This helpful introduction to gerbil care focuses less on gerbil characteristics and behavior and more on practical tips for owning a gerbil. Sections include discussions of gerbil breeds, appropriate equipment, grooming, handling, and playtime. Highlighted sidebars include important reference information and helpful lists, such as a series of questions to help young readers and their families decide if a gerbil is an appropriate pet and a list of foods that might make gerbils ill. Illustrations include color photographs of gerbils, both alone and interacting with children, as well as watercolor paintings of gerbils. These paintings are sometimes effective, but sometimes confusing since they lack sufficient detail to effectively differentiate among the various gerbil breeds. Although this guidebook is not as in-depth as owners' manuals aimed at adults, it is a pleasant introduction to a popular classroom pet. An index and a somewhat limited glossary are appended. Part of the "Pet Care" series. 2004, Crabtree Publishing Company, Ages 8 to 12.