cover image The Three Little Guinea Pigs

The Three Little Guinea Pigs

Erica S. Perl, illus. by Amy Young. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-374-39004-4

Perl (When Carrot Met Cookie) pens another fairy tale remix, this time starring three “not so little” guinea pigs setting off into the world after their birthday. As the three—Rosie, Minty, and Pumpkin— head out wearing birthday-balloon-adorned backpacks, Rosie wonders, “Wh-wh-what if there are foxes?” “I’m not afraid of foxes,” Minty responds, but practical Pumpkin indicates that “foxes are why we need to make houses,” and construction commences. Rosie makes hers out of hay and Minty chooses cardboard, but Pumpkin has more ambitious ideas. When a fox appears, the sisters rally one another, engaging in more than just the traditional “chinny-chin-chin” retort: “He’s just a big bully. We can take him!” Their plan to deceive him using their birthday balloons works a treat, and low-key suspense makes this a suitable story for listeners who prefer that their heroes remain unscathed. The three guinea pigs naturally appear cuddly and adorable, but even the fox, in wash-textured artwork by Young (the Unicorn Named Sparkle series), looks more appealing than threatening. Realistic details about guinea pig behavior add interest, too, as detailed in the back matter’s Fascinating Facts. Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Carrie Hannigan, HG Literary. Illustrator’s agent: Linda Pratt, Wernick & Pratt. (Feb.)