Monday, September 26, 2016

My Favorite pets By Gus W. For Ms. Smolinski's Class Children's Book {Review and Giveaway}

We had the opportunity to review this hilarious children's book called My Favorite Pets: By Gus W. For Ms. Smolinski's Class. This book was written by National Book Award winner Jeanne Birdsall and illustrated by New Yorker Cartoonist Harry Bliss.

About the book:

The text of this book is the report that Gus has written for his teacher, Ms. Smolinski. He was supposed to write about his favorite pet. His family has seventeen sheep, so he chose them to star in his report. On each page, Gus is sharing little details about the sheep, some of which are hilarious by themselves, while other details become much more humorous when paired with the illustrations on the page. For instance, we learn that, " A boy sheep is a ram. He has horns."

And then on the next page it states, "The horns do not come off." Which is quite true of course. Then we add the picture:

Throughout the book, Gus is getting himself in trouble while learning things sheep do and do not like, what they can and can not do. These poor sheep and Gus's brother are at the mercy of the curiosity of a young boy who tends to take things too far and not really think through what he is doing.

What did we think of it?:

First of all, I LOVE that it is written as Gus's assignment and that we get to see the notebook lines on each page. Occasionally, the text also includes talk bubbles of what his parents are saying to him. It is a hilarious book with wonderful illustrations that really "make" the story.

I also thought it was very creative that the title page, which is like the cover of the report, is also found at the conclusion of the story, with the grade he received plus a note from the teacher.

What do the kids have to say?

Tabitha: I think it is cute and funny and a good lesson not to have sheep for pets, unless you're a farmer or very good with sheep.

Amelia: It is weird. 

Hannah: I think it was silly. I think the silliest part was that the horns don't come of boy sheep.

Harold: My favorite part was a silly part. The part when he put the scarf on the sheep. 

About the author and illustrator:

JEANNE BIRDSALL is the author of the New York Times bestselling Penderwicks series. She resides in Northampton, Massachusetts, with her husband and an assortment of animals, including a dog named Cagney. You can find out more about Jeanne, her books, and her animal friends at

HARRY BLISS is a cartoonist for the New Yorker. His self-titled daily cartoon, Bliss, is syndicated internationally. Harry also illustrates books for children. They include A Fine, Fine School by Sharon Creech; Which Would You Rather Be? by William Steig; Countdown to Kindergarten by Alison McGhee; Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin, as well as Bailey and Luke on the Loose, both written and illustrated by Harry. Harry lives in Vermont. Learn more about him at

Published by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers is an imprint of Random House Children’s Books (  The book retails at $16.99. Release date: July 5th, 2016. The book is suitable for young children, 3-8 years of age.

Giveaway Time!

Great news! I have been given the opportunity to offer a giveaway for one person to win their own copy of My Favorite Pets by Gus W. For Ms. Smolinski's Class.

All you need to do is enter in the Rafflecopter form below. 
There are only 2 simple mandatory entries, with the remainder of the entries being optional. 
Remember, you do not have to do the extra entries, but they will increase your odds of winning. 

This giveaway is open to US residents 18 and over. 
The giveaway runs September 26 through October 9th.

Thanks for stopping by, and good luck!

 By entering the giveaway, you understand and agree that your contact information will be shared with the sponsor.

Disclosure: I received a hardcover copy of  My Favorite Pets by Gus W. For Ms. Smolinski's Class in exchange for my honest review. No further compensation was given. This did not in any way influence my review. I only recommend products I use personally and feel will be a good products for my readers.


  1. I'd like a panda as a pet but I will settle for a cat.

  2. I would love to have a parrot for a pet. It would be fun to hear it talking to everyone.

  3. I would like a parakeet. I had one as a child and he was a little rambunctious to say the least. He would throw himself against the cage.

  4. I think a monkey would be quite entertaining, but a puppy is more practical, and hopefully cleaner!

  5. I would love to have a pet Zebra, they are beautiful!!

  6. I would like a pygmy goat. To hear its little bleat and the way they jump around in complete abandoned happiness.

  7. We have a pet chicken. My toddler daughter named her "Ciccoletta' after the mayor's hen in PAW Patrol, but no matter how carefully she explain's the chicken's role, the chicken won't play PAW Patrol with her.

  8. We have 3 dogs -- would like to get two more.

  9. I would like a dog, but my daughter wants a giraffe as a pet.

  10. I would love to have a pet goat. Something fun to take care of with my son plus it will automatically keep my lawn "mowed". Haha

  11. I would love to have 2 pigmy goats and a teacup pig as pets. We are an animal loving family and have 3 dogs and 2 cats we rescued from kill shelters. We dress our pets up a lot mostly to keep them warm since we moved from the desert to a very cold climate, but it is also fun to watch their reactions to their clothes. Some they don't want to take off and will fight us to keep them on and some they just stiffen all their legs out and fall to their side which lets us know they do not like that outfit lol Our huge white lab likes to wear my husband's Army shirts. He will pull them out of the laundry basket and bring it to us to put on him. We have some great pets with lots of personality!


Thank you for visiting my blog today. I love to read your comments, so please leave me one if you have the time.

Related Posts with Thumbnails