A Pocketful of Fur


48 pages
ISBN 0-9730831-6-6
DDC jC813'.54





Illustrations by Lisa Birke
Reviewed by Deborah Dowson

Deborah Dowson is a Canadian children’s librarian living in Powell,


With two dogs, five cats, a free-range rabbit, a tortoise, and a
cockatoo, Max feels as if he is living in a zoo. Max is troubled by his
parents’ lifestyle choices; to him, the pets are smelly and annoying
and the house is always a mess. When his Mom brings home a baby
squirrel, Max becomes completely frustrated. Although he can understand
his parent’s love of animals, he knows that when wild animals are kept
as pets, problems can occur. And just as he feared, the squirrel makes
trouble. But his neighbour, Mrs. Baxter, gives Max a fresh perspective
on his situation as she helps to get Woody the squirrel to a safer

This is a very sophisticated book for the intended audience of Grades 2
to 4. The type is extremely small, and at 48 pages the book is likely to
be intimidating for the average reader at this level. The illustrations
are an intriguing mix of photos and drawings presented in a collage
style that is also very complex and sophisticated. The plot is geared
for the intended audience, but there is something unsettling about the
reversal of parent and child roles in this story, where the youngster
has to take charge and make decisions to compensate for his parents’
lack of judgment, and it is a relief when Max finds a competent adult to
help him solve the situation. Not a first-choice purchase.


Loughead, Deb., “A Pocketful of Fur,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 24, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/23185.