Book review: My favorite pets: by Gus W. for Ms. Smolinski’s class, by Jeanne Birdsall, pictures by Harry Bliss

Birdsall, Jeanne. My favorite pets: by Gus W. for Ms. Smolinski’s class. Pictures by Harry Bliss. Alfred A. Knopf, 2016. Unpaged. $16.99. ISBN 9780385755702. Ages 5-7. P8Q8

Gus’s school report on his 17 pet sheep gives more information on Gus, his family, and Gus’s pranks than it does on actual sheep.  The deadpan handwritten report, combined with bright, realistic watercolor and ink illustrations, quickly moves from humorous to hilarious as it shows the relationships between Gus and the sheep, Gus’s younger brother, and his parents, as one disaster follows another.

Verdict: This picture book works for both story time and for one-to-one reading aloud.  Highly recommended for kindergarten, elementary and public libraries.

November 2016 review by Jane Cothron.

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