Stanford Crow
About the author
Christian Paniagua
About the illustrator
Recommended age group : 5 to 8
Stanford Crow
Stanford Crow is not a hero, but he would be if he was given half a chance by the hero establishment. He spends a lot of time in Brooklyn, NY. He is also the author of Lazy Hero Cat of Egypt and Lazy Hero Cat and the Pirates.
Christian Paniagua
Christian Paniagua is an illustrator and graphic designer. He lives in Brooklyn, NY, with his wife and two daughters. He also illustrated The Case of the Paranoid Panda.
In a small pet shop on a street near you live four animals with superpowers, but they can’t be adopted. Grace the Guinea Pig, Carmine the Chameleon, Petruchio the Puppy, and Kitty the Cat have something else to do—They have to save the world!
When an evil snake in a City near you tries to take over the world, the Pet Shop Heroes jump to action. Can they save the day with science, team-building, courage and spunk? A funny superhero adventure for 6 to 8 year olds.
  • Pbk $4.99 ISBN 978-1-940021-11-9
  • eBook: $1.99 ISBN 978-1-940021-12-6
  • 60 pages, including 40 pages of black and white illustrations
  • Trim size 5-1/2 x 8-1/2
  • Paperback
Pet Shop Heroes Questions
  1. 1.
    Each of the Pet Shop Heroes has a superpower--can you name them?
  2. 2.
    We also know something about each hero’s
    character--something special about the way they act, or something special that they like to do or are interested in. What are they? How do their characters and interests help them save the day?
  3. 3.
    The author, Stanford Crow, says these interests and likes and personality traits are a kind of super power, too. If that’s true, What are your super powers? What are your friends’ super powers?
  4. 4.
    Stanford Crow says that all animals have special powers, and we should appreciate them. Can you name some animals and their special powers? Here’s an example: cheetahs are super-fast.
  5. 5.
    Sly the Snake tells Carmine that he wants to take over the world for reptiles--make a “super reptile planet.” Snakes are reptiles, and so are chameleons. Can you name some other reptiles?
  6. 6.
    What a world ruled by reptiles be like? How would it be different? Would we need to slither around on our bellies like snakes? Would buildings look different? Would we have cars?
  7. 7.
    Sly the Snake mind-controlled everyone except the Pet Shop Heroes--Why do you think his mind control didn’t work on the Pet Shop Heroes?
  8. 8.
    Petruchio the puppy mixes up his words a lot. When he said “Buy a polliwog” he meant to say “Diabolical.” How do they seem alike? Can you see why he mixed them up? Here are three other words/phrases he mixed up--can you see why he mixed up each one? What is different and what is alike?
    save the world    pave the swirl
    stop the snake    mop that cake
    disappeared        dis-a-peached
  9. 9.
    Grace uses her strength to make an art project for Mud. Can you think of some other art projects she could make using her strength?
  10. 10.
    Carmine really likes the scientific method-- (1) Question (2) Observation (3) Guess (4) Test (5)Conclusion. When he guessed that confusing the snake would help save them, why do you think he asked Petruchio to tell a joke as the test? Can you think of a question that you can answer using the scientific method? Here’s an example:
    Question: Am I still growing?
    Observation: My mom doesn’t seem to me to be as tall as she used to be.
    Guess (sometimes called a “hypothesis”): I am growing and my Mom is not (or, my Mom is shrinking!).
    Test: I will measure my height and my Mom’s height today and two months from now.
    Conclusion: we have to wait two months.
  • Here’s a quick experiment you can do using the scientific method.
  • Question: When an ice cube melts, will it make my glass of water overflow?
  • Observation: When ice melts, its turns into water.
  • Guess either: (a) When the ice cube melts, the cup will overflow because there’ll be more water. (b) When the ice cube melts, the cup won’t overflow, because even if there’s more water, there’ll be no ice cube.
    Test: take a clear plastic cup and fill it about halfway with warm water and set it down somewhere it won’t get tipped over and gets some sunshine. Then add ice cubes until the water comes almost to the top of the cup.
    Conclusion: What happened? Was your guess right or wrong? What can you conclude or learn from that? And here’s something that Carmine loves about the scientific method--even if he guesses wrong, he can still learn from it, and make a conclusion. It doesn’t matter if you guess right or wrong, so long as you keep learning! Then he can ask a question about that conclusion. For example, in this case, Question: Will I get the same result with an ice cube made of orange juice? Then he can make a guess and test that, too. And he can keep learning more and more!
PET SHOP HEROES is truly delightful and magical! A super read for elementary and middle grades, and with lovely and comical illustrations, great to read to younger children. Kids who love super heroes [what child doesn't?], magic and fantasy, or science, will each enjoy this story, which combines all of these, and gives a good moral lesson as well. I hope this will become a series of adventures for the four heroes of the pet shop.
Mallory Anne-Marie Forbes
This is a great book that really stands out from others in its use of the scientific method in such an elementary way that kids will begin to embrace this important concept. Hilarious at times and suspenseful at others, this book is simply wonderful for children and has it all: action, adventure, betrayal, and curiosity. The characters are well done and easy to get behind and cheer for. The illustrations are right on point and really add to the story as well. Definitely worth checking out for your kids - don't miss this book.
This is a cute beginning reader chapter book for young children. There are scientific methods explained in the book. A cute read with cute illustrations.
Carla Johnson-Hicks, Educator
This was a pretty cute story with lots of places for read-aloud special effects and adorable illustrations. A great beginner chapter book with some good vocabulary words to help young readers’ development, I hope to see it continue. My kids loved the pet theme hoping ours would develop powers of their own
I thought that this was really cute. I also liked it adding the lesson about the scientific method into the story. The illustrations were also really nicely done. The snake was so creepy! Loved it!
Stephanie Torina, Blogger
I had so much fun reading this book. I love the idea of animals as superheroes. I am going to use the book for reading circles in the classroom and have the students make up their own animal that could have superhero [powers]. It is a very creative and wonderful story of animals helping the world. A must read for kids.
Betty Moffitt, Teacher
I would gladly have "read" this book just for the pictures. They manage to be charming when they need to be, funny when they ought to be, pretty when they want to be, and they demonstrate a real sensitivity to the content and tone of the book as a whole. There are a couple of details like Grace making a little wire sculpture of a turtle (using her Super Strength) for Mud the Turtle that really delighted me. I know as a kid, I especially loved the feeling that if I spent a long time looking at the illustrations in a book, I would discover more about them well past the first cursory glances, and I think Christian Paniagua's art will provide that kind of delight for many young readers.

When it comes to Crow, his strength in this book lies in some of the quirky, silly, and funny depictions of animals' 'personalities' -- particularly the cat and the dog -- and especially in the contrast between the two. (As a cat person, I deeply appreciate the fact that the cat is intelligent and dignified [yes, yes, she's also arrogant] while the dog is really not very bright and often ridiculous.) One of my favorite things in the whole book: the dog's superhero costume is a silly mash-up of a dinosaur hat, a mask that makes me think of Zorro or a Mexican wrestler, and a small red cape. The cat's superhero costume is a cat suit.

Then, there is also the way that dog (Petruchio) speaks in nonsense... but it is often very funny, clever nonsense. He gets words confused or forgets the correct word for a sentence so often that he ends up saying things like, "Cake! That's enough hopscotch out of you! Prepare to meet your potato." Meet and potato? Get it?? Yuk yuk. There is also a little word play I particularly liked with "disapeached" instead of disappeared. I laughed...
I think the kids will like this, especially if it`s a series. It'll be the sort of comfortable read that kids enjoy
Allison Dollar
Pet Shop Heroes is an endearing read for elementary school readers. …. I thought the detailed, black and white line drawings were vibrant and fun to look at and liked the use of the concept of the scientific method. Perfect for budding scientists
Karen Oil
Why We Love This Book
At Bliss Group Books, we love superheroes. And our favorite kind of heroes are the ones that aren’t quite sure what they’re doing, but they know they want to do the right thing. We also love animals and great comic book art (thanks Christian Paniagua). And we love to laugh. Put that all together, and Pet Shop Heroes is a natural for us.
But wait, there’s more.
We’re firm believers that science education is a good thing. (“The scientist is not a person who gives the right answers, he's one who asks the right questions. ~Claude Lévi-Strauss.) We love that the scientific method plays a significant role in Pet Shop Heroes; observing, guessing, testing, concluding. And even more, we love that even though the heroes all have superpowers, it’s their everyday powers (Grace’s toughness, Kitty’s leadership, Carmine’s interest in science, Petruchio’s enthusiasm) that win the day. Stanford Crow reminds us that from a certain point of view, compared to humans, all animals have superpowers, and those superpowers come natural to them. And if what comes natural makes animals superheroes, maybe what comes natural to us can make us superheroes, too. As Petruchio says, “Buy a polliwog!” (translation: Diabolical!).
We hope you’ll enjoy Pet Shop Heroes like we do.
—Amel Larrieux
—Laru Larrieux
—Alan Bradshaw
—Bliss Group Books