by Mary Jo Stephens
I loved this book as a young girl. It was found on a small shelf of paperbacks in my teacher\’s classroom (I don\’t remember which grade- fourth maybe?) and I borrowed it to read several times. I think I had my own copy once but it fell to pieces and I\’ve never found another.
It\’s about a girl who wins a contest at a pet shop. The prize is twelve animals, delivered one a month for a year. Some of the pets are rather ordinary- like the bulldog and guinea pig. Others are a bit more unusual- turtle, duck, caterpillar, etc. I remember in particular a pair of siamese fighting-fish, or bettas. Zoe loves them all in their own unique way, but her family and friends don\’t always feel the same! Can she convince them to let her keep all the pets, as the household soon begins to feel like a menagerie? More important, can she keep up with the care and attention each deserves? The story is fun, amusing, full of little adventures and unexpected friendships. I know she finally had to let some of the pets go (like the caterpillar-turned-butterfly) and others were found more appropriate homes- but I don\’t really recall the ending well. I\’d like to find this book, so I could read it again… have any of you read it?
Rating: 4/5 …….. 220 pages, 1971