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About The Book

In the twenty-seventh book of the Critter Club series, Liz tries to create the perfect painting for an upcoming art show, but the ferret she’s pet-sitting has other plans!

Liz is having an exciting week! The Critter Club is pet-sitting a ferret, and a local artist is looking for artwork from young painters to include in a show. Liz has her heart set on creating the most perfect painting ever. She just needs to make art while pet-sitting. What could go wrong?

With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, The Critter Club chapter books are perfect for beginning readers.


Chapter 1 Artist in the Attic



  Up in the attic, Liz Jenkins was trying to do two things at once.

  “Reggie, no!” Liz called to her ferret. “Leave it.”

  Liz was making sure her pet didn’t get into any trouble. Reggie backed out of a dusty box with a sock on his head. He shook it off.


  Reggie ran across the room and dug in his basket of ferret toys.

  Liz was trying hard to finish up a painting. The attic was now her art studio. Liz’s parents had helped her clear some space. They set up her easel. They found a small table and a chair in storage. They even cleared an old bookcase that was perfect for holding Liz’s art supplies.


  And she had a lot of art supplies. Watercolors. Paintbrushes. Colored pencils. Paper for collages. Pens and ink. Seeing her supplies all together made Liz want to jump with joy.




  Today Liz was painting with acrylic paint. It was a floral still life for her Aunt Biz. Her real name was Elizabeth—just like Liz’s! But everyone called her Biz.

  Aunt Biz’s birthday was coming up. And she loved flowers, especially sunflowers. So far, Liz thought the vase she was painting looked pretty good. But not the flower petals.

  “What do you think?” Liz asked Reggie.


  She picked Reggie up. “Is it weird that I talk to you?”


  Nah, thought Liz. She knew her best friends Amy, Ellie, and Marion would agree too. They all loved animals. That’s why the four of them had created The Critter Club, set up inside their friend Ms. Sullivan’s barn. They cared for strays, found lost pets, did some pet-sitting, and even nursed injured wild animals.




And they talked to animals all the time.

  “Liz!” her dad’s voice called out from the bottom of the attic steps. Reggie jumped off Liz’s lap. He ran over to the top of the stairs. Liz followed.

  Down below, Mr. Jenkins waved up at them. “Sunday dinner in ten minutes!”


  Liz scrunched her face. “Okay,” she replied.

  Her dad came up the stairs. “What’s the matter?” he asked Liz. He gave Reggie a little pat too. “You love black bean burger night.”


  She pointed to her painting. “I’m just trying to fix these petals. I can’t get them right.”

  Her dad put his hand on her shoulder. “Liz, that’s beautiful. I think you’ve gotten the flower’s essence.”


  Liz sighed. “But it doesn’t look like the real petals. I want to get it exactly.”

  Her dad nodded. “I understand,” he said. “It’s not living up to your expectations. But hey, sometimes the unexpected can be even better.”


  Liz was quiet for a few moments. “I guess,” she said with a shrug. But deep down, Liz knew there had to be a way to fix those flowers.




About The Author

Callie Barkley loves animals. As a young girl, she dreamed of getting a cat or dog of her own until she discovered she was allergic to most of them. It was around this time that she realized the world was full of all kinds of critters that could use some love. She now lives with her husband and two kids in Connecticut. They share their home with exactly ten fish and a very active ant farm.

About The Illustrator

Tracy Bishop has loved drawing since she was a little girl in Japan. She spends her time illustrating books, reading, and collecting pens. She lives with her husband, son, and hairy dog, named Harry, in San Jose, California.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Little Simon (April 17, 2024)
  • Length: 128 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781665953221
  • Ages: 5 - 9

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