Posts Tagged ‘animals’

Still a Gorilla

August 26, 2016

Still a Gorilla!

By Kim Norman

Willy is a gorilla at the zoo, but he wants to be a different animal.  No matter how hard he tries to look or act like other animals, he is still a gorilla! This picture book is super fun and silly.  The large, bold and colorful illustrations are very eye-catching.  This is a wonderful book for storytime or for a preschool classroom, as well as for sharing one-on-one with your child.  There are many opportunities for kids to join in the read-aloud fun each time that Willy is ‘STILL A GORILLA!’  I hope you enjoy this one as much as I did.  Happy reading!

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The Perfect Dog

August 9, 2016

The Perfect Dog

By Kevin O’Malley

What kind of dog is “the perfect dog”?   One little girl thinks she knows the answer to this question until she starts looking at all of the different types of breeds with their varying characteristics. To make her decision, this little girl decides that she will compare the different breeds. At first her dog should be “big…” (Chow Chow), then “bigger…” (German Shepherd), then “biggest…” (Saint Bernard…) and finally “Maybe not this big!” (Great Dane).  After that she looks for dogs that are small, snuggly, fancy, fast, long-haired and happy with all of the extremes of each similarly displayed in cartoon-like drawings of lovably humorous dogs with very distinct personalities. Playful chaos takes over as each specific trait reaches its extreme with “maybe not…” until finally girl and dog are united…perfectly!

The dogs are the true stars of this book which just happens to teach a fun-filled lesson on comparisons and superlatives with wit and charm.  A perfect picture book for dog lovers everywhere!  (Don’t miss the endpapers displaying the various breeds in the story!)

Reviewed by Connie (Schimelpfenig Library)

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The Opposite Zoo

July 28, 2016

The Opposite ZooThe Opposite Zoo

By Il Sung Na

“They are

fast and slow.

Soft and prickly.

Tall and short.

Noisy and quiet….  Meet the animals of the Opposite Zoo!” (from back cover)

After the zoo is closed, the monkey finds that his door is open and he decides to visit all of his animal neighbors.  Each turn of the page reveals a new pair of opposite animals with their accompanying descriptive words.  Many of the words use font that emphasize the differences between the two adjectives such as small, lowercase letters for the word “shy” and big, uppercase letters for “bold.”  The illustrations have a rough, sketch-like quality that, when combine with the bright and unusual coloring, gives the whole story a whimsical feel.  Children will enjoy finding the monkey in each picture as he feeds the giraffe and swims with the seals and swans.

This is a great book for introducing opposites to young children as well as practicing storytelling skills by describing what is happening in each scene.

For more opposites fun, check out Charlotte and Eddie’s video review of The Hueys in What’s the Opposite? by Oliver Jeffers on the library’s YouTube page here.The Hueys

Reviewed by: Meredith (Harrington Library)

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July 22, 2016

Many of us have enjoyed reading the classic Aesop’s fable, Hare and Tortoise.  Alison Murray has created a new version of this classic that is a delight to read.  Right from the start the reader is involved, we get to stop the Hare and  Tortoise and learn about their characteristics and personality traits.  The race begins as predicted with the energetic over-confident Hare and the ever steady Tortoise racing to see who will get to the finish line first.  There is no mystery to this fable since we are aware the Tortoise always wins the race with his diligence and patience.  We can, however, enjoy a bit of humor and creativity in every page with the colorful and large illustrations than are easy for children to interpret.

Review: Bev (Davis)

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Cecil’s Pride

June 23, 2016

cecilWhen Cecil the lion was killed in 2015, the news made international headlines.  In Cecil’s Pride: The True Story of a Lion King, young readers learn more about Cecil and his extraordinary life before his death.

When Cecil was challenged by another male lion, and forced to abandon his territory, Cecil unexpectedly paired up with another male lion.  Male lions are fiercely protective of their prides and typically do not pair up, so this was highly unusual.  Cecil and Jericho, however, were stronger together. When Cecil was tragically killed by hunters, Cecil’s pride (especially the cubs) were in danger.  Amazingly, Jericho spared the cubs and adopted them into his own pride.

Young animal lovers (and budding conservationists) will pore over the quality photographs and enjoy the narrative of this unlikely friendship.  The author team is a father and his two daughters, and they’ve produced many photo biographies of true animal friendships.  Check out this one or another one by the Hatkoff’s.

cecil and jericho

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Beastly Verse

June 15, 2016

img_7300Beastly Verse

by JooHee Yoon

When I was a child I had a book of poems that included Laura E. Richards’ Eletelephony:

Once there was an elephant,
Who tried to use the telephant—
No! no! I mean an elephone
Who tried to use the telephone—
(Dear me! I am not certain quite
That even now I’ve got it right.)
Howe’er it was, he got his trunk
Entangled in the telephunk;
The more he tried to get it free,
The louder buzzed the telephee—
(I fear I’d better drop the song
Of elephop and telephong!)

I thought it was hilarious, and I memorized it and recited it back to my parents any time the words “elephant” or “telephone” were mentioned around me for probably the next year-and-a-half. So that was my introduction to poetry, and from it I learned that poems can be interesting and fun and silly and wonderful, and the fact that I memorized this poem without being prompted at the age of five or six still amazes me. So imagine my delight when I picked up JooHee Yoon’s vibrantly illustrated Beastly Verse and found, among 15 others by poets such as Christina Rossetti, William Blake, and Lewis Carroll, Laura E. Richards’ Eletelephony!

This is a collection of 16 delightful poems about animals, with bright, bold, whimsical illustrations, several of which fold out, hiding some surprises! There’s enough variety here to make you wonder what will come next, and Yoon has done an excellent job of picking a small number of quality poems that will keep the book from feeling overwhelming. If you’re looking for an introductory book of poetry to read aloud with your child, I can see this one sparking the imagination just as the one I had as a child did mine.

Happy reading!

Reviewed by: Lara (Haggard Library)

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The Wild Robot

June 7, 2016

The Wild Robot

By Peter Brown

Roz the robot (otherwise known as ROZZUM Unit 7134) is the sole surviving robot of a cargo of 500 lost at sea after a hurricane.  When Roz’s crate washes ashore on an island, otters play with her protective packaging and accidentally push the button which activates the robot.  As the robot opens her eyes, she announces “You may call me Roz”. This unexpected pronouncement terrifies the sea otters who think this unknown creature is a monster.  Roz is confused by her presence on the island but her robot brain is programmed to learn and master tasks. In other words, she is programmed to survive. This is, of course, a handy trait to have when lost on a remote island. Equipped with the human senses of sight, smell, touch and hearing, Roz observes and learns and becomes more and more acclimated to life on the island.  But she is lonely as the island’s animal residents fear her and stay away from her. Due to her powers of learning and observation, Roz is eventually able to learn the language of the wild creatures (each species with its different “accent”) which enables her to ask the other animals for their help when a terrible accident occurs.

As Roz becomes acclimated to life on the island, the island’s creatures adjust to their new neighbor who ultimately becomes their friend.  Life settles into a happy routine for the animals and Roz until environmental and technological dangers threaten the island community.

Middle grade readers who enjoy robot and/or animal stories with a taste of adventure will enjoy this delightful story of a robot with very human attributes and the difference she makes to her island home.

Peter Brown’s striking gray-scale illustrations complement the story and set the atmosphere for this unique novel.

Recommended by Connie (Parr Library)



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Sea Bones

June 1, 2016

Sea Bones coverSea Bones

By Bob Barner

As a child who loved all things ocean-related and a grown-up fan of Bob Barner, I couldn’t pass up the chance to review such a great book!

The illustrations are everything you’d expect from a Barner book; bright, colorful and engaging.  Spanning two pages each, they are crafted by collage using torn and cut paper, string, and watercolor to capture the whimsy of the underwater world.

The text is split-level with rhyming lines for younger children in big, bold font and more detailed information for readers with longer attention spans in smaller print.  This book introduces complex concepts of anatomy such as exoskeletons, endoskeletons, and cartilage in a fun and playful way.  Children meet animals from every part of the ocean from coral reefs to the deep sea and learn fun facts about them.  At the end of the book, there is a neat chart of “sea facts” for some of the featured animals in the book. This chart helps reinforce what was covered in the book and shares additional tidbits such as what each animal likes to eat.  With something for all age levels to enjoy, this books is bound to delight any ocean or animal enthusiast!

For more educational books about bones, check out two other Bob Barner titles, Dem Bones and Dinosaur Bones.

Dem Bones cover          Dinosaur Bones cover

Reviewed by: Meredith (Harrington Library)

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The Mouse Who Reached the Sky by Petr Horacek

May 31, 2016

mousewhoWhen Little Mouse sees something red and shiny in a tree, she tries to get it down but is unable to reach it. She goes to ask her friend Mole to help but they still can’t attain the necessary height. The two friends ask Rabbit to assist them and by cooperating with each other, they are able to achieve even more than their original goal. Each character imagines the red circle is something a little different.  Children can make their own guesses before the actual object is revealed at the end.  The vibrant colors used in the illustrations add to the exuberance of the story.  When these friends help each other, they succeed beyond their wildest dreams. mouse moon

Recommended for children ages 3-6.

Enjoy these two additional titles by Petr Horacek starring Little Mouse.

new house for moue



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Chicken Lily

May 26, 2016

61nI7EPEwLLChicken Lily

By Lori Mortensen

Illustrated by Nina Victor Crittenden

For Chicken Lily, it’s not easy to take risks. She won’t take off her training wheels, or raise her wing in class. She might not be brave, but she’s good at so many other things. Being a careful colorer, and a patient puzzler couldn’t help her with the school’s poetry contest. She would have to get up on a stage and read a poem aloud in front of the whole school! Nothing could be more terrifying than that!

Chicken Lily proves that being scared is something anyone can face with a little support from friends. It’s okay to be scared sometimes. This is a great lesson to share with your little ones, whether they have a current fear, or whether they’re just a little nervous about something. Just like Chicken Lily, they too can face that microphone and take a step over their fears, even if it’s just for one day.

Recommended for ages 4-8.

Nicki P.

Schimelpfenig Library

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