Eliza's Kindergarten Pet

32p. 978-0-76145-702-2.
K-Gr 2—When Miss Summer introduces her kindergarten class to a spotted guinea pig named Cookie, all that Eliza can focus on is the creature's sharp teeth. The teacher decides that each student can take a turn being the "Kindergarten Cookie Keeper," which entails her care and feeding. Everyone is eager for a turn, except for Eliza, who worries that Cookie might try to escape or bite her. Then one day, the guinea pig slips out of a boy's hands and scurries away. The class and the custodian search for her but are unable to find her. Eliza is so worried about the animal that she cannot concentrate on anything. Cookie is eventually discovered by the custodian, who tries to capture her in a box. Eliza comes to the rescue and picks up the frightened creature. This is a heartwarming story, enhanced by bright illustrations, about facing one's fears. Small children are certain to be charmed by Cookie, who rather resembles her namesake.—Donna Atmur, Los Angeles Public Library
Eliza is frightened of her kindergarten class pet, a guinea pig named Cookie who wiggles and squeals and has sharp teeth. When Cookie disappears, though, Eliza is surprisingly worried about her. The reasons for Eliza's turnaround are unclear, but the story may appeal to readers who are themselves unsure about unfamiliar creatures. Speir's acrylic illustrations feature comfortingly soft hues and rounded edges.

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