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Wild times at the Bed & Biscuit

by Joan Carris


Reviews

School Library Journal
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Gr 1-4-Part James Herriot, and part Dick King-Smith, this endearing sequel to Welcome to the Bed & Biscuit (Candlewick, 2006) explores the intricate connection between wild and domesticated animals with a trim plot attached. The wildlife shelter is having some new pens built, so veterinarian Grandpa Bender is enlisted to take in a Canada goose with an arrow through its neck, a muskrat with an infected foot, and a pair of orphaned fox kits. The narrator and main character is a mini-pig named Ernest, who tries to watch the other animals that reside with the vet: a Vietnamese hill mynah, a Maine coon cat, and a Scottie pup. The animals all communicate with each other, and the bird actually speaks to humans as well. The charming black-and-white illustrations are reminiscent of Garth Williams's work. This story's messages speak to children's interest in wild animals. The dominant theme involves a kindly veterinarian successfully rehabilitating animals and releasing them to the wild. A secondary theme speaks to the responsibility of hunters to bag their prey, not leaving wounded animals to die slowly. And a subtle plotline addresses the relationship of dogs to their wild cousins, the foxes. The story unfolds without preaching, but aptly hits on these issues. It would make a great read-aloud for the primary grades and is sure to be a hit with competent easy-chapter-book readers.-Debbie Whitbeck, West Ottawa Public Schools, Holland, MI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


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