Monday, January 09, 2017

BEWARE OF THE HAMSTER! Ferocious Fluffity by Erica Perl

Mr. Drake's class has a new pet.She's tiny and cute; she looks so sweet! They love her fluff and her neat little feet. But Mr. Drake has an important pet point to make.

"Look, don't touch!
She's too little. It's too much!

Though the children nodded YES,
Did they mean it? Take a guess.

The kids in Room 2-D all secretly plan to get their hands on Fluffity at the first opportunity.

And then fate steps in. Mr. Drake sleeps late. The unsupervised class shouts HOORAY! Today is the day for Fluffity's first hands-on experience!

No one's sure who held her first.
Things got bad. Then things got worse.

She was tiny, she was cute.
She was also quite a brute!

Bert is the first to be bit, but when he yells, (Yee-OUCH!), another student catches Fluffity and gets chomped. The hamster goes from hand to hand, with the same results, from Zonder and Zuna to both Kevin K and Kevin B. Fluffity takes it on the lam down the hall, with Nathan getting the worst of the capture effort.

She bit "Dathan" on his "dose."

She bit Perrie, Pam and Paul.
She bit them, bit them, bit them all.

As the kids from Room 2-D take refuge in the library from their mighty-bitey mite, Mr. Drake rushes in, just in time to get bit on the ankle. It's not exactly the sharing and shared experience he had in mind for their first classroom pet.

All's well at last, as Mr. D. calms Room 2-D and restores Fluffity to her hamster habitat, explaining that hamsters have to be handled tactically until they settle in and suggests letting their pet release some of her nervous energy on her exercise wheel before approaching her again. And then he surprises the class with their second classroom pet--Jake the Snake. The kids are thrilled, but Fluffity finds that she is NOT.

Lila Perl's Ferocious Fluffity: A Mighty Bite-y Class Pet (Abrams Books, 2016) features her funny couplets in this witty tale of their tiny terror, with notable children's artist Henry Cole taking over the visual storytelling with his usual hilarious illustrations, from the fearful Fluffity to the well-individualized kids in the class and the mega-cool Mr. Drake. Cole even manages to put in a plug for books and reading in the bulletin boards posted in the classroom, hall, and particularly the apropos BOOKS YOU CAN SINK YOUR TEETH INTO! in the library. A perfect cautionary tale for kids (and teachers) contemplating a new class pet!

Lila Perl and Henry Cole are the co-creators of the noted giggle-fest pair, Chicken Butt and Chicken Butt's Back! (See reviews here.)

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