Thursday, 3 May 2012

Guinea Pigs Online by Jennifer Gray and Amanda Swift

With illustrations by Sarah Horne

Featuring - The Internet
Review by The Mole

 Coco was found in a handbag but tells everyone about her life with the Queen. Fuzzy watches cookery programs on TV and fancies himself as a chef. They live in a guinea pig cage with Ben and Henrietta. One day Fuzzy sees an advert 'Guinea Pigs Wanted' for a new restaurant being opened by a celebrity chef. Believing it to be a job advert he sets off to apply for a job, despite Coco saying that they are looking for test customers. After Fuzzy has run away Coco reads again and concludes a third interpretation of the advert:- "Guinea pigs wanted FOR CASH". Frightened for Fuzzy's safety, Coco sets off to rescue him and finds a new friend on the way.

So where does the internet figure? Well Coco needs to find the address so she can go rescue Fuzzy and she receives an email from someone she doesn't know offering help. BIG mistake as the the young readers will find out - it turns out to be not what she expected and underlines the perils of 'people' that are met on the internet and may be pretending something other than they say.

Reading this book was a real delight, not exactly a challenge but a real delight. The font is a good size, the language is simple (but not overly) and the pictures are simple yet appealing. My only problem is that the publisher describes it as 5+. I believe that children of 5 and 6 may find the idea of 179 pages a bit long. But I'm sure it will appeal to the confident young readers or be enjoyed by the younger ones when read with a parent or teacher. I did like the ending that sort of said not to doubt others just because something sounds unusual.

Publisher - Quercus Kids
Genre - Readers 5+

Buy Guinea Pigs Online from Amazon

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