Category Archives: Animal

Please Please the Bees

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please, Please the Bees
by Gerald Kelley
Albert Whitman & Company

A delightful story of how a bear takes things for granted, mixed with a bit of being kind and responsible, without any heavy-handedness.

Benedict, the bear, was a creature of habit. Each morning he woke, retrieved the honey the bees left, ate breakfast, played music, baked, knitted and ran errands. At days end, he’d end with honey tea.  Life was sweet, until one morning nothing was the same. The bees had gone on strike! Nothing went right that whole day. Finally, one of the bees had a serious talk with Benedict. Bear pointed out he ‘let’ them be in his field and they should be grateful. The bees pointed out that they do all the work, while their hive was in ruins. Benedict saw the hive and saw the way of his error. After some hard thinking, he decided maybe he had been too selfish. He changed his habits and learned life was even sweeter for everyone.

Gentle colors accent Benedict’s gentle demeanor and earnestness and make this a heartwarming story showing a change of disposition. A simple, yet grand, lesson disguised in a story.

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Step Right Up, How Doc and Jim Key Taught the World About Kindness

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step Right Up, How Doc and Jim Key Taught the World About Kindness
by Donna Janell Bowman, illustrated by Daniel Minter
Lee and Low Books Inc., 2016

This little known history story is about a former slave who had a way with animals. Because of his abilities, people soon started calling him Doc. When the Civil War ended, he started a horse hospital. He owned a horse who birthed Jim, part Arabian.  The horse was so sickly, Doc kept him in his house until he got better. Doc soon discovered just how smart Jim was and began teaching him the alphabet—which Jim learned!  Doc and Jim began touring the US.  In time Jim worked with the Human Society and helped promote kindness towards animals. The compelling story keeps the pages turning and an afterword includes photos and more details about Doc and Jim.

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Love Is

Love Is
by Diane Adams, illustrated by Claire Keane
Chronicle Books, 2017

This touching story features a little girl who learns about love when she rescues a little lost duck. She takes the duck home and soon discovers, “Love is noisy midnight feedings,”  “Love is waking up together…beak to nose.” But it’s also early mornings, messy bath times, and tidying up after the duck.  But soon the duck is ready for a bigger pond and the girl senses it’s time for the duck to travel on.  She returns it to the park’s pond to join her mother and the girl becomes ever so sad.  Then one day she meets up with her duck and the duck’s new family and she learns love lasts.

Sweet friendship story, written in a gentle rhyme little one’s will want to hear again and again.

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Tiny and the Big Dig

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tiny and the Big Dig
by Sherri Duskey Rinker, illustrated by Matt Myers
Scholastic Press, 2018

Written in playful rhyme, Tiny, a small dog with a large heart and an “I-don’t-give-up” attitude believes he smells a big bone and can dig it up.  No one, except his owner, believes small Tiny can do it.  They encourage him to give up, but Tiny just keeps on digging, because he believes in himself.  After digging up 3 other ‘bones’, but not the big one, he just keeps on digging until…he digs up the Big, Big bone.

With dirt flying in all directions and expressive faces, illustrations, in ink and watercolor, show Tiny’s intense excitement and determination to find the bone be knows is buried.  A heartwarming tale young readers will want to read again and again.

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If Wendell Had a Walrus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If Wendell Had a Walrus
by Lori Mortensen, illustrated by Matt Phelan
Henry Holt and Company, Books for Young Readers

This story follows Wendell’s imagination on his journey to find a walrus.

Wendell saw a cloud shaped like a walrus and his imagination roamed.  He imagined it was real. He gave it a name, told it jokes, and tried to play his favorite games with it, although he soon learned a walrus wasn’t so good at climbing trees. Wendel imagined he’d have “the most stupendiferous, cosmically colossal best time of their lives.”  When Wendell accepted he didn’t have a walrus, he decided to get one and a new journey began.

If Wendell Had a Walrus easily moves from one idea to another, just like an active, young boy’s imagination does.  A delight to read and re-read.  The words and playful illustrations work so well together, readers will feel like they have their own walrus! It’s the kind of book that inspires a child to imagine their own dreams.  A great adventure for young readers.

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Hilde Cracks the Case: Hero Dog!

Hilde Cracks the Case: Hero Dog!
by Hilde Lysiak
Scholastic, 2017

Author Hilde Lysiak, a real-life reporter since she was seven, now, at age ten, turns her reporting adventures into early reader chapter books. In real life, local reporters, police and other professionals don’t take her seriously, but her neighbors, who watch her meticulously follow through on clues, do!

In the first of the Hilde Cracks the Case series, Hero Dog!, We follow the adventures of Hilde as she is told of seemingly unrelated actions happening in her neighborhood.  Stolen eggs.  Smashed cupcakes.  Broken plates.  Are they related? Why would anyone do these things? Are there suspects?  Readers follow each clue as it’s discovered and think through the clues to help solve the mystery.  Will Hilde figure out the mystery, and will she get the story out on time?  A riveting read!

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Shelter

Shelter
by Celine Claire and Qin Leng
Kids Can Press
Originally published in France.

Forest animals wake to approaching storm and they race to prepare.  Little Fox worried if all animals are safe. A cold father and son bear approach warm homes, but no one offers help.  But Little Fox comes out and offers them a lamp.  The bears use it to light their handmade shelter of snow.  Then the roof begins to collapse in the foxes’ den and the family scurries out.  When they see the bear’s lantern light, they ask for shelter and are generously squeezed in.  A strong, quiet story rendered in pen and ink and water color.

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Invisible Lizard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Invisible Lizard
Kurt Cyrus, illustrated by Andy Atkins
Sleeping Bear Press, 2017

The agony of not being noticed is beautifully portrayed in Invisible Lizard., as is the satisfaction of having friends.

Napoleon, the chameleon, tries everything he can think of to attract the attention of other potential playmates like parrot and monkey, but, as readers soon learn, chameleons move extremely slow and he goes unnoticed. He builds a welcome mat, birdbath and makes faces, but no one sees him.  Finally, he resorts to the one thing he can do fast and he gets noticed.

Richly illustrated in color and details, the book is a feast for the eyes. Searching for the characters, it’s a bit like reading Where’s Waldo.

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The Little Red Cat Who Ran Away and Learned His ABC’s (the Hard Way)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Little Red Cat Who Ran Away and Learned His ABC’s (the Hard Way)

by Patrick McDonnell
Little, Brown and Company, 2017

Illustrated in clean, crisp drawings, we follow a little red cat who decides to go for a run.  But yikes! He runs into an alligator. Then a bear chases the alligator and cat.  Then a chicken follows them. They run through the entire alphabet, slipping on Ice, swinging through Jungles and all the way back to where he began in his bed, where he Yawns and sleeps (ZZZZ’s).  Clever, fun, imaginative; there’s ‘energy’ on each page. The drawings leave it up to the reader to discover each letter’s “word”, although words are given at the end.

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The Hawk of the Castle, a Story of Medieval Falconry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Hawk of the Castle, a Story of Medieval Falconry
by Danna Smith, illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline
Candlewick Press, 2017

This exquisitely illustrated book shares a tale of falconry set in the medieval days. Author Danna Smith was trained on falconry as a child, and provides an exciting, insightful experience of hunting with falcons.

With easy to understand rhyme, repetition and illustrations, the youngest readers can follow the basic story.  Readers learn how falcons are trained, how the birds are lifted into flight, how they soar above the castle, and how they capture their prey.  As young readers are ready to know more, each page provides explanations of terms, equipment and insights about falcons.  A generous afterward includes many more historical and current details about the sport.

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