BOOKS

Fergus and Zeke

illus. by Heather Ross. 56p. Candlewick. Jun. 2017. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9780763678463.
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K-Gr 2—Fergus, a class pet mouse, does everything with Miss Maxwell's students: listening to stories, solving math problems, and always following the rules. So when the class goes to the museum, Fergus stows away in Emma's backpack. Fergus meets Zeke, a mouse who lives at the museum. At first they stick with the class, checking out the rocks, minerals, and butterflies. But Zeke convinces Fergus that Miss Maxwell's museum rules are for people, not for mice, and the pair find themselves climbing through lions' manes and checking out the view from the mouth of a T. rex skeleton. When the bus arrives to take the students home, Fergus considers staying but chooses Miss Maxwell's classroom (and her rules) instead—and invites Zeke along. This is a charming tale that will evoke memories of museum visits in some children and give a taste of such a visit to others. The vocabulary is accessible to readers moving beyond the simplest texts and ready for a more complex narrative. Ross's cheery digital line drawings mirror the text and enhance readers' understanding.
VERDICT An enjoyable addition to chapter book collections, especially where heavily illustrated works at this level are needed.

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