Posts Tagged ‘animals’

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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Zeraffa Giraffa

November 18, 2014

zeraffa giraffaZeraffa Giraffa

By Dianne Hofmeyr

Illustrated by Jane Ray

Zeraffa the giraffe was caught in Africa. No taller than the tallest hunter, she was just a baby. When she was presented to the Pasha, he was delighted. He decided that she would be the perfect gift for his friend, the king of France. Zeraffa was given to a boy named Atir, who would care for her on the long journey. They first took a small boat up the Nile River, then a bigger boat across the Mediterranean Sea, and then Atir and Zeraffa walked the great distance to the beautiful city of Paris!

Through the whole journey, Zeraffa keeps growing, and growing, and growing! By the time they reach the King, she’s taller than any animal the French have ever seen. They loved her right away! Soon, French ladies were styling their wigs to be as tall as they could and they decorated their homes with the pattern on Zeraffa’s fur. The French people made cookies in the shape of giraffes and trimmed their bushes to look like her. But the one who loved her most of all was the King’s granddaughter.

Zeraffa Giraffa is a beautiful book about a giraffe’s great journey. The soft illustrations will capture the reader’s imagination and transport them to a time long ago when no one had ever seen a giraffe in Paris.

Recommended for ages: 6-10

Nicki P.

Schimelpfenig Library

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Lion, Lion by Miriam Busch

November 4, 2014

Lion, Lion by Miriam Busch

I love the cover of this book!  The reader knows right away that the story will be humorous, judging by the expression on the little boy’s face.

The boy is looking for Lion, and Lion says he’s looking for lunch.  The boy makes some helpful suggestions, to which the Lion declines.  But readers are in for a twist, and in  the end they will get a good laugh.  The illustrations by Larry Day are on white background spreads,  making the body language and expressions of the characters really stand out.

I highly recommend this new book, which will spark your child’s imagination, make them laugh, and create lots of opportunities for talking together.

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The Case of the Vanishing Little Brown Bats

October 31, 2014

brownbatsThe Case of the Vanishing Little Brown Bats: A Scientific Mystery

By: Sandra Markle

Whether or not you are a fan of bats, it should be known that bats are an important part of nature’s ecosystem. The main reason why they are important is that they eat insects, which may damage crops or disease animals and people.

In recent years, bat researchers have been alarmed at the number of bats dying during the winter. Since bats hibernate in protected areas, it isn’t the cold that is killing them.

This book explores the sciences involved in solving this mysterious bat killer.

At the end of the book, there are trivia facts about bats, information on how to help local bats, and global bat conversation websites. Additional books and websites are recommended for further research.

This book presents the mystery with a riveting narrative, photos, and scientific facts. It is recommended for older elementary students.

Reviewed by: Diana (Harrington Library)

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The Lion and the Bird

October 9, 2014

lionThe Lion and the Bird

By Marianne Dubuc

One day while working in his garden, Lion hears a sound. Finding a hurt bird, he takes the little creature into his house to help nurse it back to health. Since the bird’s friends have continued to fly south for the winter, Lion lets him stay. They do everything together during the winter. They read books together, have dinner together, go ice fishing and sledding together. When spring comes, Lion is sad to see his dear friend go. He spends all summer alone, but gets a special surprise when fall comes again.

This is a sweet story with soft, color-pencil illustrations. The text is simple and limited, making it a great choice for young readers. Though the bird never speaks, Lion always knows what he’s trying to say. Your little ones will love these adorable friends.

Recommended reading for ages: 4-7

Nicki P.

Schimelpfenig Library

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