Category Archives: Animal

Bully

Bully
by Jennifer Sattler
Sleeping Bear Press, 2018

This book does an amazing job of showing exactly what bullies get when they bully.

As each loveable, innocent creature comes by to enjoy the water lilies in the pond, Bully declares the lilies are his and sends them away.  Soon he is alone.  Enjoying the lilies all for himself, he makes a crown, eats them (getting a tummy ache) and sleeps on a new pile each night until there is only one lily left.  He declares it “Mine!” and sits on it.  About then, a little bee has an idea.  He shares his idea with all the creatures sent away.  They, too, want the lilies to return, and they return together to chase the bully away.

You’ll have to read the story to see exactly what the bully gets for being a bully.  A delightful read, simply told so even the very youngest readers will get the message and have fun laughing, too.

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Geraldine

Geraldine
by Elizabeth Lilly
A Neal Porter Book, 2018

Geraldine moves to a new school where she is the only giraffe and is soon known as “That Giraffe Girl.”  At her old school she was ‘Geraldine”, but here she is “That Giraffe Girl.”  Feeling left out, she hides behind a tree, sort of.  One day another girl sits in Geraldine’s tree spot. The new girl, Cassie, is defensive as everyone calls her names because she’s smart, likes math and organizes her food.  Soon they start playing together, and like it.  One day Geraldine drags Cassie to the lunch table and introduces her as someone who can stay in a handstand for 167 seconds.  The other kids are impressed.  Cassie introduces Geraldine as the Queen of England. The kids are quiet, until Geraldine gives them her most queenly royal wave, and they all laugh.

A beautifully written book that provides a role model showing the importance of being one’s self even when you move to a new school.  I suspect more Geraldine books will soon turn up.

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Hoot Owl, Master of Disguise

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hoot Owl, Master of Disguise
by Sean Taylor, Illustrated by Jean Jullien
Candlewick Press, 2015

This humorous mystery book keeps the pages turning!

Hoot Owl disguises himself in costumes to sneak up on his prey.  He is not deterred when the rabbit hops away from his carrot disguise.  He immediately locates his next victim and cleverly creates his next disguise.  But lo, his victims never end up in his tummy, until the last one!  This g rated ending provides a humorous, satisfying conclusion.

With creative descriptions, tension and repetitive phrases, young readers will want to read this clever story again and again.

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Winter Dance

Winter Dance
by Marion Dane Bauer, illustrated by Richard Jones
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017

Written in a poetic voice, a fine red fox introduces young readers to how winter creatures survive winter.

When the first snowflake falls from the sky, fine red fox wonders what he should do.  From the woolly caterpillar soon-to-be butterfly, from turtles who bury themselves in the mud, and from the snowshoe hare who turns white, fox is given solutions.  Each time, fox declares, “That won’t do for me.”   What will he do?  As the snow gently turns the land white, another fox joins him and they dance, what foxes do in nature!  A gentle story about animals and how they adapt to winter.  Illustrated in soft, winter colors and the bold orange for the fox, the artist shows the curious fox study each suggestion to see how he might use it.  Endearing illustrations.

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Hush Hush, Forest

Hush Hush, Forest
by Mary Casanova, woodcuts by Nick Wroblewski
University of Minnesota Press, 2018

Award-winning author, Mary Casanova, brings readers another story that introduces young readers to nature. Hush Hush, Forest introduces late-fall moving into winter where animals prepare for the cold.  Rich with forest animals preparing for winter, parent and child can discuss the season’s changes and how animals adapt.  She also sprinkles in other changes, including lengthening shadows, hummingbirds that fly to warmer breezes, and the colorful Northern lights.  The woodcuts give the story a rustic, down-home ambiance to comfort tired souls. Written in a gentle lyrical voice, it is perfect for bedtime.

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Madeline Finn and the Shelter Dog

Madeline Finn and the Shelter Dog
by Lisa Papp
Peachtree Publishers

Madeline, of Madeline Finn and the Library Dog, learns about and visits an animal shelter.  She volunteers by rummaging their closet for old towels to donate. To help more, she collects towels from neighbors. But she wants to let the animals know they are loved and coordinates a “read to the shelter animals’ day”, like they have at the library.

An endearing story showing a child who made a difference in her world.

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Vincent Comes Home

Vincent Comes Home
by Jessixa Bagley, illustrated by Aaron Bagley
Roaring Book Press, 2018

Vincent, the ship’s cat, has a difficult time understanding this place everyone called ‘home’. The Captain and mates raved about it, but Vincent doesn’t understand.  After many months at sea, the ship arrives at home port and, for the first time in his life, Vincent went on land.  He followed his shipmates and learned what home meant and why it was so special.  But then he realized he didn’t have a home, until…

A heart-warming story ideal for new explorers, complete with illustrations of a ship’s galley, cargo, and ports of call.

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The Rough Patch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Rough Patch
by Brian Lies
Greenwillow Books, 2018

Evan and his dog did everything together, until the unspeakable happened.  His dog passed. Evan acted out his emotions.  He ripped apart his garden that he and his dog once shared and he let weeds grow in the garden’s place. Evan’s anger shows up on every page, until…

In minimal words and in illustrations that clearly show the emotions one feels when someone close passes, we watch Evan struggle with his emotions.  Half the story is in the illustrations.  A comforting book for those who have lost a pet.

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Can I Be Your Dog?

Can I Be Your Dog?
by Troy Cummings
Random House, 2018

ARFY, a mutt living in a box near Butternut Streets, sends a letter to each home/business on the street asking if he can be their dog. He cleverly targets each letter specifically to the family/business inside.  At the yellow house, he shares he is potty trained, has his own squeaky bone and is willing to work with them on their pet cat.  At the fire station, he offers to fetch boots and claims he knows his way around all the fire hydrants.  Desperate, he even tries the dump, but is told to get lost.

Then, one morning, he wakes up with a letter addressed to him!  Who could it be from?  A great surprise ending.

The story completely tugs at the reader’s heart, as ARFY tries so hard to find himself a home.

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I am a Cat

I am a Cat
by Galia Bernstein
Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2018

A gray tabby cat, Simon, introduces himself to a roomful of large cats—think lions, tigers, leopards, panthers, etc.—and claims he is just like them. The large cats, of course, find that hilarious and laugh at Simon.  Each large cat introduces himself and what makes him distinctive. Simon challenges them how they can all be the same, when they each are different, and the large cats list off what they have in common and Simon quickly responds, “I have all of those things.  Only smaller.”  Find out how Simon gets them to agree they are all cats.

A hilarious read that introduces young readers to the world of large and small cats.

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