8 Class Pets + 1 Squirrel [divided By] 1 Dog = Chaos
8 Class Pets + 1 Squirrel [divided By] 1 Dog = Chaos
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Annotation: A dog chases a squirrel into an elementary school one night, creating monumental chaos.
Catalog Number: #5425952
Format: Paperback
All Formats: Search
Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
Publisher: Holiday House
Copyright Date: 2012
Edition Date: 2014
Illustrator: Bjorkman, Steve,
Pages: 68 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-8234-2594-0
ISBN 13: 978-0-8234-2594-5
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2010048153
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
School-yard squirrel Twitch scurries over sleeping dog Cuddles, precipitating a chaotic chase that leads inside an elementary school. As the pair race from room to room, pets (ranging from a hamster to a talking parrot to a school of neon tetras) are unleashed (thanks to a library rat who is "very good with his hands") and join the pursuit. Finally a call to 911 and a visit from the principal (Cuddles' master, who lives next door) bring about an end to the disorder. The author of Cloaked in Red (2010) writes here for a younger audience while still imparting her zany outlook. Succeeding chapters are narrated (first person, present tense) by different animals that continue the story line, advancing the plot. Writing styles vary (the science lab geckos speak in dialogue; the snake alliterates), providing multiple perspectives, and Bjorkman's spot illustrations help to break up the text. Although some references may go over emerging readers' heads, middle-grade teachers will find this a good model for introducing diverse prose styles.
Horn Book
Twitch, a squirrel, runs across a sleeping dog's nose and into school, inadvertently launching a series of calamities. Various classroom pets narrate chapters detailing the disasters in their particular room. The cumulative mayhem results in consequences narrated by the dog. Readers will chuckle at each pet's unique voice and talent (math, poetry, etc.). Spot illustrations enhance the chaotic fun.
Kirkus Reviews
When Twitch, the schoolyard squirrel, gets into the school, all sorts of craziness ensues. Told in the voices of classroom pets in various rooms, this fast-paced romp imagines a day in which the squirrel, pursued by an enthusiastic dog (owned by the principal, naturally), wreaks havoc in an elementary school. As Twitch races from room to room, the animals attempt to help him escape his tormentor. Running, in order, from first grade to fifth grade as well as to the library, art and science rooms, the animals leave a heap of damage in their wake. Traditional classroom pets (hamster, rabbit, rat, tetras, parrot, turtle, snake, geckos) narrate the action from their points of view. The action is predictably frenetic, but the changes in voice from chapter to chapter provide a refreshing and humorous diversion from most chapter-book fare. Each animal has a distinctive style of speech, which helps the reader keep everyone clear. Galileo and Newton, the two geckos, with their scripted dialogue, and the school of fish, chanting together, "We are in a school. We are in a school in a school," are particularly effective.  Occasional pen-and-ink spot illustrations add energy to an already high-octane story. A whole lot of fun. (Fiction. 7-10)
School Library Journal
Gr 1&11;3&12; Desperately trying to escape a crazed dog, a squirrel dashes into an elementary school, followed by the pup, where he encounters the class pets. Beginning with the first-grade hamster, they all describe themselves, including the neon tetras, who are "tickled" to be a "school in a school." Some of the creatures are willing to help Twitch, but some are just intrigued by his situation. This fun read will satisfy kids looking for animal stories with happy endings. The most interesting part of this tale is that the dog is portrayed as the villain&12;until the very end, when Cuddles gets to speak. Humorous spot illustrations appear throughout. Due to the short segments told by the different animals, this beginning chapter book will appeal to reluctant readers, and it is a good read-aloud. A suitable purchase for most collections.&12; Elizabeth Swistock, Jefferson Madison Regional Library, Charlottesville, VA
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist (10/1/11)
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Horn Book (4/1/12)
Kirkus Reviews
School Library Journal (12/1/11)
Wilson's Children's Catalog
Word Count: 10,079
Reading Level: 4.4
Interest Level: K-3
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.4 / points: 1.0 / quiz: 147708 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:4.5 / points:5.0 / quiz:Q55850
Lexile: 740L

Running into the school to escape a hungry owl was easy. But with the door locked and an angry dog chasing him, how will Twitch the squirrel get back out?
He'll need a hand, of course. . . . and maybe a paw, a fin, and a wing, too. Can the classroom pets—including Sweetie the library rat, a snake named Angel, and the first graders' Green Eggs and Hamster—help Twitch get back to his cozy home in the trees?
Each chapter is told in the voice of a different animal as the squirrel works his way through the school, visiting each classroom and trying to stay one step ahead of the principal's menacing dog, Cuddles. The different perspectives make this a perfect introduction to narrative point-of-view—and an extra-funny read-aloud. 
Lively black and white illustrations add to the humor, depicting Twitch's mad dash through the school and the chaos created by a band of class pets on the loose. With short, funny chapters, young readers will race through this novel to find out what the pets do next.
For more of Twitch's adventures, check out Squirrel in the House and Squirrel in the Museum.

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