Category Archives: Animal

Pug and Pig Trick-or-Treat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pug and Pig Trick-or-Treat
by Sue Lowell Gallion, illustrated by Joyce Wan
Beach Lane Books, 2017

Pug and Pig, the best of friends, try on their Halloween costumes. Pig loves hers and can’t wait for Halloween to come.  Pug hates his, it’s too tight and no one can see him.  He claims he doesn’t care about Halloween.  But he does care about Pig.  When Halloween arrives, he finds a costume that suits him and he shares Halloween with Pig.

A true story of friendship, compromise, and being there for your friend, no matter what.

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Zoo Scientists to the Rescue

Zoo Scientists to the Rescue
by Patricia Newman, photographs by Annie Crawley
Millbrook Press, 2018

Written in kid-friendly terms, this book provides a fascinating, in-depth look at how zoo scientists are helping orangutans, black-footed ferrets and black rhinos, three animals on the Critically Endangered list.

Meredith Bastian studied orangutans in the field for several years, observing behaviors from the moment they woke, until they laid down to sleep. Her data has helped orangutans in both the wild and in zoos. She later worked at the Philadelphia Zo to integrate conservation into its operation.

Jeff Baughman helps manage the revival of the almost extinct black-footed ferret. In 1981 130 ferrets were discovered and Jeff is instrumental in expanding the population and returning it to the wild.

Rachel Santymire studied black rhinos in Africa to learn how to help them in zoos and in the field.  Rachel specializes in studying ‘poop’, which provides invaluable information about their lives.

The book also provides zoo history, conservation, and career information about zoo scientists.  The photos are outstanding and draw in both young and adult readers.

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Go Sleep in Your Own Bed!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Go Sleep in Your Own Bed!
by Candace Fleming, illustrated by Lori Nichols
Schwartz & Wade Books, 2017

Kids will love this poetic, interactive, guess which animal comes next story about animals on the farm. The story opens with a girl snuggled in her bed on the farm. Then, when pig “toddled to his sty, waddley-jog, Mooo!, Who do you think he found?”  When each animal found goes to his/her own bed, they find another, until the house cat snuggles in bed with the girl.  Filled with light humor, like when the horse was found in the tiny chicken coop!

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Found Dogs

 

Found Dogs
by Erica Sirotich
Dial Books for Young Readers

A counting book and a book about adopting pound dogs.  This clever story using simple rhymes to count up to ten dogs, then counts from ten to one, as the dogs leave for new homes.  Ever so clever, ever so perfect for young readers.  It can be read to the youngest, and read by those learning to read.  Author/illustrator Erica Sirotich matches dogs with new owners where spotted dogs go to firehouse workers and quick and thin dogs go to ballerinas.

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Here Comes Teacher Cat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here Comes Teacher Cat
by Deborah Underwood, illustrated by Claudia Rueda
Dial Books for Young Readers, 2017

There’s just something charming about Here Comes Teacher Cat.

Cat gets woken up to help out Ms. Melba, the Kitty School teacher, who goes away for the day.  Cat does not want to help.  Reluctantly he goes.  First he tries to get out of it.  When that doesn’t work he goes to the supply cabinet.  Using signs, he tells the class they will do music—until they become too loud. Then he decides to build a fish fountain, and the kids take over and build it.  Then he decides art is the next subject, and pour large tubs of paint and models how to get in one and paint the walls and floor.  But then Ms. Melba is about to return!  Told with minimal words, readers just wait for Cat to get in trouble.  Ink and color pencil drawings with lots of character make it fun to read the pictures.

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A Cat is Better

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Cat is Better
by Linda Joy Singleton, illustrated by Jorge Martin
Little Bee Books, 2017

Readers meet ‘confident’ cat at the pet store when a young boy picks him up.  Cat knows he is the most perfect pet and gives the boy permission to take him home.  But wait!  The boy is getting a dog, too?!  The cat knows this is a big mistake.  Readers will laugh as the cat points out all his attributes and all the dog’s foibles, while insisting he is the perfect pet.  But lo, readers will also see the side of the cat that makes mistakes and concessions.  A well balanced, tongue-in-cheek funny story asserting cats are better than dogs.

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Lion Lessons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lion Lessons
by Jon Agee
Dial Books for Young Readers, 2016

A young boy enters a school to earn his Lion Diploma.  He is told there are seven lessons.  He does not impress the school master with Lesson one, Looking Fierce.  Nor Lesson two, Roaring.  He’s not very good at hiding, sprinting nor pouncing. Until…he spots a very large dog chasing a very small kitten and his lion powers come forth.  A fun way to imagine taking on new powers with clear, expressive and clever illustrations. Young readers love imitating the lion.

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Bear and Hare, Where’s Bear?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bear and Hare, Where’s Bear?
by Emily Gravett
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2014

Bear and Hare play hide and seek, but bear isn’t so good at the hiding part, and Hare is great at the finding part.  So Hare hides.  But bear isn’t so good at the seeking part either and, looking for Hare, he crawls under a blanket.  Readers can see it’s the same blanket under which Hare is hiding.  Neither Bear nor Hare knows the other is also under the same blanket.  Humor the youngest can shout out warning the characters.  Find out how Bear and Hare finally find each other.  This book has thick, heavy pages great to feel and hold up to a young one’s turning.  The extra bonus to Bear & Hare is that Hare counts to ten three times, introducing the youngest to numbers and counting.

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There, There

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There, There
by Tim Beiser, illustrated by Bill Slavin
Tundra Books, 2017

As half the work of a picture book is the illustrations, this book’s textured, rich acrylic pictures, kept me turning the pages, again and again.  I was not familiar with Bill Slavin‘s books, but I’m reading them now.  A Canadian artist, he’s won numerous awards.

The text, written in well-done rhyme also pulled me in.  The story features a whiney rabbit who complains of just about everything, and a patient bear who accepts his friend’s quirks up to a point.  Tired of all his complaining, he marches his friend out and show’s him an earthworm who spends all his time in dirt, has no arms or legs and gets happy when he mistakes his own rear end for a friend!  Fortunately, rabbit gets it, and suddenly the day turns warm.  But the worm, tossed into the dirt was insulted!  The story ends on a humorous note in perfect rhyme.

A fresh story with a good lesson.

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Plankton is Pushy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plankton is Pushy
by Jonathan Fenske
Scholastic Press, 2017

Humor and tension run high in this story when Plankton tries to strike up a conversation with Mussel.  Mussel gives no reply.  Plankton considers this behavior just plain rude and proceeds to explain to Mussel how social rules are when someone says hi.  He gives Mussel another chance, but still no response from Mussel.  First Plankton gets angry, then he gets desperate and begs Mussel to speak.  The clam begins to open his shell, and Plankton gets excited that he is about to speak and leans in closer.  And closer, until, you guessed it—Snap!  Find out what Plankton thinks about Mussel.

While this shtick has been played out in many different scenarios, it remains funny in this sea world adventure.  Award winning author and illustrator Jonathan Fenske uses contrasts to the delight of readers in this story.  A small, salmon-colored plankton trying to push around a large, gray mussel clam sets the stage. The very emotional plankton moves up and down, forth and back, while the stoic mussel that just sits on the ocean bed.  A fun read.

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