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A cute book that teaches an important lesson
posted 6 years ago
Although I have a lot of misgivings about "classroom pets," I couldn't help but fall in love with this charming book.
Sammy is a classroom pig who is not quite happy. During class one morning, he starts racing around the cage and wheeking up a storm until teacher and students rush over to check on him. In the ensuing pages, the dialogue between teacher and students provides good care information about guinea pigs -- how to know when they're sick, how they react when they're scared, how they socialize with each other.
At the end of the book, an interaction between Sammy and one of the students reveals what the real problem is -- loneliness and boredom. It offers another important lesson, which is that guinea pigs need daily attention from their owners.
My only complaint about the book, even more than just Sammy being a classroom pet, is that he was lonely because he'd been left alone in the school for the whole weekend. Guinea pigs should NEVER be left alone for two days, and certainly not in a school building. With all the other good information that the author managed to fit into the storyline, it escapes me why she'd think it would be okay for her book to set an implied example that it's okay to leave guinea pigs alone like that.
The book is still worth reading, but I urge parents and teachers alike to stress the last teaching point in order to make up for the author's oversight.
Pros: beautiful illustrations, fun to read aloud or alone, fun education
Cons: don't like that it promotes classroom pets
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