Class Pet Book Reviews

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Midwest Book Review, Children's Bookwatch: June 2012

On The Fish in Our Class

The Fish in Our Class is a Class Pet series book for elementary students about caring for a pair of class pet goldfish. Filled with color photos of students enjoying caring for their pet fish as well as highlighted fish facts and other instructions for fish care, The Fish in Our Class presents an attractive background-reading resource on pet goldfish. Complete with bibliography, glossary, and index, The Fish in Our Class is an excellent introduction to responsible ownership and maintenance of fish pets for children under adult supervision.

Booklist, April 1, 2012

On The Hamster in Our Class

Mrs. Wood’s class sure knows how to make a rodent feel at home: they outfit Hamlet the hamster with a two-tiered cage—with an upper level for climbing and a lower level for nesting—and feed him hamster mix and fresh veggies. The narrative format features a class making all the right moves in pet care, which will help children, either individually or in a group, get the basics of proper care and handling of hamsters. Solid nonfiction material is woven throughout the story: there’s a brief breakdown of hamster breeds, advice for new pet owners (wear gloves; startled hamsters bite!), as well as fun facts strewn hither and yon. And just in case readers still have trouble telling the difference, there’s a helpful compare-and-contrast guide to gerbils and hamsters. (Bottom line: hamsters are sort of violent.) Other entries in the Class Pet series focus on fish, frogs, and turtles.

School Library Journal (Series Made Simple), April 2012

On the Class Pet series

Although these books are billed as titles to read to students preparing for a class pet, their format limits their use to a few viewers at a time so they can see the photos, maps, and diagrams. Basic facts about the featured animals in their wild environments and requirements for food, housing, and care are incorporated into a story about a teacher and her class. Some information about anatomy and life cycle is included. The series’ value is marred by curious lapses, such as the discrepancies between the aquarium described in the text and the one shown in the accompanying photo in Frog. The comparison in Hamster between gerbils and hamsters indicates that the former would make better pets, so one has to wonder why the publisher didn’t do a book on gerbils.