Written & Illustrated by: Chuck Richards
Published in 2008
Genre: Picture Book
Grade Level: K-3
Summary: Henry takes on the job of Critter Sitter for the Mahoney family when they go to collect their kids from camp. He is left in charge of a dog, a cat, a bird, a snake, a frog, and a goldfish. The first day goes well, but overnight the animals get out and cause havoc. Henry spends all of the next day chasing them down and cleaning the house.
Cover/Illustrations: I love the illustrations in this book! The colors are bright and attention catching. In my opinion the best parts of this book are in the details. The characters (both humans and animals) are really detailed and interesting to look at. All of the different locations shown in the book are full of great details, from the hangers in the laundry room to the newspaper in the bird cage. The details are really what make the illustrations in this book great.
The Good: Obviously I loved the illustrations in this book. They really enhanced the story and helped to clarify details that weren’t explicitly stated in the text. I also really liked how images from the story were pulled into other areas in the book, such as on the title and the copyright pages. The pages were also laid out nicely, with very little white space.
The Bad: As much as I enjoyed the pictures in Critter Sitter, the story itself was not so great. I found the writing to be boring and repetitive (not in a good way). I also felt that the text was lacking, in that the pictures were really needed to understand what was going on in the story. I also wish that the bit about Mrs. Angora (who looks a bit like a rabbit) had been expanded upon, as she seemed quite interesting.
Final Thoughts: The illustrations in this book were great, but the text felt like it had just been thrown together and slapped on the page to go with the pictures. I don’t think I would use this book in my classroom as a read aloud, but I might include it in my library.
I give Critter Sitter three stars.