Category Archives: Animal

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.

Read more reviews on Amazon.

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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The Green Umbrella

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Green Umbrella
by Jackie Azua Kramer, illustrated by Maral Sassouni
North South Books, 2017

A lovely friendship story with structure, repetition, and an introduction to lots of fun things about the world.

On a rainy day, Hedgehog said to Elephant, with a green umbrella, “I believe you have my boat.”   Elephant disagrees, but offers to share it with Hedgehog.  Then Cat says, “I believe you have my tent.”  Again, elephant disagrees, but offers to share it with Cat.  Following the structure similar to Jan Brett’s “The Mitten”, the story goes on.  What makes the story interesting is what each animal does with their green umbrella.  Hedgehog, among other things, watches dolphins leap two by two; Cat studies plants and flowers in wooded forests.  Following each animal, young readers are introduced to all kinds of different things done by each animal. When it stops raining, Elephants closes the umbrella and starts to go on his way, but they all call out.  Soon this eclectic group of animals all become friends.  A fun read for family.

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Whobert Whover, Owl Detective

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whobert Whover, Owl Detective
by Jason Gallaher, illustrated by Jess Pauwels
Margaret K. Elderberry Books, 2017

A hilarious book where the words tell one story, while the graphics tell another!

Whobert Whover (so clever, for the adults) is on the case when he discovers possum lying awfully still.  He looks for clues.  He finds a feather and concludes Debbie the bird killed Possom.  Debbie tries to explain to Whobert, who did it, but Whobert Whover doesn’t exactly listen and looks for more clues.  A rollicking walk through the forest, where Whobert so busy he doesn’t even notice that Possom is up and running away.  Everyone, including the young readers, knows who done it—except Whobert!  The ending doubles readers over in laughter.

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Philomena’s New Glasses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Philomena’s New Glasses
By Brenna Maloney
Viking, 2017

A perfect book for siblings.

Philomena had poor eyesight and got new glasses.  But as soon as she did, her sister got some too.  Then her other sister thought that maybe she, too, should have glasses.  Then Philomena bought a handbag to store her glasses.  Her second sister got one and used it for snacks.  The third sister got one, too, just to be the same.  Eventually, they realize that ‘not everyone needs the same things” and unnecessary things disappear…until…

Author/artist Brenna Maloney uses her own pet guinea pigs for this bemusing tale of three sisters.

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Old MacDonald Had a Farm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Old MacDonald Had a Farm
by Gris Grimly
Orchard Books, 2017

Every child knows the song, Old MacDonald Had a Farm, but this book has a GREAT BIG surprise ending!  Author/artist Gris Grimly, raised on a farm and now lives in a city, decided to share his family’s version of this song with young readers.  His illustrations are fun, action-filled, and include several surprises and sub-stories to delight the visually alert readers, including a ‘heart’ patch on the farmer’s overalls. A great family story.

Back matter includes a brief history of the song—an early version sung during WWI—its music, as well as old-timey pictures of Gris Grimly’s farming family.

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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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