Posts Tagged ‘animals’

Nancy Knows

February 27, 2015

nancyNancy Knows

By Cybele Young

Nancy the elephant can remember all sorts of things, but she knows she’s forgetting something important! As she tries to remember, we can see all of the things she’s thinking about filling up her line art. To try and determine what she’s forgotten, she remembers things that she knows. All sorts of paper sculptures fill the elephant as she thinks about things that are similar, like the same shape or color, things that face one way, then another, things in neat rows and things that are a jumbled mess. Nancy helps the reader lean about many opposites in her quest to remember what she’s forgotten. When she finally stops thinking and lets her mind rest, the answer finally comes to her!

Nancy Knows is a precious book with lots of little details to offer. You and your little one will find yourselves examining each picture to see what all you can find in Nancy’s thoughts. Challenge your child to think of other opposites that Nancy has forgotten, like hot and cold, or high and low.

Recommended for ages 4-7.

Nicki P.

Schimelpfenig Library

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Invisible to the Eye: Animals in Disguise

February 12, 2015

invisibleInvisible to the Eye: Animals in Disguise

By: Kendra Muntz

Many animals use camouflaging to change their outer appearance and survive in their various habitats. Camouflaging or changes in coloration can make animals blend into their environments more easily. For example, mountain goats have yellow-brown fur that blends in with rocks and mountains. In the winter, the mountain goats fur changes to white in order to blend into the snow.

This informational book goes through different habitats to demonstrate how animals use camouflage: desert, forest, polar, grassland, ocean, and mountain. Accompanying photos allow readers to see how camouflage works.

Can you spot all the animals?

Recommended for grades 3 and up.

Reviewed by: Diana (Harrington Library)

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What’s New? The Zoo!: A Zippy History of Zoos

February 11, 2015

What's New? the Zoo!: A Zippy History of Zoos CoverWhat’s New? The Zoo!: A Zippy History of Zoos

By Kathleen Krull

Illustrated by Marcellus Hall

 Believe it or not….zoos can trace their origins back 4,400 years to the ancient Sumerian city of Ur, which would be in present-day Iraq.  It wasn’t a big zoo. The King of Ur apparently just liked to keep lions to make him feel powerful or so we’ve discovered from ancient clay tablets.

From there we move thousands of years through time as we circle the globe traveling through such places as Greece, Egypt, Rome, China, France, England, Australia, South Africa, and Brazil all the way to modern day San Diego.  As we see zoos evolve from royal menageries belonging to the emperors and kings to modern day zoos focusing upon animal conservation within a more natural habitat, we learn fascinating individual factoids about each.  Each moment in time is accompanied by colorful humorous and cartoonlike illustrations which capture the reader’s attention and enhance the text.

So…before your next trip to the zoo, why not zip back in time to learn a bit about zoo history and see how far we have come over the centuries?

Recommended for children ages 4-8.

Reviewed by Connie (Parr Library)






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Doug Unplugs on the Farm

February 6, 2015

dougDoug Unplugs on the Farm

By: Dan Yaccarino

Doug, an adorable golden robot who wants to learn about his world, returns in his second book Doug Unplugs on the Farm. As a city robot, Doug doesn’t know much about what happens on a farm. He has downloaded information about cows and plows and pigs, but he prefers to learn by doing. While he knows milk comes from cows, he learns that a cow’s tongue feels rough. As he helps out a local farm girl, he finds all sorts of new information, like the fact that hay is prickly and fresh apples straight from the tree are delicious (and that the horse thinks the apples AND the hay are delicious!)

This sweet, simple book shows how learning things first-hand can mean so much more to a child than ‘downloading’ things from the internet. There’s so many senses for us to use while we take in new experiences. Use this book to talk with your little one about how taste, smell, sound, and touch can change the way we look at the world!

If you like Doug Unplugs on the Farm, make sure to check out his first book:


Doug Unplugged







Recommended for ages 4-7.

Nicki P.

Schimelpfenig Library

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Betty Goes Bananas

January 29, 2015

indexCAZUTHAMBetty Goes Bananas

by Steve Antony

Looking for a great book about temper tantrums? This just might be the one!

Betty the gorilla is hungry and wants to eat a banana. But when that banana just won’t open, well, Betty goes a little bit bananas! Luckily Mr. Toucan is there to help.

With bright, colorful pencil illustrations, this is a fun read-aloud about not always getting your way.

Be sure to check out Antony’s other picture book, Please, Mr. Panda, for more hilarious animal fun!

Reviewed by: Lara (Haggard Library)

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January 13, 2015

By Emily Arnold McCully

Strongheart is the true story of the world’s first movie star dog. He was a new breed of dog born in Germany during the World Wars, the German Shepard, used to help the police in apprehending criminals. When the war ended, Etzel von Oeringen was sent to America to be sold. Well trained and very determined, Etzel caught the eye of a movie director named Larry Trimble. The problem was, Etzel didn’t know how to be a dog! Before Larry could film Etzel for the movies, he had to teach his dog how to play.

When Etzel finally got in front of the cameras, he was incredible! He could look sad and happy and worried, something no other movie dog had done before. In all his films, Etzel was the hero, so Larry decided to start calling him Strongheart. This is a great book for any child who has an interest in dogs. They’ll learn some fun facts about the early years of the movie, and how a German Shepard became the very first movie star dog.

Recommended for ages 5-9.

Nicki P.

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Fox’s Garden

December 24, 2014

fox's gardenFox’s Garden
by Princesse Camcam

In this wordless picture book, a lone fox travels through the cold night to find shelter from the blowing snow. In the village, fox is shooed away from windows and doors by unwelcoming townsfolk. A young boy watches from his bedroom window as fox sneaks into a nearby greenhouse. Wishing to help, the boy delivers a basket of food to fox, only to encounter an unexpected surprise.

Even without words, this little book has a big impact. A tale of kindness and giving that is perfect for the season. Readers wrapped up in the magic of the story and the detail of the illustrations will want to enjoy it again and again.

fox's garden 2

Sidenote: Adults, if you are enjoying this book with a child, explain that you are about to read a wordless picture book, which means the story is told completely through the illustrations. On the first spread, model narrating the story. Note important story elements such as the characters and setting. Then go through the book slowly, allowing a few seconds of silence at each page turn to take in the images. Ask the child to tell what is happening on each page. You can support new readers in this activity by asking leading questions and providing key vocabulary. Most of all, enjoy!

Recommended for ages 3 and up.

(Jocelyn, Davis Library)

Sources: Empowering the Youngest Readers: Reading Without Words (

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Upside Down Babies

December 17, 2014

by Jeanne Willis

“Once when the world tipped upside down, the earth went blue and the sky went brown.  All the baby animals tumbled out of bed and ended up with very funny moms instead.”  These are the first two sentence in this clever and beautifully illustrated book, “Upside Down Babies.”  We would all be a bit shocked to see a pig falling into a parrot’s nest.  But just imagine how that parrot mom would feel.   How about a polar bear landing in the desert next to her new mom, a camel.   A cheetah faster than lightning ends up with a sloth, can anything be slower.  This cheery book brings humor to each page as each mom is faced with unthinkable challenges gazing on their new babies.  Of course, the world does turn around but the ending may surprise you as a few babies and moms actually are happier with their new arrivals.

This book is great for our toddlers as well as preschool children.  Any adult would enjoy sharing this book with a group of children as well as a fun read one on one.

Davis – (Bev)

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Cats? In a Book?

December 12, 2014

There are cats

Have you read all the Eric Hill Spot books multiple times and need something new? Here’s just the thing! Check out one of Viviane Schwarz’s three lift-the-flap, interactive stories featuring cats. The first, There Are Cats in This Book, introduces Andre, Moonpie and Tiny. Each is distinct. Tiny is small and red. Moonpie is given a blue, slender figure. Andre is a large yellow cat. The action begins on the cover of the book as the cats peek over the partial jacket. Once the book is open readers are in for chaotic fun with characters who speak directly to their audience…


Hello. Who are you ?… Are you nice ?… You look nice.”


and invite them to play along…


TURN/ THE/ PAGE! / You did it! You saved us. Phew!/

Can you dry us, too? / Just blow on the page

There are no cats 

In There Are No Cats in This Book the three felines decide a vacation is in order. The cats want to escape the book to see the world. The same winning elements are at play in this follow-up book: flaps, bright colors and the dialogue between characters and audience. Readers will be glad the crazy cats safely return to their book pages so they can return in another episode.

Is there a dog

Peeking over the half jacket again, Moonpie, Andre and Tiny ask, Is There a Dog in This Book? Indeed there is! A purple dog. As readers help the cats find the dog they also help the cats learn to love the dog. Readers will be moving furniture, peeking in closets and petting animals to assist the frenetic threesome and their new pal.


Whew! Readers who made it through all that craziness in one sitting need a break. Time to pet the cats and dogs.

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December 11, 2014

Picnic by John Burningham

John Burningham’s books are some of my favorites.  Simply written and simply illustrated, they are perfect for young children.

Picnic is a quiet story about a boy and girl who go out one day and meet their animal friends.  Along the way they have a small adventure, as they are chased by Bull and the wind blows Sheep’s hat away.  In the end, they all go home to bed. Children will love reading along and answering the questions in the text like, “Can you find Sheep’s hat?”

Reading with children every day is essential to their early literacy development, and talking about the story as you read is equally important.  This particular book makes life easy for the parent because the story already includes interactive questions.

I hope you’ll share Picnic with your children, and that John Burningham’s books become some of your favorites too!

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