Category Archives: Animal

Rescue and Jessica, A Life-Changing Friendship

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rescue and Jessica, A Life-Changing Friendship
by Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes, illustrated by Scott Magoon
Candlewick Press, 2018

Jessica, the hero in the story, writes of her and her service dog’s journey together.

In the opening scene, Rescue learns he is not meant to be a Seeing Eye dog, but he would be great as a service dog.  He’s disappointed. Meanwhile Jessica has her left leg amputated, which changes her whole life.  Rescue learns all the commands to be a service dog and Jessica learns to walk with a prosthetic leg. When Jessica decides to get a service dog, Rescue graduates from training and they get each other.  Love at first sight, they do everything together.

Readers follow both Jessica, as she learns to cope with her new disability, and Rescue, as he learns to help others.

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Am I Yours?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Am I Yours?
by Alex Latimer
Peachtree, 2018

Two hundred million years ago, in the age of dinosaurs, a great wind pushed an egg out of its nest. It rolled far down the hill until it landed in the valley.  No one stopped to claim the egg, so the dino inside the egg started asking, “Excuse me, please, but am I yours?  One by one each dinosaur asked if it had body parts that matched his or her own body parts, long neck, three horns, a crest, etc.  Until the sun sets…and they see its profile and they know exactly who the egg belongs to.

This story seems to speak to that part of a child that wants to know it belongs.  A lovely story.

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ABRACADABRA! The Magic of Trying

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ABRACADABRA! The Magic of Trying   
by Maria Loretta Giraldo, illustrated by Nicoletta Bertelle
Magination Press, 2018
Originally published in Italy.

Little Owl is the last bird in his class to try to fly.  He’s too afraid!  When Mrs. Pigeon encourages him to fly, he insists he doesn’t want to fly.  Turtle passes by and asks why he isn’t flying like the others and Little Owl admits he’s too afraid of falling.  Turtle gives him the magic word, ABRACADABRA! and insists Little Owl can fly. But Owl fell. Mouse, then Hedgehog also encourage him. With all their reassurance, Little Owl tries one more time, follows all their suggestions, and flies. When he flies over a pond and discovers a Little Frog who is afraid to make his big jump out of the pond, Little Owl gives him the magic word and encouragement until Little Frog jumps out.

Striking colors in loose designs on white backgrounds calm young ones and invite them to apply the story to their situation.  Includes notes for parents to help their child overcome a fear.

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A Horse Named Jack

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Horse Named Jack
by Linda Vander Heyden, illustrated by Petra Brown
Sleeping Bear Press, 2018

A perfectly-rhymed, counting book about a mischievous, loveable horse named Jack, what could possibly be better for young readers?

“When Jack greets children on the farm,
he’s friendly, frisky—full of charm.”

Jack ventures out of his stall to learn about kittens, hay bales and carrots, only his neighbor doesn’t approve of him munching on her garden and ten tomatoes hurl his way!  Cherries, bees, a puddle of mud, make one dirty horse who returns to his barn.

Pure fun, pure joy, kids will delight in Jack’s mishaps and adventures.

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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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