Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Book Review - Sammy the Classroom Pet

Sammy: The Classroom Guinea PigSome time ago I decided I wanted to host our preschool's pet guinea pig for part of the Summer months. While I was thinking about it I spied this book at the library and brought it home to see if it sparked any interest with the kids. I had three pet guinea pigs when I was growing up (one at a time) and Sammy looked a little like my favorite one, who was named Charlie. It turned out to be a really good idea to get this book for a couple of reasons.

First, we did end up bringing home Pepper for at least a couple of weeks, so reading the book ahead of time heightened the kids interest in helping to take care of her. The first few weeks of Summer while we are decompressing from school and waiting for our Summer activities to start can be a little hard to keep fun. Pepper has added some real interest to our "hanging out at home" times.

Second, the story of Sammy is more than just a story. It weaves a lot of small animal care information into the story. It talks about the noises they make (WHEEP!!) and what they need in their cage. It talks about how excited they get, and how they are very social and love attention from their caregivers. It even talks about some of their favorite foods, which now has my kids searching the yard for dandelion leaves which are apparently a guinea pig delicacy. The illustrations are adorable, and the text is easy to read and understand. My struggling reader picked it up independently several times. She even read Sammy to Pepper. Fun!

Sadly Sammy had to return to the library today, and Pepper will only be with us for a short while, but I think together they have made a great impression on all of my kids, and made Summer very sweet.

Here's hoping I haven't fed the "can we get a pet" fire...not ready for that...yet.


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