Wild Time at the Bed & BiscuitGuild Member Joan Carris is excited to announce that the second book in the Bed and Biscuit series is now available – Wild Times at the Bed and Biscuit, published by Candlewick Press. Like its predecessor -  Welcome to the Bed and BiscuitWild Times is illustrated by Noah Z. Jones.

Wild Times at the Bed and Biscuit has now been included on the list of Smithsonian Notable Books for Children 2009: "The next installment in the quiet exploits of the best fictional vet around. Grampa Bender rescues wild creatures from a cranky muskrat to a wounded Canada goose, nursing them back to health at his animal boardinghouse. A clever chapter book for elementary-school ages or an admirable read-aloud for pre-school children."

Grandpa Adam Bender, a retired vet, counts on his diverse family for help in running his animal-boarding business. Gabby, an elderly mynah bird with a sharp tongue, is the oldest. Milly, a possessive teenage pussycat is the youngest. In between is Ernest, a practical three-year-old mini-pig who helps with heavy-duty chores, rallies the family in times of stress, and lives to teach others.

Now add a wounded Canada goose, a cranky muskrat with an infected foot, and two starving fox kits. Grampa Bender needs the help of his wise mini-pig, Ernest, and his sassy mynah bird, Gabby. The puppy, Sir Walter the Scottie, and Milly, a teenaged pussycat, round out the cast of critters who star in a funny, touching story about the differences between wild and tame.

Praise for Wild Times at the Bed and Biscuit
“Part James Herriot, and part Dick King-Smith, this endearing sequel to Welcome to the Bed & Biscuit (Candlewick, 2006) explores the intricate connection between wild and domesticated animals with a trim plot attached. The wildlife shelter is having some new pens built, so veterinarian Grandpa Bender is enlisted to take in a Canada goose with an arrow through its neck, a muskrat with an infected foot, and a pair of orphaned fox kits. The narrator and main character is a mini-pig named Ernest, who tries to watch the other animals that reside with the vet: a Vietnamese hill mynah, a Maine coon cat, and a Scottie pup. The animals all communicate with each other, and the bird actually speaks to humans as well. The charming black-and-white illustrations are reminiscent of Garth Williams's work. This story's messages speak to children's interest in wild animals. The dominant theme involves a kindly veterinarian successfully rehabilitating animals and releasing them to the wild. A secondary theme speaks to the responsibility of hunters to bag their prey, not leaving wounded animals to die slowly. And a subtle plotline addresses the relationship of dogs to their wild cousins, the foxes. The story unfolds without preaching, but aptly hits on these issues. It would make a great read-aloud for the primary grades and is sure to be a hit with competent easy-chapter-book readers.
—Debbie Whitbeck, West Ottawa Public Schools, Holland, MI School Library Journal

Joan Carris has published more than a dozen books for children. She also teaches graduate-level writing at Duke University. She lives in Beaufort, North Carolina.



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