by Lisa Wheeler
Illustrated by Zachariah Ohora
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
From the vibrant cover art to the warning label and verse, "If you're the type who oohs and aahs/ at furry faces, precious paws/ the words ahead may be alarming/ Animals aren't always charming," The Pet Project: Cute and Cuddly Vicious Verses delivers charming poetry and spot-on illustrations. The publisher's website recommends ages 4-8, but anyone who loves poetry and likes to laugh will love this cute poetry book.
An intelligent young girl asks her science loving parents for a pet. They give her a task: she must research all animals and using science, figure out what animal will make the best pet. Only then, will her parents consider allowing a pet to join the household. So, notebook in hand, the young scientist visits a farm, the zoo, the woods, and finally her own home for a home study.
The girl writes down all her findings to present to her parents. A poem about each animal tells about her journey. My favorite is the shortest poem about the hippopatamus: "Chances of getting a hippo/ zippo."
The girl concludes by saying that all animals need care and attention but since she's forgetful, a pet may not be for her. Then she realizes that there are tiny animals everywhere that need no care, but they are hard to find with the naked eye. She asks her parents for a microscope!
The girl visits the pet store and looks at a parrot. She says, "He's memorized some sonnets/ and some long Shakespearian verses/ But when I try to talk to him/ that fowl mouth only curses!" The poetry is clever and crisp with puns (fowl, foul) and makes use of poetic devises including simile, personification and onomatopoeia.
Highly, highly recommended for all ages. Fans of Shel Silverstein and Jack Prelutsky will like this fun poetry book.
FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.
This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf)