The Pet Project:

Cute and Cuddly Vicious Verses

author Lisa Wheeler

illustrator Zachariah OHora

Atheneum Books for Young Readers

ISBN-10: 1416975950

ISBN-13: 978-1416975953

Embark on a methodical, meticulous, and hilarious quest for the perfect pet in this wickedly witty cautionary collection of pet poems.

  1. If you’re the type that oohs and aahs

  2. at furry faces, precious paws,

  3. the words ahead may be alarming:

  4. Animals aren’t always charming

If you think you’d like a cute and cuddly pet, you may need to do some research. Formulate a query. Devise a scientific plan. And be sure to write down every observation of the animals you encounter. Join one budding young scientist as she catalogs the pros and pitfalls of potential pet ownership in this assortment of zany and relatable poems that will change the way you look at cuddly animals—and give you the giggles.

"Kids will enjoy the poems…. The funniest, and shortest, poem is about a hippopotamus: “Chances of getting a hippo: / zippo.” OHora’s acrylics make sure kids get the jokes, engulfing the girl in smelly, green hippo breath and gleefully depicting both excrement and icky eating habits. The microscope may seem anticlimactic after she’s looked at hippos and monkeys, but her choice makes perfect sense. Parents will find it heartwarming, since it encourages an interest in science. Children might prefer the hippo, but they’ll have fun reading the poop jokes out loud to their parents again and again.”

—Kirkus Reviews


“When children read the foreword, which includes the warning, “Animals aren’t always charming,” they will know that this is not going to be your average, warm and fuzzy animal poetry book. The tongue-in-cheek verses serve as a “research guide” (and alert) for youngsters who are considering getting a pet…. Humorous first-person rhymes…. OHora’s illustrations, done in muted acrylics, add to the whimsy…kids will love the silly humor and animal discussion.”

— School Library Journal Review

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