Thursday, September 27, 2018

Review - The Misadventures of Sweetie Pie

The Misadventures of Sweetie Pie
by Chris Van Allsburg
Date: 2014
Publisher: Harcourt Brace and Company
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: library

From two-time Caldecott winner Chris Van Allsburg, creator of Jumanji and The Polar Express, comes a poignant story of one hamster's struggle with destiny. Being a pet store hamster isn't much fun for Sweetie Pie, but life in human homes proves downright perilous. As Sweetie Pie longingly gazes out of his cage at the squirrels frolicking in the trees, he wonders if he'll ever have the chance to feel the wind in his fur. Allsburg's expressive, soft-hued illustrations artfully capture a hamster's-eye view of the wide and wonderful world where maybe, just maybe, Sweetie Pie could someday run free.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

I don't even know what this was supposed to be. The nearest I can tell, it's written out of guilt.

How about, instead of writing a potentially traumatizing children's book, you pay attention to your children's pets so they don't meet untimely demises?

The illustrations in this one were odd, too. It was as if someone decided after the fact that everything needed to be outlined in black ink. It made for a rather strange look, and I didn't really like it. The expressions on some of the kids' faces were also super creepy; one little girl in particular made me afraid she was going to eat the hamster.

The moral of the story seems to be one of the following: 1) hamsters shouldn't be kept as pets; 2) children are evil little creatures who can't be trusted; or 3) it's easier to write a creepy picture book about your children's failings as pet parents rather than keep an eye on their pets so they don't die.

Premise: 2/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 2/5
Illustrations: 1/5
Originality: 1/5

Enjoyment: 0/5

Overall: 1 out of 5

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