Welcome to the Bed & Biscuit
Welcome to the Bed & Biscuit
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Annotation: The family animals at the Bed and Biscuit begin to feel slighted when Dr. Bender returns from a fire with something that occupies the time usually reserved for them.
Catalog Number: #4606634
Format: Paperback
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Copyright Date: 2006
Edition Date: 2009
Illustrator: Jones, Noah
Pages: 120 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-7636-4621-0
ISBN 13: 978-0-7636-4621-9
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2004062857
Dimensions: 20 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
There's a full house at Grandpa Bender's Bed and Biscuit, where the vet boards animals. Besides the guests, Grandpa has cows and chickens, but his inside animals are his family: Gabby the mynah bird; Milly, a young cat; and Ernest, a very clever minipig. When a fire orphans a tiny puppy, Grandpa brings it home, too the dismay of the other animals, especially Milly, who has enjoyed being the baby of the family. Kids just past the easy-reader stage will enjoy this. Each animal has a distinct, fully rounded personality, and the story is nicely paced, with a certain amount of mystery, at first, about just who the newcomer is. Carris cleverly makes Gabby able to talk with the outside world in the guise of idle mynah bird chatter. She also uses the animals' fear of losing Grandpa's affection as a metaphor for the sense of displacement new siblings often feel. Simple line illustrations break up the text, making it easier to read.
Horn Book
Veterinarian Grampa runs the Bed and Biscuit, whose permanent residents include Ernest the pig and Milly the cat. After rescuing a puppy from a barn fire, Grampa is distracted with the puppy's care. When Milly gets jealous and runs away, it is up to Ernest to find her. Told with humor, the story celebrates family, no matter how unusual.
Kirkus Reviews
Grampa aka Dr. Adam Bender owns and runs the Bed and Biscuit, an animal boarding house. Ernest his pig, Milly his cat and Gabby his mynah assist . . . well, Ernest assists by carrying heavy buckets at milking and feeding time. Gabby mostly causes problems imitating Grampa on the telephone. A fire at the neighbor's house adds an orphaned Scottie puppy to the family. Milly, the former "baby," doesn't like being replaced. When she and the puppy's blanket vanish, everyone jumps to the wrong conclusion. It's up to Ernest to solve the mystery and bring Milly home. Jones's watercolor-and-pencil illustrations bring the animals of Carris's easy chapter book to life. This is worth a place in most collections, especially where Dick King-Smith's works circulate well. A short afterword points out the realism in the animal characters. Kids will welcome sequels. (Fiction. 6-10)
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-Mini-pig Ernest, mynah bird Gabby, and Milly the cat help Grampa Bender in his day-to-day chores at the Bed and Biscuit, a friendly animal shelter. Lately, however, Grampa has been spending all of his time with a sick Scottie pup, and the other animals, particularly Milly, are feeling more than a twinge of jealousy. When she vanishes, it's up to Ernest and Gabby to find their friend and convince her that even though there's a new member of the family, Grampa doesn't love her any less. This low-key metaphor is sure to hit a chord with children adjusting to a new baby. At the same time, others will love the story and the relationships among these wildly different personalities. This is a small, remarkably sweet beginning chapter book with more than its fair share of amusing illustrations and gentle humor. Animal lovers are bound to lap it up.-Elizabeth Bird, New York Public Library Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Word Count: 11,939
Reading Level: 3.6
Interest Level: 1-4
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.6 / points: 2.0 / quiz: 110672 / grade: Lower Grades
Lexile: 610L
Guided Reading Level: O

Hours went by as the animals slept, and night came.

"You're snoring! Snoring!" Gabby poked Ernest with her beak.

"Sorry," Ernest said, half asleep. She went back to sleep, but he was now wide awake, worrying.

"Ernest! You're squishing me!" Milly cried.

How could such a small cat take over the whole bed? Ernest apologized again, and the night wore on. Above the old black stove, the clock ticked away.

Grampa's rooster, Rory - the loudest rooster in the county - began crowing as dawn approached. Ernest clung to the hope that someday Rory would be made into chicken soup. He had chased Ernest repeatedly when he was a piglet, new to the Bed and Biscuit.

Now Ernest stuck his head under a blanket and lay still. Finally Grampa's white pickup truck roared by the kitchen window. Ernest, Milly, and Gabby lined up at the low window to watch.

Grampa hurried into the barn and came out with a dark wooden box - about the size of a breadbox. He entered the kitchen with a tired,
" 'Morning, troops," and went on by, heading for the stairs to his bedroom.
They listened as he slowly mounted the steps.

"Well, wouldn't that frost your beak!" Gabby said from her perch on the back of a chair.

"Oh, hush," Ernest said.

Gabby stuck her beak in the air. "Ah, Lord Ernest Piglet is at it again." She turned her back and talked to the wall. "I'll never know why Grampa had to add a bossy pig to this family."

"You won't figure it out, either, birdbrain!"

Gabby whirled around. "Blabby little fat-belly!"

"Sorry excuse for a parrot!"

"Porky smart-mouth!"

Ernest was running out of insults. What was Grampa doing anyway?

"Loudmouth lard-bucket!"

Milly gave a pitiful mew.

Eager to change the subject, Ernest said, "You win. So what do we think Grampa got out of the barn? I never saw that box before."

"He had something in his arms, too, when he got out of the truck," Milly said. "It's a bundle. I saw it."

"Really?" said Ernest. "Did he have it when he came through here?"

Milly's ears flattened and she shook out her fur. "I don't know, but I'm going up there to see for myself. It's my bedroom, too!"

"Well, wouldn't that frost your beak!" Gabby said.

Time passed. Ernest fidgeted.

Gabby flew from the rocking chair to the end of the kitchen counter and began to clean her shimmering purple-green tailfeathers.

"Do you think the bundle came from McBroom's farm?" Ernest asked her.

"Who knows? Grampa was gone all night. He could have been all over the county."

"Well, how about that box? Do you know what it's for?"

"Honestly! Can't you see I'm busy?"

"But this is important!"

Gabby stopped preening. "How do you know?"

"I just do."

At that point Milly marched into the kitchen. She sat on Ernest's bed where the white tip of her striped tail tapped up and down. Tap . . . tap . . . tap.

Ernest said, "Well? What is Grampa doing? Tell us about the box."

"It's hot," she said. "I felt it with my whiskers when I tried to look inside."

"Is it a toaster?" Ernest asked. "Is Grampa cooking in his room?"

"No, but it plugs into the wall like a toaster."

Suddenly Gabby cried, "The bundle! Tell us about the bundle!"

Milly's green eyes narrowed. "The bundle is in the box. I tried to get a look at it, and Grampa pushed me away." Her tail tapped faster.

"You poor thing," Gabby said with unusual sympathy.

"Now, Milly, Grampa's just tired,&qu

Excerpted from Welcome to the Bed and Biscuit by Joan Carris
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Grampa's menagerie of pets are rubbed the wrong way when a needy little critter arrives in this lighthearted chapter book.

Grampa Bender wouldn't be able to run the Bed and Biscuit animal boardinghouse without the help of Ernest the pig, Gabby the mynah bird, and Milly the cat. In fact, the three animals have always thought of themselves as Grampa's family — and they assumed he felt the same way. But when Grampa comes home with a mysterious bundle and stops paying attention to his loyal companions, they start to question his affections. Engaging illustrations by Noah Z. Jones, capturing every endearing trait of this oddball family, complement Joan Carris's humorous, heartwarming book for middle-grade readers.

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