Children - Picture Book
46 Pages
Reviewed on 10/13/2019
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite

Boo the hamster lives in a cage on a shelf in a classroom full of children. He loves the attention he receives and he loves watching the children in all their activities. He feels safe and loved in his little home. One day, the teacher knocked his cage by accident, leaving an opening. When everyone had left for the day, Boo decided to venture through the opening and outside his cage. He wanted to explore the world the children seemed to enjoy so much. He found a hole in the wall and peeked through, excited to discover a real maze of twisty tubes, like the one he enjoyed running through in his cage. And the adventure begins. Each twisty tube leads Boo to another part of the school, further away from his home, the classroom with the children he so loves. When he tires of exploring, he realizes he’s lost and he can’t find his way back home.

Based on a true story, Jeanna Ganas’ picture book story, Boo, is a fun read. It also contains an important message for young readers about temptation and wandering away from home, looking for adventure and excitement, and, in the process, getting lost in the maze of unknown paths. The story is told in rhyming verse with lovely, colorful illustrations to help carry the story along. The plot develops with ease, leading the young reader forward with eager anticipation as Boo explores further and further away from home. A charming story that will definitely appeal to young readers.

Jack Magnus

Boo is a children’s animal adventure picture book written by Jeanna Ganas and illustrated by Santhya Shenbagam R. Boo was an especially lucky little hamster. His cage was perched on a table right in the middle of the most awesome classroom. He loved peering out at the children as they drew and played, and he especially enjoyed it when they came to talk to him and give him treats. His cage had an exercise wheel to play with and a twisty tube for adventures, so there was always something for him to do or see. But then something strange happened. As she was leaving the classroom one afternoon, the teacher brushed past Boo’s cage, and his twisty tube came loose. Boo peered out of the hole in his cage and wondered what might be out there. He decided he’d explore just a bit.

Jeanna Ganas’s picture book, Boo, is based on the real-life story of Boo, the classroom pet of the author’s Pre-K class. Boo went missing for several weeks until he finally found his way back to the classroom. I loved how Santhya Shenbagam R’s illustrations show the classroom as seen from Boo’s cozy home, and each bright and colorful panel made me feel a part of the action. Ganas’ story of the adventuresome Boo is fun and filled with hamster and kid-sized excitement, and it’s written with the new reader in mind. The other aspect of this story that got me excited is how fantastic a job it does at showing a pre-school child what a classroom and a school look like. They see that classroom with all its decorations and toys, the cafeteria and the gym, all from the relative safety of their own home. The first day of school can seem scary and strange for many kids. Boo’s story goes a long way to making that first day something to look forward to rather than fear. Boo is most highly recommended.

Bruce Arrington

Boo, by Jeanna Ganas, is a children’s picture book about a classroom hamster that one day gets loose from his cage. He escapes into the school’s ventilation system and ends up exploring just about every room in the school. Can Boo find his way back to his classroom with the children before it’s too late? Hamsters are notorious for clever escapes, as I remember having one go rogue as a child. Mine showed up two floors from his home in our basement when my dad caught him, about a month after he disappeared. This charming story is based in realism and fun while delivering a color-filled message about the concept of hope. Classroom animals are dear to children, who learn to care for them from an early age. Losing one can be devastating, but this story is filled with humor and optimism to keep it positive.

The illustrations are colorful with the right amount of fun detail to amuse and entertain kids of all ages. With each page there is a new adventure shown from the perspective of an inquisitive hamster, introducing new areas of school that a pre-k will soon experience. This story can help eliminate the unknown aspects of school that can be mysterious and perhaps frightening to youngsters this age. In this way, it puts school in a positive light, something they are at least somewhat familiar with. Boo, by Jeanna Ganas, combines the humor of poetic verse with a hopeful story that will amuse and entertain children over and over. Highly recommended.