Gr 2-3-Using a question-and-answer format, Rabbits discusses the different traits and behaviors of rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, and gerbils. While all are rodents, each one has its own peculiarities. Horses does the same for horses and ponies. Charming, full-color photographs and drawings, especially those depicting the animals interacting with humans, mostly children, enhance the large-type texts. A winning combination of tightly written narrative, age-appropriate vocabulary, and worthy illustrations guarantees that independent readers will enjoy these titles.-Pamela K. Bomboy, Chesterfield County Public Schools, VA Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
Using the same question-and-answer format as her previous entries in this easy reader series, Holub (Why Do Horses Neigh?, above, etc.) offers some basic information about rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, and gerbils. After a couple of introductory pages detailing what the creatures have in common, the first half of the work focuses on rabbits’ appearance and behavior, and the second half concentrates on the other animals. The author includes some interesting facts, especially about rabbit behavior, but the structure causes some repetition, for example, in the description of number of babies born to each type of animal and the type of toys preferred. Each page begins with a leading question in purple type, followed by an answer and further additional information. The short sentences are presented in large type set off by lots of white space, with parenthetical pronunciation guides for difficult terms. This feature is not consistently utilized, however, as pronunciations are not given for guinea, gerbil, and Guiana. Attractive full-color photographs, often in the knock-out format against a white background popularized by DK, are combined with amusing watercolor and ink illustrations to create a pleasingly varied presentation. The wider topic with this format does not work quite as well as the other volumes in Holub’s series, but the newly fluent reader interested in furry little critters will still find this an interesting and informational read. (Easy reader/nonfiction. 6-9)