Published by Katherine Tegen Books
Summary: Gizmo is a self-identified Evil Genius guinea pig. Wedgie is a self-identified superhero (“Super Wedgie) Corgi. In alternating chapters, the two tell the story of the early days of a blended family: Gizmo belongs to Elliott, whose father recently married the mother of Jasmine, Jackson, and Wedgie. Gizmo is constantly suspecting evil plots, most notably keeping an eye on Abuela, a native of Peru, where he hears guinea pigs are considered fine cuisine. Wedgie just wants to herd everyone in his pack together and keep them happy. Human dialogue is inserted into the animals’ narrative, making readers more aware of what’s going on in the family when Wedgie and Gizmo are too self-absorbed to accurately report it. By the end of the story, Wedgie, Gizmo, and their humans are well on their way to becoming a family, setting the scene for two sequels due out next year. 179 pages; grades 2-5.
Pros: Each animal has his own distinctive voice and point of view, which will have readers laughing and nodding with recognition if they are pet owners. The illustrations add to the fun, and the human dynamics give the story a little more depth.
Cons: As a former guinea pig owner, I’m pretty sure the exercise wheel Gizmo uses is actually dangerous for guinea pigs.