Category Archives: Animal

Hoot and Honk Just Can’t Sleep

Hoot and Honk Just Can’t Sleep
by Leslie Helakoski
Sterling Children’s Books, 2017

During a storm, eggs of owl and duck tumble away from their nests.  The mothers find their lost egg and return them to their nests, but there’s a mix up.  Owl is born with ducks and world is topsy turvy—and those ducks sleep all night!  Duck is born with owls and does not take to fur and bones for dinner!  Rendered in rich, bold, layered pastels on sanded paper the characters jump off the page.  Written in terse, rhyming verse it’s a delight to the ears.

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Mela and the Elephant

Mela and the Elephant
Dow Phumiruk, illustrated by Ziyue Chen
Sleeping Bear Press, 2018

An adventurous young Mela leaves behind her brother, for he has nothing to trade her, and borrows her uncle’s boat to chase a fish down river. Soon she is too far down and cannot row up the swift waters. She offers an alligator her fish, if he would return her to the village. She tosses him the fish and he swims away. She attempts to trade with other animals and is soon left with nothing to trade, alone and lost. An elephant offers to take her home, with nothing in trade.  Mela learns kindness is its own reward.

Concludes with a bit of a ‘preachy’ ending, but great for discussion.  Illustrator Ziyue Chen engages young readers into the story when she captures facial expressions of an independent and brave Mela on her adventure.

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Bunny’s Book Club

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bunny’s Book Club
by Annie Silvestro, illustrated by Tatjana Mai-Wyss
Doubleday Books for Young Readers, 2017

Children who love books will relate to book-loving Bunny who has a new adventure in each book he reads. When outdoor reading days at the library ended, he was beside himself. Searching for a way into the library, he discovered the book return!  He danced and pranced and snatched every book he could, to take home and read. “Soon, his home was more books than burrow!” Then, one by one, he invited his friends to join him in the library until one morning—the librarian!

Illustrator Tatjana Mai-Wyss has done an amazing job capturing each animal’s passion for reading.

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The simple artwork showing Taylor, each animal, and his blocks emphasize the emotions Taylor feels.

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Ducks Away!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ducks Away!
by Mem Fox, illustrated by Judy Horacek
Scholastic Inc., 2018

Written for the earliest of readers, Ducks Away! Is a lyrical, nurturing book of a mother duck and her five ducklings—and a counting book, too!

Five little ducks waddle across a bridge when a gust of wind sweeps one into the river.  Mother Duck worries, “What should I do? Where should I go, with four on the bridge and one below?” She continues to worry, when another and another and eventually all five fall into the river.  Hesitant about jumping off the bridge, the little ducks encourage her to jump!

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I Love Dad with the Very Hungry Caterpillar

I Love Dad with the Very Hungry Caterpillar
by Eric Carle
Grosset & Dunlap, 2018

An adorable board book for infants and young toddlers and a perfect companion book to The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

The brief story tells of a youngster who shares good times with dad, a couple prickly times with dad, as well as how dad comforts the youngster.

Delighting readers, a very hungry caterpillar appears on each page inviting young readers to find it.  It’s Eric Carle at his best in his latest book.

Young readers will meet colorful parrots, seals, gorillas, prickly porcupines, and more in this simple tale.

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Guess Who, Haiku

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guess Who, Haiku
by Deanna Caswell, illustrated by Bob Shea
Abrams Appleseed, 2016

A perfect introduction to haiku for preschoolers and kindergarteners!  Starting with introducing a cow, each haiku introduces a new animal common to young readers. Each haiku includes word clues and illustrations include picture clues.  The first haiku is:

new day on the farm
muffled mooing announces
a fresh pail of milk

The readers turn the page to discover (or confirm) the answer!  Then that animal recites the next haiku.  This simple-to-read and comprehensive format will help make learning about haiku fun and help first time haiku writers be brave enough to attempt their own haiku.  After a child has mastered Old MacDonald Had a Farm, this will follow beautifully to introduce them to poetry.

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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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