This is a delightful sixty seven page novel, written on anti-glare yellow paper, with a large text, well-spaced, and frequently broken up with illustrations. It is very well suited for emerging readers who enjoy a laugh at the story, and a pause to examine the pictures. The simple sketches add to the story with extra details, and are worth perusing. This is a school story, and has twelve short chapters.
The plot focuses on a boy who wishes to do the right thing. He is labeled Teacher’s Pet, as he is rewarded for his helpfulness by the teacher. This of course attracts the attention of the school bullies who tease him mercilessly. The bullying becomes a huge issue for Aidan, and he feels that there is no way out of his dilemma.
One day the teacher brings some animals to school, and asks for a volunteer to help look after them. Aidan is the first to raise his hand, and so the job of feeding and cleaning up falls to him. Before long he notices some strange behaviors in the animals, it’s almost as if they were human.
As the animals find it easier to communicate, Aidan realizes that his teacher isn’t the sweet person he thought she was, and his discovery puts him in terrible danger. When confronted by the teacher, Aidan is quick enough to save himself, and come up with a deal to rid himself of the two bullies who have made his life a misery.
This is a most enjoyable story to read, or read out loud. It has no solution to facing bullies, but may give enjoyment to those in a similar situation, and lead to a little creative fantasizing. This is an excellent step along the way for emerging readers.
|Author||by Guy Bass illustrated by Steve May|
|Publisher||Faber Factory Plus Fft|
|Distributor||Murdoch Books/Allen & Unwin|