Review Blog

Nov 23 2018

The funny life of pets by James Campbell

cover image

Ill. by Rob Jones. Bloomsbury, 2018. ISBN 9781408889947
(Age: 8+) Recommended. Themes: Pets; Humour. Written with the potential for choosing your own path through the muddle of information and complete fabrication related to pets and owning pets, this is essentially a book of nonsense. Campbell obviously has a great sense of humour that would appeal to the generation that loves fart jokes and stories about poo and is mildly interested in animals. Note: serious interest in animals should automatically preclude you from reading this book, and certainly it should never be used as a source of reliable information for a school project! But this information is clearly spelled out in the introduction. The quirky illustrations (similar in style to Diary of a Wimpy Kid) would instantly reveal that this book is designed to amuse and not educate. Young people will probably enjoy the silly humour, but this is not a work of great literature, and the constant references to the disgusting things that animals do may offend animal lovers and some adults. There are certainly many times when the 'facts' are fake and the animals are the work of an active imagination.
Recommended with caution, as diversionary reading material for the reluctant reader who likes animals and who says they want a funny book. But if you want them to avoid reading material that mentions poo, bottom-burps and bums this may not be a book to put in their hands. But don't be surprised if their best friend shares it with them!
Carolyn Hull

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