. He also created CORNELIUS P. MUD, ARE YOU READY FOR BED? and CORNELIUS P. MUD, ARE YOU READY FOR SCHOOL?, among many other titles. Barney Saltzberg lives in Los Angeles.

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