Aug 15, 2009


by Bill Peet

It's been a long time since I picked up a J Nonfic book just for my own reading, but I was so curious about this I couldn't resist. I always loved Bill Peet's books when I was a kid, and have just started reading some to my daughter. We were in the juvenile nonfiction section so she could find books about hamsters (her favorite future pet still) when I saw this one on the shelf. It's about a capybara that Peet's son, an aspiring naturalist, once bought from an animal dealer and kept in their home. The story tells all about how the capybara settled down to be part of the family, its behavior, its sensitive nature, the mischief it got into. Not to mention the more mundane details like what it eats, the noises it makes, how it liked to have its fur combed. Eventually, of course, the capybara got too big to remain a housepet and had to go live at a zoo, where it shared a cage with two hippos! The illustrations are charming, the story is fun and informative. My husband and I have always been kind of fascinated with these huge rodents, and now thanks to Capyboppy I know quite a bit more about them. Sadly, if you visit Peet's online page, the story does not have a completely happy ending, as was given in the book.

Rating: 3/5                   62 pages, 1966

More opinions:
Capybara Madness
Discipline Answers


  1. What sort of age would you say this was suitable for? I know that can be a hard question sometimes but it sounds charming and am wondering if it might appeal to my grandaughter.

  2. I read it to my five-year old and she liked it. I would say ages 5-10, probably.

  3. How cool to have a pet capybara! I have cleverly not clicked on the link about the sad ending, and thus I am left with only nice feelings about this.

    I recently learned (speaking of weird pets) that Dante Gabriel Rossetti the poet became obsessed with wombats late in his life, and had two pet ones that he used to put on the dinner table while he was eating.

  4. You know, I think this is the one Bill Peet book we haven't read. I'll click your link to prepare myself, then put it on the list for this week's library run.

  5. I wonder if I could find this in our library — my daughter loves these kind of animal stories!

  6. Thanks for including a link to my blog on your review of this book. Capyboppy is my hero and the tragic end of the story just makes him more heroic in my eyes. I also have a review of this book on my blog. Capybaras can be wonderful pets but we are a major commitment.

    If you are looking for a book about capybaras for children 9-12, check out my owner's book, Celeste and the Giant Hamster.


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