Play and stay at the Animal Inn, a brand-new chapter book series where the fur—and fun—flies at an animal spa and hotel.
The Animal Inn is an all-inclusive pet resort/hotel/center/spa for animals from dogs to rabbits, cats to ducks, parrots to lizards. From doggie and kitty daycare, to grooming, and group play—you name it, and the Animal Inn has it.
The Inn is run by the Tyler family along with their pets Leopold, the Macaw; Fuzzy and Furry, the gerbils; dogs Dash and Coco; felines Shadow and Whiskers; and a rollicking horde of animal visitors.
When the animals hear that a new boarder—a Komodo Dragon—will be coming to the Inn, they panic! Is it a fire-breathing dragon? Will it gobble them all up and then devour their family? What’s to become of the Animal Inn?
Saturday is a busy day at Animal Inn. Mom teaches her Polite Puppies class. Dad and Jake host the Furry Pages. That’s when children read aloud to an animal buddy. And there are grooming appointments and usually a birthday party or two.
On this Saturday morning I was on my perch in the Welcome Area. Dad was tidying up the brochures. Mom was talking on the phone to an old friend from her dog show days.
Suddenly I heard Jake holler from upstairs. “Where could they be?”
“I don’t know,” shouted Ethan. “They were in the gerbiltorium a minute ago.”
Fiddlesticks. Fuzzy and Furry must have escaped again.
Fuzzy and Furry are experts at picking the lock on their gerbiltorium. They usually escape at night, when guests are safely tucked into their cages, crates, tanks, and stalls.
I was a bit worried that Fuzzy and Furry might run into the new guest on the third floor—a boa constrictor named Copernicus.
“Ethan!” Jake shouted. “Start looking!”
“Stop telling me what to do!” Ethan shouted.
“Ethan! Start looking!” Jake shouted again.
“You’re not the boss of me!” Ethan shouted back.
Mom rushed up the stairs. Luckily, the gerbils had not bumped into Copernicus. They were found in Jake and Ethan’s laundry hamper, fast asleep.
A few minutes later Cassie came downstairs, followed by Coco.
“Princess Coco,” Cassie said, “let’s go look for fairies.”
“Just have Coco back in time for Furry Pages,” said Dad. “And careful not to let Shadow out.”
Shadow is supposed to be an indoor cat, but she loves to sneak outside. Cassie and Coco are her best chance for a little adventure.
“Dad,” Cassie said. “We are princesses. I am Princess Cassie, and this is Princess Coco.”
Stephanie Laberis is a freelance illustrator and character designer for animation. Originally from New England, she now lives in Northern California with her wonderful partner, a couple of felines, and a handful of rodents. Her love for art is rivaled only by her love for animals, and she spends her spare time as a volunteer wildlife rehabber. She loves painting, needle felting, and losing herself in a good video game.