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The Great Pet Heist
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The Great Pet Heist
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Ocean's Eleven meets The Secret Life of Pets in this hilarious and delightfully illustrated novel following a ragtag group of pets who will do whatever it takes to avoid being sent to the...
Ocean's Eleven meets The Secret Life of Pets in this hilarious and delightfully illustrated novel following a ragtag group of pets who will do whatever it takes to avoid being sent to the...
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  • Ocean's Eleven meets The Secret Life of Pets in this hilarious and delightfully illustrated novel following a ragtag group of pets who will do whatever it takes to avoid being sent to the pound.
    Butterbean knew she wasn't always a good dog. Still, she'd never considered herself a BAD dog—until the morning that her owner, Mrs. Food, fell in the hallway. Admittedly the tile was slipperier than usual, mostly because Butterbean had just thrown up on it.

    Now Butterbean and her fellow pets have to come up with a grand plan to support themselves in case Mrs. Food is unable to keep taking care of them. When they discover a mysterious man in their building who seems to have lots of loot, they plan a heist. Oscar the mynah bird is the brains of the operation. Walt the cat has the necessary slyness and slink. Marco and Polo are the reconnaissance rats. And Butterbean...well, no one would ever suspect a cute little wiener dog, right? Can these animal friends can pull off the heist of the century?

About the Author-

  • Emily Ecton is the author of The Great Pet Heist as well as a number of middle grade books published under the names Emily Ecton and Emily Fairlie. She is also a former writer and producer for "Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me!," the Peabody Award­–winning comedy news quiz on NPR. She lives in Virginia, with Howdy, a law-abiding dog with no known criminal affiliations. Visit her at EmilyEcton.com.

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    February 15, 2020
    Five spunky pets go to extraordinary lengths to save themselves from abandonment. The pets: wiener dog Butterbean; Walt, nee Lucretia, a secretive black cat; Oscar, a dignified mynah; and Marco and Polo, an exuberant pair of rats. The hapless owner: an elderly woman affectionately dubbed Mrs. Food. The incident: a bad fall (entirely Butterbean's fault, though she hates to admit it) that lands Mrs. Food in the hospital and sends the pets scrambling to become "independently wealthy" lest they be removed from her apartment to the shelter. The accidental discovery of the wealthy Coin Man leads them to plot the "heist of the century" with the assistance of an octopus named Chad and vent-dwelling Wild Rat Wallace. Ecton tells the story from the pets' perspectives, which, while impressively executed, proves to be this madcap adventure's biggest shortcoming. The limited experience of the pets ensures that the human issues depicted--international crime, care of the elderly, deployed caregivers, deception of Child Protective Services--are treated more flippantly than their gravity merits. The scenes dealing with the kidnapping of a child are particularly dire; the character of the Coin Man feels almost too sinister for an otherwise lighthearted children's novel. Yet lighthearted it is: Bantering dialogue, the distinct personalities of the pets (expressively illustrated by Mottram), and the whimsical premise make for an exciting caper. Mrs. Food and the Coin Man present white; the pets' temporary caregiver has Korean heritage. Hilarious but haphazard. (Fantasy. 8-12)

    COPYRIGHT(2020) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Booklist

    March 15, 2020
    Grades 3-6 When elderly Mrs. Food takes a spill and winds up in the hospital, her five pets spiral into a panicked frenzy. A temporary guardian is assigned to them, but the anxious animals?an aloof cat, a hyper dachshund, a chatty mynah bird, and two bonded rats?decide that the only solution is to amass their own wealth to control their destiny. Their initial pile of riches is a bit grim (including compression socks, a sparkly button, and a two-week-old piece of toast), but the pup reveals that she picked up a rare coin from another resident, and thus Coin Man becomes the target of a hastily planned heist. Ecton writes entirely from the animals' point of view, aided by the occasional, humorous black-and-white sketch. It's amusing just to watch the merry band of misfit pets navigate the wide world of the eclectic high-rise apartment, but there's enough true suspense to keep the larger story moving. This classic caper may have young readers looking sideways at their own pets when the story is through.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2020, American Library Association.)

  • School Library Journal

    May 1, 2020

    Gr 3-6-This cute tale about five household pets in a New York City apartment revolves around their plan to pull off a heist and become "independently wealthy" after their owner is taken away for a medical emergency. Teaming up with ventilation system rats, a lonely girl, and a crafty octopus, they set their sights on a frightening neighbor and his stash of unusual coins. Ecton creates a strong personality for each animal, from the hyper dog Butterbean to the know-it-all bird Oscar, and pet lovers will be sure to enjoy the banter between them. Some plot elements involving the humans are a little less fleshed out and stretch plausibility, leading the book's resolution to feel rushed; but this will be easily overlooked by those who enjoy the pets' adventures. Adorable illustrations from Mottram help readers visualize the characters and add an appealing visual element. VERDICT A story sure to charm children who like to imagine what their beloved pets are up to when they are away. Purchase for fiction collections that serve patrons who enjoy animal-centric stories.-Katie McBride Moench, New Glarus Middle and High School Library, WI

    Copyright 2020 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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    Atheneum Books for Young Readers
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