I’m Three! (Not that anyone cares)

Me with my birthday gifts

I don’t want to sound bitter but, well, this birthday was a big letdown. I mean, last year I had a major party in the park. Tons of people visited me. I had a blueberry cake and lots of yogurt. This year my owner didn’t even bother to stay home and celebrate with me.

Continue reading “I’m Three! (Not that anyone cares)” »

Capybaras in Japan are Reading Celeste!

Harry the Capybara

I was so excited when my friend Neighboring Wild (@nbwild) sent me a link to his blog showing capybaras and other animals reading my book, Celeste and the Giant Hamster! Look how cute little Harry is in the photo above. He even has a little tuft of hair on his forehead just like I do! Of course he’s still a baby so the zookeeper has to read the book to him. Plus it might be scary a little for a baby capybara to read alone.

The blog is in Japanese but even if you don’t understand the words, the photos are priceless.

Don’t forget to pick up your own version of Celeste and the Giant Hamster either on Amazon or here.

Book Review: Capybara: The World’s Largest Rodent

Capybara: The World’s Largest Rodent (Super Sized!)
by Natalie Lunis

Book Type: Juvenile, non-fiction (ages 4 -8)
Date of publication: 2009
Publisher: Bearport Publishing


Topics covered include:

  • A Really Big Rodent
  • Wet, Grassy Homes
  • Big Teeth
  • Noisy Groups
  • Bringing Up Babies
  • Extra-Large Enemies
  • Everybody into the Water!
  • Sneaky Swimmers
  • Rodent Ranches

The book’s format is that each left-hand page contains up to about 80 words of text and one to three small photos with the opposing page having a single large photo on the same topic.

Interior page of Capybaras: The World's Largest Rodent

Interior page of Capybaras: The World's Largest Rodent

Owner’s Review:

This book is more for the lower end of the age range rather than the higher. The text is informative, as far as it goes, which is not very far. All of the data is correct, the layout is nice and the photos are wonderful. In fact, I’d buy it for the photos alone. But I don’t think the text is entertaining enough for very young and it is not informative enough for the older children.

Caplin’s Review:FiveGreenPaws_tiny

I liked this book. As my owner said, the photos are really great! There is one of a capybara jumping into the water that is just the perfect action shot. The photo of the jaguar looked just as fierce and terrifying as those awful cats really are. And photos of the baby capys with their moms were so sweet. I also liked the way the little facts were framed in capybara fur. There wasn’t much text but what it said was a pretty good description of us capybaras.

Rodent Jeopardy! Game 2

Final Board

Final Board

Twitter mania! I am sponsoring a game of Rodent Jeopardy! on Twitter starting Black Friday (November 27th) at 7:00 am Central Time.

To join in the fun, use #RodentJeopardy on twitter. If you haven’t already started tweeting, now is the time! Get an account and join the fun.

If you’re not already following me on Twitter, you should start! Find out when I’m eating, when I’m sleeping, I even tweet from the pool! @CaplinRous. Most importantly, in order for you to play, I must be following you. Send me a DM (direct message by putting “d ” as the first part of your tweet). If it bounces, send me a regular tweet message (@CaplinRous) and ask me to follow you so you can play.

This game of Rodent Jeopardy! will be sponsoring my new favorite charity, Hero Rats! Check them out. They are real land-mine-sniffing, tuberculosis-diagnosing rats! For every player (anyone who answers at least one question), I will donate $1 US. For each point earned by any player, I will donate an additional $0.01. In the last game that would have been $45 for the players PLUS $38 for the points!  So play hard and play often to help the Hero Rats clear land mines in Africa.

Rodent Jeopardy! rules:

  1. Anyone can play.
  2. Response must be in the form of a question DMed to @CaplinRous.
  3. Whoever gives the first correct response chooses the next block to be uncovered.
  4. I will tweet the time the next answer will be revealed after receiving at least one correct response.
  5. This page will be updated with the revealed blocks as the game progresses so check back often!

Rodent Jeopardy! scoring:

  1. Each of the first five correct responses earn the block value plus extra points. The first correct response earns the block value plus five. The second earns the block value plus four, etc. All correct responses after 5th are awarded 1/2 block value.
  2. No points are deducted for an incorrect response.
  3. After all the blocks have been revealed, there will be one round of Rodent Final Jeopardy! Only the top 10 players will be scored on this round. For Final Jeopardy, each player will DM me with the amount the intend to “wager” before the round starts.
    FINAL JEOPARDY: Category is Recent Blogs
    DM me with amount of wager. Can wager any number of points up to your total points.
    Get only one guess.
    Incorrect guess results in loss of 1/2 pts wagered.

Rodent Jeopardy! Prizes!!!

Download Chapter One of Celeste and the Giant Hamster for FREE. Make sure you read it before Rodent Jeopardy! starts!

@vernbern's Minicap & The Cap Playing #RodentJeopardy

@vernbern's Minicap & The Cap Playing #RodentJeopardy

Correct Responses

On the web:

  • 10: Who is Jeff VanderMeer?
  • 20: What is 5?
  • 30: What is KittySneezes
  • 40: Who are Emily & Elizabeth?
  • 50: Who is Dobby?
World Capybaras:
  • 10: Where is San Antonio Zoo?
  • 20: What is York’s Wild Kingdom
  • 30: Where is Arkansas?
  • 40: In play
  • 50: Where is Venezuela?
Chapter One: Celeste & the Giant Hamster
  • 10: Who is Ruby?
  • 20: What is a mouse?
  • 30: Who is Celestina?
  • 40: Who is Tiger?
  • 50: What is house?
Capys in the Arts:
  • 10: Who is Bill Peet?
  • 20: What is Hooway for Wodney Wat
  • 30: Who is Terry Stanley?
  • 40: Who is Grace Warrington?
  • 50: Who is Jeff Djayasaputra?
Visual Rodents
  • 10: What is a prairie dog?
  • 20: What is a porcupine?
  • 30: What is a groundhog?
  • 40: What is a squirrel?
  • 50: What is a Patagonian Cavy or Mara?


Rodent Jeopardy earned $102.14 which owner will donate to Hero Rats!

Congratulations to everyone! Thanks for playing.

@LouPeb waiting for his owner to start reading to him

@LouPeb waiting for his owner to start reading to him

@GeorgetheDuck with Capy Holidays cards

@GeorgetheDuck with Capy Holidays cards

Georgetown Book Festival

Owner’s Blog

Table display for Celeste and the Giant Hamster

Table display for Celeste and the Giant Hamster

As hard as it was to pull myself away from Caplin for a whole day, I spent this past Saturday at a book festival in Georgetown, Texas. It’s coming up on the holiday season and it seemed like a good idea to get Celeste and the Giant Hamster out in the public eye. This is the first book festival I’ve ever attended, either as an author/participant or as library patron, even though I am an avid reader. I paid my twenty bucks and got my own table, shown above.

Sadly, the book festival people refused to allow Caplin to come, even for an hour or so, to entertain the festival goers. That was a mistake on their part because Caplin would have really livened up the place! Instead I had to use some stand-up cut-outs of him as surrogate capybaras. (I got the standups made at If you’d like a Caplin standup, drop me a comment and let me know what photo you’re going to use so I can send you the full resolution image.)

The real Human Celeste and the fake Caplin Rous

The real Human Celeste and the fake Caplin Rous

That worked out okay but what I didn’t realize is that I should have marked each of the three stand-ups–one of baby Caplin, one of Caplin at four months and one of adult Caplin–as all being life-sized. Instead I had to tell everyone that when they came up to my desk. Maybe that actually worked better because it was fun to see their expressions of astonishment. (Although they would have been even more astonished by the real Caplin Rous.)

Celeste, my granddaughter and the impetus for writing the book, came and spent a little time with me. But mostly she went to the other book festival activities like the magic show and story-telling. She and the other kids seemed to have a great time. But the meet-the-authors part of the festival was tucked away in a room upstairs and there were no activities up there. For example, a live capybara activity would have been great. Or they could have just had short book-readings. Or they could have had authors talking to kids about what it is like to write.

But, alas, the meet-the-authors section was not well attended. Nevertheless, I had a great time. I met some interesting people, gave out a lot of cards for this blog, talked about capybaras to everyone, and had interesting discussions with some of my fellow authors.

I also gave away many copies of the capybara coloring pages and some kids even colored them at my table (I colored two myself!). If you colored one of the pages, please send me a scan of it to post here, you can use the Contact tab on the left sidebar. It would be great to see your artistic endeavors.


The Meet-the-Authors room at the book festival.

And I learned that Georgetown, Texas has a totally awesome library. It has wonderful open stacks, great art in the hallways and sculpture outside, an actual café in the library with great food. But the best part is the children’s section. It has a South American jungle theme with murals painted on all the walls.

Mural including a capybara in children's section of Georgetown library

Mural including a capybara in children's section of Georgetown library

Please notice the capybara peeking out of the grass near the bottom left corner. How great is that? Of course, whoever painted it had no idea how large capybaras are because that one would be a midget. Or maybe the jaguar is a giant. Or maybe nothing is drawn to scale. At any rate, I would love to do a book reading / capybara encounter and have Caplin in front of that mural. I donated a copy of the book to the library and gave them one of Caplin’s cards. Hopefully they’ll contact me about it.