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*Critter Sitter* by Chuck Richards
Critter Sitter
by Chuck Richards
Ages 5-7 32 pages Walker Books September 2008 Hardcover    

Henry is a pet-sitter by trade. He makes extra money by caring for the animals of his neighbors and friends. When he tells the Mahoneys that he can feed, walk, bathe and generally control all of their creatures while they’re away from home, Henry doesn’t understand what chaos can develop when just one animal doesn’t want to be controlled.

Slinky the snake and Flip the frog are released from their cages by Slobberchops the dog. Miss Purr-fect makes an attempt at flushing the goldfish down the toilet while Peepers the cockatiel escapes his cage. In just one night, Henry comes to doubt that he will ever be able to control this group of critters.

Help comes from an unexpected place in the person of the creepy neighbor who lives in the creepy house. Mrs. Angora lives alone and has convinced all of the neighborhood kids to leave her alone, but Henry will need her help when a rabbit is too much of a distraction for Slobberchops to ignore.

Author Chuck Richards paints a delightful story that will appeal to this age group - it includes animals, mayhem, creepy neighbors, and funny situations galore to keep young listeners laughing out loud. The artwork is superb, with beautifully rich double-page illustrations of Henry with the animals, at the neighbor’s scary house, and in his own dream world as he dreams of being captured by the pets.

This is a great read-aloud book, and the pictures will appeal to younger children who are just learning to read.

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