Class Pet Squad: Journey to the Center of Town

Class Pet Squad: Journey to the Center of Town

by Dan Yaccarino


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Class Pet Squad: Journey to the Center of Town by Dan Yaccarino

Every school needs a little help now and then, especially PS 1000.

Sure, just like your school, PS 1000 has teachers, a principal, and a maintenance crew, who all keep everything running smoothly, but they don't do it alone!

Who do you think makes sure everyone gets back on the bus after a class trip? Who doesn't let the scenery in the school play accidentally fall over? Who fights off a gang of rampaging squirrels trying to steal chocolate pudding cups from the cafeteria?

The Class Pet Squad, that's who! And when a student leaves his beloved action figure behind in class, the CPS—a hamster, a turtle, a rabbit, and a lizard—have to find a way to get it back to him, even if it means crossing paths with a dog and, worse, a cat.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250024626
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication date: 06/28/2016
Pages: 144
Sales rank: 1,304,687
Product dimensions: 5.71(w) x 8.51(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 7 - 9 Years

About the Author

Dan Yaccarino is the author and illustrator of the novel Zorgoochi Intergalactic Pizza: Delivery of Doom, as well as numerous picture books, including Every Friday, Unlovable, and Doug Unplugged. He's also the creator of the hit animated TV series Oswald and Willa's Wild Life and the character designer behind The Backyardigans. Dan lives with his family in New York City.

Read an Excerpt

Class Pet Squad

Journey to the Center of Town

By Dan Yaccarino

Feiwel and Friends

Copyright © 2016 Dan Yaccarino
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-250-08676-1


It was a typical day at PS 1000.

Max listened to the students give their Show and Tell presentations and learned all about sea shells, a bag of dead bugs, a bottle cap, and a marble Hoyt Schermerhorn claimed his little brother swallowed last week.

The final presentation was given by Ben McGillicutty. He stood in front of the class and held up his favorite toy, Sharkman.

Ben explained why, even though it had some teeth marks on it from his dog Brutus, Sharkman was the absolute best toy he's ever had, even better than his bike, the remote control car that his mother still wouldn't let him play with ever since he broke the lamp with it — even though it was an accident — or the rocket launcher his uncle got him that his father said he could play with when he got a little older.

Then he told the story about how while on a family road trip, he accidentally left Sharkman at a rest stop, but only realized it after they'd been driving for an hour. His father drove all the way back to get him.

Sharkman had not been on vacation since.

One of the kids asked why he was the best toy he ever had.

"Because he's cool," Ben replied.

The class nodded in agreement. Sharkman was pretty cool.

"Every night before I go to bed," Ben explained as the toy was passed around, "I line up all of my action figures on the shelf in my room."

Another kid raised a hand and asked why he did that.

"I won't be able to sleep unless they're all there," Ben explained.

Max stopped running on his wheel.

He understood how important Sharkman was to Ben. Max wanted everything in order before bunking down for the night, too. Max's running wheel needed to be oiled, his water bottle needed to be filled, and his favorite toy needed to be in its proper place.

Just then, the last bell rang and the day was over for the students, but Max's had just begun.


The classrooms were empty and quiet. The students, teachers, and maintenance crew were finally gone for the day. It was time for Max to make his usual rounds, checking that the classrooms were in tip-top shape.

The last thing he did before moving on to cafeteria inspection was check the cubbies.

As Max marched up to the wall of cubbies, he saw something. He climbed up and peeked.

It was Sharkman!

Ben McGillicutty accidentally left Sharkman at school!

Then Max remembered that Ben couldn't fall asleep unless Sharkman was lined up on his shelf with the rest of his action figures.

Max knew what he had to do.

So, he sprang into action.





"What's a 'Code Red,' Max?" Suzu asked as she hopped into the room with Julius, Rhonda, and the Maestros a few seconds later.

"'Code Red' means an emergency situation!" Max explained. "I tell you that every time!"

"Well, why don't you just say that?" Suzu asked.

Max smacked his forehead and rolled his eyes. Then he climbed up on the teacher's desk as the rest gathered around.

"What's the emergency, Max?" Rhonda asked.

"This," Max replied as he held Sharkman up over his head.

"He's kind of scary looking," Rhonda shuddered.

Suzu thought he needed some glitter.

"This is Ben McGillicutty's favorite toy," Max announced. "And he can't get to sleep unless it's on the shelf in his room."

"So?" Julius asked.

"So?" Max spat. "So, this toy is going to be on that kid's shelf before he turns off his light tonight!"

"It would be quite impossible to get that toy all the way to Ben's house," Julius stated.

"And it would be awful scary to go outside after dark," said Rhonda.

"It would be fun!" Suzu squealed.

"We're going on an adventure! Yay!" Suzu cheered, hopping up and down. "Yippee!"

"This is not an adventure!" Max shouted. "It's a dangerous mission!"

Julius slowly scratched his head.

"Well, why couldn't he just bring it home tomorrow?" he asked.

"No student at PS 1000 is not going to get a full night's sleep when the Class Pet Squad is on the job!" Max said. "Not on my watch, anyway!"

Rhonda couldn't imagine losing something so important, like the green rock and plastic palm tree in her tank.

Julius understood that Ben needed all of his toys to be neatly lined up before going to sleep, so he tried to think of a way to solve this, like a puzzle or a math equation.

"Okay, everybody! Let's come up with a way to get Sharkman back to Ben McGillicutty!" Max ordered.

"I've got it!" Max shouted. "We're going to deliver it right to his bedroom and we're going to need a vehicle."

"Not to worry!" said Joe.

"We're on it!" said Shirley.

Harry nodded.

Julius paced back and forth saying hmm. They knew Julius was thinking, because he always paced and said hmm when he was thinking.

"This vehicle needs to be large enough for all of us, as well as Sharkman, but be something that no one will notice," Julius finally said.

"How will we do that?" asked Joe.

"That's your problem," Max said evenly.

Then Max doled out jobs to the rest of the Squad. Rhonda was to find Ben's address, print out a map of the neighborhood, and figure out the quickest route there. Julius was to make a list of everything they'd need both for the journey and to get them into Ben's bedroom. The Maestros were to help gather materials and build everything.

"Hey! What about me?" asked Suzu. "What do I do?"

"Just stay out of trouble!" replied Max.


Once Max made sure his team was on task, he climbed up to the windowsill and took a long look around the classroom. The seats were empty, but when the sun rose tomorrow morning they'd be filled with students. His students. And there was nothing he wouldn't do for each and every one of them.

Then he turned toward the window and as he watched the setting sun, he thought about Ben McGillicutty. Max knew it was his duty to get Sharkman to him by bedtime.

"Hang on, kid," Max whispered. "The Class Pet Squad is on its way."

"Um, Max?" a voice said.

Max quickly brushed away a tear and turned to see Shirley looking up at him.

"Yes?" Max composed himself. "What is it?"

"We still need a part for the vehicle," she explained. "I think we're going to have to call, um, them."

"Are you sure?" Max asked. "Because you know I don't want to call those guys unless I absolutely have to."

Shirley said she was sure. They scoured the classrooms, the Lost and Found box, the supply closet, and even the cafeteria, but they couldn't find the one thing they needed to power the vehicle.

"We need a fishing-pole reel," she explained.

All the way up to the roof, Max shook his head and muttered to himself as Shirley trailed behind. Max climbed up to the mouth of a drainpipe and asked Shirley one last time if she was absolutely sure they really needed a fishing-pole reel.

"I'm sure," Shirley said.

Max drew a heavy sigh.

"Second Street Specials!" he reluctantly shouted into the drainpipe. "We need you!"

"Well, well, well, fellas," Ralph the Rat snickered to his gang as he sauntered up to Max. "It seems that our old friends the Class Pet Squad request our presence."

Shirley nervously hid behind Max.

"Don't worry, kid," Ralph said, smiling a toothy grin at her. "I don't bite."

Max glowered at Ralph, keeping a careful eye on him.

"Now, why would the squeaky clean heroes of PS 1000 be calling a buncha dirty, stinkin' junkyard scavengers like the Second Street Specials, Polly?" Ralph asked, never taking his eyes off of Max.

"Gee, Ralph," snickered Polly the Pigeon, "you don't suppose these fancy school pets need our help, do ya?"

Ralph got up real close to Max and said, "Well, fuzzball. Do ya?"

"Yes," Max said, pushing Ralph away. "We do."

Ralph stood with Polly, Stewart the Squirrel, and his Cockroach Crew.

"So?" Ralph asked. "What is it this time?"

"We need a fishing-pole reel," Max explained. "And we need it pronto."

"It's gonna cost ya, squirt," said Ralph.

"Just make sure you get it here in an hour, you dirty rat," said Max.

"Dirty?" Ralph snorted. "I took a bath two weeks ago!"



"What's a 'status report,' Max?" Suzu asked as she bounced into the room.

"It means what everyone's done so far," said Max.

"Well, why didn't you just say that?" Suzu asked.

Max smacked his forehead and rolled his eyes.

"I printed a map to Ben's house," Rhonda said. "And came up with the fastest way there."

Max gave Rhonda a short nod of approval and then turned to Julius.

"Okay," said Max. "Your turn."

Julius reached up and pulled down a roll of paper hanging from the ceiling, but it fell off of the spool and onto the floor. Julius scratched his head, looking up at the spool.

"Hmm, my chart seems to have fallen down," he said. "Just give me about an hour or so to repair it and —"

"We don't have time!" Max shouted. "Just get on with it!"

"Very well," Julius said, smoothing out the large sheet of paper.

"As we discussed," said Julius, pointing to a drawing, "we will require a vehicle of some sort in order to transport us to —"

"Yeah yeah yeah!" Max said impatiently. "The Maestros are already working on that. What else do we need?"

"Well, I suggest a grappling hook and a rope to scale walls," said Julius. "And I thought it might be wise to also have a catapult to possibly launch the toy directly into Ben's bedroom window. And — what's this?"

"A snack!" Suzu smiled. "We may get hungry!"

Max shook his head and said, "Okay, Squad. Now that we're —"

"Hey!" said Suzu. "What about me? Don't you want to know what I did?"

"Okay, Suzu," Max sighed. "What did you do?"

"I covered Sharkman with glitter!" she said proudly. "Doesn't he look better?"

"Better in what way?" Julius asked, scratching his head.

"He is kinda cute now." Rhonda smiled.

"Will you guys get back to work?" Max shouted.

A while later, as Max was in the cafeteria de-glittering Sharkman, he heard something.

"Take a look around, fellas," said Ralph as he and the Second Street Specials were walking up to Max. "This is how the other half lives."

"Fancy!" said Stewart the Squirrel.

"Clean!" said Polly.

"Don't get too used to this place," said Max. "You're not a class pet."

"Keep your fur on, pip-squeak," Ralph snickered. "This place ain't our style. We much prefer the junkyard. Right, gang?"

The Second Street Specials nodded.

"So?" Max asked. "Did you get it?"

"Have I ever let you down, half-pint?" Ralph asked.

Ralph snapped his fingers and the Cockroach Crew scurried up, carrying a rusty fishing reel. Max looked it over, then nodded.

"It'll have to do," said Max. "What do you want for it?"

"Got any of those fish sticks left?" Stewart asked hopefully.

"Rhonda!" Max shouted, not taking his eyes off of Ralph. "A box of fish sticks for our friends."

A few moments later, Rhonda walked up, carrying a box of fish sticks. She put it down next to Max.

"Let's have the reel, rat," said Max.

"Let's have the sticks, fuzzball," sneered Ralph.

Max slowly slid the box toward Ralph as Ralph slid the reel toward Max, neither of them taking their eyes off of the other.

Max picked up the reel and handed it to Rhonda.

"Please give this to the Maestros," Max told her.

Ralph snapped his fingers and the Cockroach Crew picked up the box of fish sticks and scurried away.

"Nice doin' business with ya, squirt," Ralph sneered.

As he turned and walked away, Max could hear Stewart say to Ralph, "You should have held out for two boxes!"

A while later, the Squad was gathered in the science room.

"Okay, Class Pet Squad!" Joe said. "Get ready to be dazzled!"

"One rope and grappling hook!" Shirley announced as Harry held up a rope made out of paper clips with a pipe cleaner grappling hook at the end of it.

"Show 'em how it works, Harry," Shirley said.

Harry swung the rope in a wide circle and hooked the windowsill with the hook. Then he climbed up the wall and onto the sill. He waved to everyone, but lost his balance and fell back down, hitting his head. He sat up and gave everyone a thumbs-up.

"Is he okay?" Rhonda asked.

"Sure!" said Joe. "That's the fifth time he did that today."

"One catapult!" Joe said, pointing to a contraption made out of a ruler, an eraser, and some thumbtacks.

"Hop on, Harry," Shirley said.

Harry hopped on and Shirley gave Joe the signal. Joe pulled out one of the thumbtacks holding the catapult down.


Harry flew into the air and smacked against the wall, then slid down to the floor.

"That's the sixth time he did that today," Joe explained.

"This is our greatest invention yet!" said Joe.

"You say that every time," said Max.

"Because it's true!" said Joe.

"You asked for a vehicle to get you to Ben's house without anyone noticing it?" Shirley asked. "Well, you got one!"

Harry pulled the towel off.

"May we present the Woof-O-Matic!" Shirley and Joe shouted.

"Let's show them how it works!" said Joe.

The Maestros hopped in and took the controls, then made their invention walk around the room. Harry pumped the fishing reel as the vehicle wobbled and made a funny clanking sound.

"He's cute!" said Rhonda.

"He looks exactly like a real dog!" shouted Suzu.

"I agree," said Julius. "As long as you don't look at it too closely."

"This thing better work," Max grumbled.

"It's guaranteed," said Shirley.

"Or your money back!" said Joe.


Max spent the next hour getting the supplies ready and loading up the Woof-O-Matic. Time was running out!

Once they were ready to leave, Max gathered everyone together.

"I'm not going to lie to you, Squad. This is the most dangerous mission we've ever gone on, and we may not all make it back," Max said grimly, pacing back and forth. "You will face peril at every turn!"

They all shuddered.

"But we're here to serve the students of PS 1000!" Max continued, shaking off any fear. "And we will successfully complete this mission! Now gather round."

They all came together in a circle and placed their paws and claws on top of each other.

With Sharkman de-glittered and safely loaded, the Class Pet Squad boarded the Woof-O-Matic.

Julius sat in the copilot's seat studying the map to Ben's house, Max took his place at the helm, and Rhonda began cranking the fishing-pole reel, causing the Woof-O-Matic to lurch forward.

"What do I do?" Suzu asked, looking around.

"Just sit there, be quiet, and don't touch anything!" Max grunted.

"But —" Suzu said.

"CLASS PET SQUAD MOVING OUT!" Max shouted into a kitchen funnel installed in the dog's mouth as he gripped the steering stick and peered into the viewfinder.


Joe lifted an air vent cover and stepped aside.

The Maestros wished them good luck as they watched the Class Pet Squad set off into the night on their most dangerous mission yet.

"Well, well, well," said Ralph. "It looks like those do-gooders are off to um, uh ..."

"Do good?" Stewart asked.

"Whatever," Ralph grumbled. "Pass me a fish stick."

"More power!" Max ordered, peering through the scope as he steered.

"I'm pumping as fast as I can!" Rhonda shouted over the grinding gears.

Julius squinted at the map and then said, "Make a left on Elm Street."

"Right!" said Max.

"Can I steer now?" Suzu pleaded.

"No, Suzu!" Max shouted. "What? Make a right? Make up your mind!"

Max yanked the stick to the right and the Woof-O-Matic turned, clanking down an alley.

"We're going the wrong way," Julius said, pointing to the map.

Max slammed on the brakes when they came to a brick wall.

"What kind of navigator are you, Julius?" Max shouted. "We hit a dead end!"

"I told you to make a left," Julius said.

"Well, maybe I couldn't hear you because some body was distracting me!" Max said, glaring at Suzu.

"All you guys have jobs," Suzu whimpered, "but I don't."

"You should let her steer, Max," Rhonda said.

"I'm the leader of this Squad," said Max, "and I decide who does what!"

Then they started shouting and no one could hear each other, but they all fell silent when they heard just one small sound. Max peered into the periscope.


Just as Suzu gasped in delight at the sound of a cute, cuddly kitty she could play with, Max, Rhonda, and Julius all clamped their hands over her mouth.

Then they heard the sound of growling, and not just one cat, but several.

Max peeked into the scope.

Sure enough, there was a whole gang of alley cats circling the Woof-O-Matic.

"Hey, pooch!" one of the cats said. "We're the Alley Cats and we don't like any mutts invading our turf!"

Rhonda and Julius looked wide-eyed at Max, and waited for his instructions.

He knew that the Woof-O-Matic couldn't move very fast, so a quick retreat was out of the question. And it wouldn't survive a direct assault because it wasn't exactly the sturdiest vehicle.

Max gathered the Squad close and whispered.

"You've been warned, pooch," the cat said. "Now, get ready to be taught a lesson Alley Cat style!"

As the cats moved in, Max, Rhonda, Julius, and Suzu all gathered around the kitchen funnel in the Woof-O-Matic's mouth.


Excerpted from Class Pet Squad by Dan Yaccarino. Copyright © 2016 Dan Yaccarino. Excerpted by permission of Feiwel and Friends.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Class Pet Squad: Journey to the Center of Town 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
YoungMensanBookParade More than 1 year ago
This book is about a kid, Ben, who left his toy at school. In this is chapter book the Class Pet Squad goes on an adventure to return Ben's toy. The 7 main characters make up the Class Pet Squad. Brutus, Ben's dog, is found along the way and is helpful after a bad experience with the Woof-O-Matic. They meet characters along the way that are funny, helpful, and some just a little bit frustrating. Boys and girls who are 5 to 8 years old would like this book because it's exciting with a surprise outcome. Thea O., age 6, Greater New York Mensa