- My Pet Human Takes Center Stage by Yasmine Surovec
ISBN 978-1-62672-074-9 $12.99
Reviewed from galleys R Gr. 2-4
The irascible feline Oliver from My Pet Human (BCCB 10/15) is back, and he’s enjoying life with his biped pal Freckles. Unfortunately, his world of cat toys and cardboard boxes is about to get thoroughly shaken up when Freckles joins the Fur-ever Friends Club at school and the group decides to help out the local animal shelter by throwing a fundraiser, complete with pet talent show. Worse yet is Freckles’ offer to foster one of the kittens from the shelter: suddenly Oliver has got an adorably teensy-weensy, fluffy kitten to compete with for belly rubs and treats. This doesn’t quite have the sardonic bite of the first installment, but it’s still darn funny, with Oliver’s narration alternating between deadpan humor and true anxiety about his fate with his beloved human. The layout mirrors that of the first book, with the straightforward text accompanied by speech balloons and black and white illustrations that are essential to the story and keep the pace moving; youngsters stepping up from picture books to chapter books will appreciate Surovec’s keen use of white space and simple transitions. Readers of Oliver’s previous antics make an obvious audience but so do feline fans in general—and parents should be warned yet again that Oliver’s patented wide-eyed, irresistible expressions might persuade them into a trip to the local shelter.