The Secret Pet


A Phonetic Reader

Written and Illustrated by Shelley Davidow

Educator Resource: Children’s Fiction

Grades 2-3

– Published:  June 2012
– ISBN:  9781931061421
– Pages: 112
– Size:  5.5 x 8.5



The Secret Pet follows the delightful Early Reader Series of books also written by Shelley Davidow.   In this first chapter book, we meet once again several of the characters from the introductory series, most notably the boy Tim and Jake the (magical) Snake.  Tim and Jake become fast friends, both of them deciding that they simply must be together.  This entails Tim sneaking Jake into his home (since Tim’s mother is not very fond of snakes) and into school (where pets really aren’t welcome).  Through their adventures, they both discover some truths about the differences between life in the wild and life in a home, and how it is that we change our habits and inclinations out of love for one another.  A perfect chapter book for young readers who are learning to decode consonant and vowel blends, punctuation meaning and sentence structure.

The author’s ability to create a humorous and thoughtful story is once again demonstrated; her beautiful drawings bring the story to life, capturing the attention of those early or struggling readers and keeping them reading until they finish the book.

Grades 2-3

Author Biography:

Shelley Davidow was born and raised in South Africa.  Her books for children, young adults and adults have been published in Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States and  Australia.  In 2002, her young adult novel, In the Shadow of Inyangani (Macmillan 2003), was a finalist in the Macmillan/Picador BBC World Writer’s Prize for Africa.  She has an MSEd from Sunbridge College in New York and has taught in schools, colleges and universities across the world.    She now lives on the East Coast of Australia with her husband and son.


1 review for The Secret Pet

  1. Cathy

    “Shelley Davidow’s The Secret Pet is a perfect chapter book for young readers who are in the process of learning to decode consonant and vowel blends.  From the first page of this sweet story, you can tell that Shelley knows what lives in children’s warm hearts and curious minds.  She artistically gives her readers repeated opportunities to practice; they cannot help but be successful.  Shelley’s writing is musical, inventive, and quite hilarious at times.”

    ~ Cat Greenstreet, M.A., M.Ed., Program Director, Waldorf Elementary Education Program, Sunbridge College

     “A delightful chapter book for young readers with a simple yet enticing journey, and a very satisfying resolution.  The story line, with its touches of humour and its multiple connections to animals and nature, urges the reader to continue to the end, a necessary requirement for any successful reader!”

    ~ Susan Perrow, M.Ed., Author of Healing Stories for Challenging Behaviour

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