Meet Bruno, a wildly inventive boy, and his new pet, Titch, a neurotic, slightly melodramatic guinea pig. Can they get past their differences?
As the only guinea pig left in Mrs. Pinkerley’s pet shop, Titch is getting lonely and anxious. All he wants is his very own Big Person. Then one day a boy named Bruno comes into the shop looking for the perfect pet. Their eyes meet, and Titch has a home at last! There’s just one problem: Bruno loves to play and invent wild games and make big messes (and eat sticky pancakes). As for Titch, well, he prefers the quiet life — a nice nap, a plate of salad leaves. Will they find a way to make their friendship work, or will Titch end up back where he started, in the pet shop? Sheena Dempsey offers a contemporary and comical take on new pets — and new friends.
Dempsey’s insightful text and charming pen, pencil and watercolor illustrations are filled with intriguing details that will fuel conversations about what is involved in choosing a pet—as well as plenty of laughs. The charismatic Titch may well spark a guinea-pig bubble; he’s that cute. —Kirkus Reviews
Dempsey has a wonderful creation in her narrator Titch, a high-strung, self-aware guinea pig who yearns to be adopted. ... Dempsey has something important to say about being empathetic, but she wisely keeps Bruno's epiphany offstage so readers don't feel clobbered by the message. Instead, they get to see the result of Bruno's insight, which is far more fun and meaningful: an elaborate "guinea pig palace" designed and built by the boy himself, complete with a private "poo hut" and a fruit salad bar. The sense of relief and acknowledgement that the fretful Titch feels upon the big reveal—"In all my guinea-pig life (3 months and 3 weeks), I've never seen anything so incredible!"—is the very definition of a happy ending. —Publishers Weekly Online
Dempsey has captured the longing of both the boy and the animal as they move toward that pet/owner bond. The illustrations, in light pastel colors, are loaded with detail that young children will love to peruse, such as the topiaries outside Bruno’s house, which resemble guinea pigs. ... This is a good choice for children who are learning to predict a story’s outcome and for libraries needing more books about getting a pet. —School Library Journal