The Tarantula in My Purse by Jean Craighead George

The Tarantula in My PurseThe Tarantula in My Purse: and 172 Other Wild PetsThe Tarantula in My Purse: and 172 Other Wild Pets by Jean Craighead George by Jean Craighead George

Cute anecdotes fill this short and easy to read account by the prolific author. It reads as a tiny bit dated at times, as she’s looking back on events as she raised her children.

I discovered this title as a suggested readaloud for early elementary school. It’s not one that interests my children currently, so I might argue with the “early” elementary school aspect (unless the child has strong interest in animals; that might trump everything). I can see it working for them in another couple of years however, and it’s one that would be easy to read aloud.

Of biggest interest to me is recognizing the change in perspective – if I’d have read this as a child, I’d have focused on being a child having all those sorts of animals as pets. How fun that could have been! Now I was reading it thinking of being the adult taking care of that menagerie, and all I could think was “not a chance.”

It’s a very quick read, with mostly short chapters. I did find myself wishing for a picture of their foyer however, as I had trouble imagining it with the pond.

Publisher’s Description:
Humorous, heart-warming, and just plain entertaining, these stories by Newbery Medalist Jean Craighead George recall what life was like as she raised three children and 173 wild pets. On any given day there might be a bat in the refrigerator, an owl in the shower, or a crow at the kitchen table. Jean Craighead George’s respect for nature and its many creatures is evident in all of her writing. Here, she offers a personal, firsthand account of the many animals that made their way into her life and her books.

Book Details

Title: The Tarantula in My Purse: and 172 Other Wild PetsThe Tarantula in My Purse: and 172 Other Wild Pets by Jean Craighead George
Author: Jean Craighead George
Category: Nonfiction / Memoir / Anecdotes
My Rating: 3 Stars
Buy the book: Print

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  1. Interesting, although not for me. 🙂

  2. SoCalLynn says:

    I am putting this on my list to get for my granddaughter when she’s older! My daughter, her mom, brought home every kind of animal and bug when she was a little, and always had a heart for animals. She graduated college with a BS in Animal Health Science and is a vet tech. You never know where childhood interests will lead!

    • This author wrote a *ton* of other books, most of them animal-focused from what I remember. So if she likes her style, she might have lots of other options!

      And that sounds like a great career for an animal lover. You’re a good mom for nurturing that interest. (please children of mine, don’t love bugs or reptiles and put me to the test.)

  3. It sounds like the sort of book I’d have devoured as a child – though I would not have wanted a menagerie like that for myself, not even then 🙂

    • I think I’d have liked the book a little more if I’d have read it as a child – as an adult all I could think was of the logistics and hassles and drawbacks and and and…

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