Synopses & Reviews
Living creatures large and small are assembled in Julie's bedroom. This nine-year-old adopted daughter of Jules Feiffer loves animals, and she's putting together a zoo in her room.
By carefully working on her mother and father, she collects a sick cat; a hamster; a big, ugly fish; six smaller fish that start to disappear; a turtle; a strong-minded kitten; an unresponsive hermit crab; and a borrowed classroom rabbit who appears to be dying.
Julie's passion for animals takes over her life and her family's life. The more she gets, the more she desires but what she wants most of all, she can't have. She will not be allowed to own a dog before she is old enough to walk it by herself on the city streets which means he has a year and a half to go. That's far too long.
Julie's intense, charming, and very funny story is related in her own words, as imagined by her author/illustrator father, who has taken real life and put a hilarious and moving spin on it.
"Feiffer's (The Man in the Ceiling) middle-grade novel of familial love and hardship introduces Julie, the animal-loving daughter of Jules and Jenny Feiffer. While Julie's parents particularly her mother do not share their daughter's adulation for the animal kingdom, they do indulge her desires, as new pets file through their Upper West Side Manhattan apartment (which has nine rooms, in case one wonders what sort of abode could accommodate a cat, hamster, turtle, several fish and briefly the classroom rabbit, among others). However, Feiffer does not shy away from showing the less rewarding moments in pet ownership, such as a murderous goldfish that attacks smaller fish and a terrified cat that can't handle road trips. And despite the veritable pet parade, Julie is still holding out for her 'big ask,' the one she covets most a dog. Although there may be little doubt that she will get one, the family grows closer through dealing with the ups and downs of pet care, and Julie herself learns some important lessons ('If I got rid of Oscar, then maybe I should be gotten rid of too. Since my parents would never do that and I was kind of Oscar's parent, how could I do it to him?'). Young animal lovers should have no trouble identifying with this spunky heroine's intense range of emotions, brought on by her menagerie. Ages 7-up. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Children and adults alike will appreciate everything from over-the-top slapstick fiascos to Julie's wonderfully funny, insightful observations of pet-human and human-human dynamics." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
In his first middle-grade novel in a decade, Feiffer tells a story of his nine-year-old daughter, Julie, who loves animals so much she's putting together a zoo of living creatures in her room. Illustrations.
About the Author
Jules Feiffer has won a number of prizes for his cartoons, plays, and screenplays, including the Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning. His books for children include The Man in the Ceiling; A Barrel of Laughs, a Vale of Tears; The Daddy Mountain; Bark, George; The House Across the Street; By the Side of the Road; and I'm Not Bobby! He lives in New York City.