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Deidre's Book Reviews

Caring for Your Pets
True Believer
The Tale of Despereaux
The Giver
The First Part Last
A Single Shard
How Angel Peterson Got His Name
SHAKA: King of the Zulus
The Gold Cadillac
Freedman's Voice that Challenged A Nation
Messages in the Mailbox
Seymour's Stars
Author Study: Joyce Carol Thomas
My Favorite Joyce Carol Thomas Books
Suggested Response Activity
Review of Thomas's Hush Songs
Review of Thomas's Gingerbread Days
Ride a Purple Pelican
My Momma Likes to Say
My Man Blue
Beast Feast
The Stinky Cheese Man
Once Upon A Time
My Friend Rabbit
Caring for Your Pets
Two Bad Ants

Owen, Ann.  2004. CARING FOR YOUR PETS:
               by EricThomas. Minneapolis:Picture
               Window Books.
CARING FOR YOUR PETS is a picture book that describes what a veterinarian does.  It gives examples as to why vets are important and how they help care for animals.  There is a term glossary and index in the book.  The referral list is my favorite because it refers the reader to more material and information about veterinarians.  This is a great book to help educate children about when pets should see the vet.  The pictures help reinforce the text by showing different types of animals that vets help take care of.  The illustrations of the veterinarians in the white coats can remind children that vets are doctors for pet.  The illustrator uses representational art- the drawings are very realistic so that the reader can identify the various animals and the vets as people.  There is informational and experiential benefits of reading Owen's picture book.  It is a concept book because it teaches about the tasks of a veterinarian. 
The large, colorful illustrations provide stimulation to the reader.  However, the illustrator was careful not to make the illustrations too scary- especially when mentioning that the vet's work can be dangerous.  The illustrations show pleasant expressions on the vets' and animals' faces.  The animals appear to be very calm and not in pain.
Although most of the vocabulary is simple, there are a few difficult words used throughout the book such as, veterinarian,and animal hospital.  Luckily, the author included a "words to know" glossary with a pronunciation key and definitions.  There is familiar content of the book because it is about pet care and most children have pets.   
The author uses some dialogue in the story to communicate with the reader.  For example, a child in the story comforts her pet after the vet gives the pet a shot, "that wasn't so bad, was it Cookie?"  This not only assures the reader that they can help the vet comfort the pet, but the speech is also assuring the reader that it is realistic. 
All the pictures reinforce the text, showing the smiling vet check the pets' ears, teeth, heartbeat, etc.  The readers see what the text describes.  Realism style is used as a true reproduction of people and pets featured in the story.The story teaches about life and what it would be like to be a veterinarian.
The visual appeal helps the reader determine what type of book it is.  The cover features a veterinarian hugging a horse - both the vet and the horse appear to be smiling.  The title page entails a vet and several children all smiling and all holding smiling pets.
The mood of the story is depicted from the bright, colorful pictures used in the story.  It appears to be innocent and caring.  Also, the illustrator was wise in the fact that no background objects are used in the illustrations- the reader's focuse is right where the author and illustrator intend, on the veterinarian, pets, and the children characters.
Caring for your Pets central idea is to teach about the role of a vet and why it is important to take pets to the animal hospital.  The book serves as a nice connector to children and their understandings of how pets can be cared for.  The characters are also believable.

Updated: Jan. 24, 2005

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