The Misadventures of Sweetie Pie

The Misadventures of Sweetie Pie

Book - 2014
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Sweetie Pie escapes the confines of his hamster cage (and several insufferable owners) to find a new home in the wild.
Publisher: Boston ;, New York :, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt,, [2014]
ISBN: 9780547315829
Branch Call Number: jff VAN NVD
Characteristics: 1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 26 cm


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Oct 29, 2017

This looks like a happy children's book, but things get dark real fast. It's a story about a pet that gets neglected to, if not death, the point where he wishes he would stop shivering from the cold, and then gets his wish.

May 23, 2015

SUMMARY (Spoiler Alert!): Sweetie Pie is a hamster. He usually misbehaves when people come to look at him in the pet store. But when he is the last hamster left, he lets a little girl take him home. This begins his misadventures. He is ignored by his first owner, harassed by a ferocious dog by the second, dressed in doll clothes and rolled around in a plastic ball by the third. Then he is chased out of his next home by a screeching mother and brought to a classroom. There he receives a bit more attention, but only comes out of the cage occasionally. When winter break comes, one of the children takes the cage home, but stops to play with friends. The cage gets left behind in the snow. Sweetie Pie gets snowed under. Luckily, the cage had been left unlatched and he goes to live with the squirrels.

ILLUSTRATIONS: The pictures were created in mixed media. For the most part they are quite lovely and colorful. But a few of the pictures show a very negative attitude such as the girl with the evil face and the ferocious dog--full fangs and all.

REVIEW: I was disappointed in this Van Allsburg book. Usually his books are quite lovely and inspiring. But this one was negative from the very first page. This story showed all the ways an animal could possibly be abused. And in the end, instead of facing consequences (other than a little guilt), the classroom simply replaces Sweetie Pie with another pet. This book does not inspire one to treat animals better, but rather makes the reader sad and depressed about what happened to Sweetie Pie. There isn't even a true happy ending for him. He lives with the squirrels where it is obvious he does not feel happy, but merely content.

AGE RECOMMENDATION: I would not recommend this story for children. It is nightmare evoking and full of negative emotion. As an adult, I couldn't even handle what happened to Sweetie Pie.

Jan 29, 2015

Dark tale of a maltreated pet (sort of a hamster version of Black Beauty).

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