Author: Andy Whiteside
Illustrator: Catherine Hnatov
Publisher: Star Bright Books
Publication Date: April 15, 2012
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Valentino is a South American guinea pig and he worries that his days may be numbered. When he walks by restaurants and diners he can't help but noticed that his species is often on the menu. Eek! What's a fluffy rodent to do? Well he must escape obviously. But first--a training montage!
Valentino joins a gym. He lifts weights. He learns to swim. He listens to the soundtrack from Rocky. (I may have added that last one myself.) Once he's very fast and strong, he heads to the airport to sneak into someone's luggage. His plan is a success. Hoorah!
Of course he does have to put up with people calling him a rat all the time, and he runs the risk of being exterminated or put in a lab, but luckily he makes his way to a pet store where he is finally adopted by a lovely little girl named Maddie...even if everyone does still think he's a rat.
Magda's favourite part: "Well, I didn't like the part where everybody kept calling the guinea pig a rat. But I did like the part where Valentino says, 'I'm not a rat. I'm a guinea pig!' I liked that."
My favourite part: The details in the illustrations, like the Louis Vuitton bag in the picture above. Also, the fact that they mention guinea pigs as food in South America, which is absolutely true.
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