post written by Esther Filbrun
Author: Bill Peet
Major Themes: Capybaras, Rodents
Synopsis: The story of one family with a pet capybara who just couldn’t stay out of trouble.
There are so many weird and wonderful animals in this world of ours, and Capyboppy is an excellent way to introduce one of these animals to children. Mom first read it to me years ago when I was either seven or eight, and I remember really enjoying it. Each successive reading—either by Mom to all of us or me for one of my siblings—makes the story that much more fun. Capybaras are fascinating animals, and through the medium of fun stories and drawings they come alive.
The author’s son Bill has always had a zoo in his room. The contents varied from time to time, but one time he got a baby capybara. Capyboppy was cute and fun…for a while. He settled into the family routine quite happily, and despite his tendency to enjoy the cat’s food, claim the back yard and pool as a mud wallow, and insert himself into the family’s evening activities, he was mostly a well-loved animal. Then, he really began to grow up. What will happen with this huge, heavy rodent—one that is no longer easy to include in family activities because of his size and energy, not to mention eating abilities?
Capyboppy is a great book for introducing the world’s largest rodent to children. The story itself is fascinating, and the many detailed pencil drawings makes this a book my brothers beg to have read over and over.