Friday, July 9, 2010

What would a guinea pig do? by Kate Duke

I was very excited to find a Kate Duke guinea pig story I haven't seen yet! Her concept books involving guinea pigs, such as Twenty is Too Many and Guinea Pig ABC, are favorites of mine.

This book has a rather odd concept, but it's very well-expressed as a whole. Three situations are presented; a messy house, wanting to bake a cake, and a guinea pig wanting "to be like somebody else". In the first situation, a variety of options are presented, along with the (humorous) consequences of each. In the second, the author walks the guinea pigs through the steps of baking a cake - and dealing with the resultant disaster. Finally, the little guinea pig, after a variety of mishaps trying to be something she isn't, decides it's best after all to be a guinea pig!

Despite my personal dislike of the "be yourself" theme, which to me implies one can never change or grow, I love Kate Duke's fresh and silly illustrations so much that I can overlook the heavy-handed issue in the final story. The first two are very funny and work excellently at showing children how to think through situations and the various steps they need to take to resolve them.

Verdict: Very cute, although not the best of the guinea pig series. Out of print, so it's kind of a moot point anyways. Chase it down for your own enjoyment!

ISBN: 978-0525443780; Published March 1988 by Dutton; Borrowed from the library; Added to my personal wishlist

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