Posts tagged ‘zoo’

A FISH OUT OF WATER

Monty the fish goes to the Zoo

Written by Vivienne Alonge

Illustrated by Mikaila Maidment

Seems like there are a plethora of children’s books about visiting the zoo lately. This one features a fish named Monty who decides to take a trip to the zoo, but this particular zoo is no ordinary one. Monty views a bear water skiing on the water, a giraffe wearing cowboy boots, a queen dancing with a python, and a tiger eating strawberries and cream, to name just a few. Youngest readers will enjoy identifying the animals and laugh at their preposterous antics.

This is a picture book but unfortunately, the illustrations do not fill the screen on my kindle. Each animal is given a one-sentence description along with the illustration. The book synopsis says the book is aimed at ages zero through eighteen. It is most appropriate for kindergarten and preschool children.

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STRANGE BEDFELLOWS

Sleepover Zoo

Written by Brenda Kearns

SleepoverZoo,pic

This book tells the tale of a sixth-grader named Toni who has just moved into the town of Renforth. Her parents are animal lovers; they work for the animal shelter. They don’t stop with their day job. At home the family takes care of injured wild birds until they are recovered and able to be set free. This makes for a somewhat extraordinary household! Toni has made a new friend named Megan at school, but the rest of the girls find it strange that bird seeds coming flying out of Toni’s lunch box. One of the girls named Leona presses Toni to come over for a sleepover; Toni hopes that her parents will say no. How can she possibly describe their house? There are mice in the freezer, a macaw named Mortimer that drinks coffee and eats pizza, a snake, and a cat named Avery that steals food from your dinner plate. I think you get the picture. Toni’s teenage brother Bruno friends tells her not to worry, but Toni is dreading the visit.

That visit does not start out auspiciously. Leona is knocked down by their dog, Duke, who promptly chews up her scrungy, knots her hair and messes up her dress. Leona can’t believe the chaos that these animals present. When they hear a scream in the bathroom, Bruno realizes that the goose in the bathtub feels threatened by the stranger. Toni’s parents try to make their guest comfortable by surprising the girls with pizza and ice cream, which they never serve. Will Leona run away and tell everyone at school that Leona lives in a “crazy house” or will she learn that every family is different and that being different is not necessarily a bad thing?

This book contains just the right amount of humor and absurdity to appeal to middle grade students so desperate to fit in. The characters are well developed, the chapters are short, the text is not overly difficult. For this reason, the book makes an excellent chapter book appropriate for a reluctant reader. If the book contained more pictures, it would have appeal for younger children. Older readers will enjoy the story as well because it rings genuine and true to life. The book teaches us that everyone does not have to conform to the mold; our community benefits from diversity.

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PENGUIN AND FINN

Diary Of A Penguin Napper: How much trouble can one little penguin cause?

Written by Sally Harris

Diaryofpenguinnapper,pic

Well, we are not exactly talking crime of the century, but for two eleven year olds named Marty Finn and Scot Trudman, the penguin caper was a big deal. This book is a middle grade fiction story that combines all those elements of crucial importance to children of that age. Marty has the usual problems adjusting to school, learning to cope and fit in with peers and adults, and finding a way to understand and deal with his first crush. His good friend, Scott owes him due to the fact that Marty has rescued Scot from embarrassment more then once, including the time Scott lost his trunks while diving into the swimming pool.

The story begins at the end. Marty is sitting in his living room reading his diary explaining the details of the kidnapping to two police offices he calls Fat and Skinny. That crime of snatching a penguin from the Australian zoo has been thwarted because his mother has discovered the penguin in the attic bathroom. Why would he possibly want to steal a penguin? He needed the money to go on an overnight school trip to the nature center so that he could work with his assigned partner, Jessica, who just happens to be the girl he has a crush on. Marty’s mother had informed him that she did not have the money for the trip; after several attempts to raise money by doing chores and securing a loan at the local bank, the boys realize they have run out of options. But an unexpected opportunity springs up when the wealthiest student in the school offers them $500 to bring a wild animal to his little sister’s birthday party. So Marty and Scott hatch their plot and succeed in bagging the penguin. The end results and punishments have both predictable and unforeseen consequences.

This story is written mainly for middle grade students. Fans of Diary of A Wimpy Kid will appreciate the clever entries in Marty’s diaries, the names used for characters, and the offbeat humor. The plot, humor and dialogue are age appropriate and genuine. In addition, the cover is an eye catching design which intrigues the reader. If you are looking for an amusing pleasant read, spend a couple of hours with this one.

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FRIENDS OR FOES

Larry the Liger

by: Fergus Wilson and Rachel Phillips

LarrytheLigerpic

This work of fiction is an adorable chapter book that has recently been released as an e book. It is part of a series featuring Larry the Liger. The story is marketed for ages two through eight. As a read aloud, it would need to be broken into several sessions for a younger child. The story is easy to follow, but there are few pictures to hold a young child’s interest. Children aged seven and up will find the story engrossing and want to read it to the end in one sitting.

At the beginning of the story we meet Larry who is a “liger.” His mother was a tigress from India and his father a lion from Africa. How did they meet then? They were intentionally mated to create hybrid cubs. From the beginning, Larry was the largest. He had just returned to the zoo after being featured as the Easter Liger, part of the local children’s Easter parade. Larry lives in the Prague Zoo with his five siblings. He has many friends there. Larry spends a lot of time with Chloe the cat, but for some reason not understood by him; she is always mean to him. On this particular day, Chloe has blocked the hole in the fence so that Larry cannot get back to the zookeeper for lunch. When he finally succeeds in returning, the day has almost ended. He finds Chloe with a fat tummy sleeping peacefully. That really makes the usually mellow liger mad! He yells and screams at her. That must have scared her because she disappears.

After two days, Larry is getting worried that Chloe might not be coming back. He finds that he actually misses that annoying little creature! So he sets out to find her. Larry discovers new friends like Olga the Owl and Cyrus the snake who are willing to help him in his quest. The journey and its outcome have unexpected results and teach both Chloe and Larry many things about themselves.

This is a charming adventure story that is lovingly well told and carefully written both to entertain and to teach. Boys and girls will want to read it over and over. Don’t overlook this book.

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EARTH’S AMAZING ANIMALS

Animals for Kids: 20 Exciting Animal Pictures with Animal Facts for Kids

by Nabila Owens

AmazingAnimalsThis is a nonfiction book which taught me some interesting facts about animals. A giraffe has the highest blood pressure of any animal, turtles have been on earth for more than two million years, and you can tell the mood of a zebra by looking at its ears! Owens points out that scientists are continuing to research  and investigate. They will undoubtedly discover new species on land, in air and under the sea. The author discusses their patterns of behavior, what they eat, the climates they live in, and how they survive. Many of them are as afraid of us as we are of them. There are many animals that are endangered because humans have taken over their native habitats. The author urges the young reader to learn about conservation and how to protect them from extinction. All of us must share the planet earth together!

This book features twenty animals. Some of them like dogs, cats and turtles have been largely domesticated and may be our pets. Others like elephants, cheetahs, lions and zebras might be visited in a zoo. An aquarium visit could allow us to visit dolphins, whales and sharks. There are animals who may be seen all over the world like the many species of birds and spiders, and others like the kangaroo which are only found in Australia and New Guinea.  Animals like some spiders and snakes have the ability to harm humans with one bite! Animals may make wonderful pets, or interesting creatures to visit in a man-made controlled habitat, but they can be dangerous. Each of them have unique qualities to their species. Always ask an adult before approaching an animal you do not know.

The author provides actual photographs of the animals. I think a little more illustration would have been beneficial to the kindle edition which I reviewed.  Photographs are limited to one small picture per animal making it is difficult to see details. Teachers might want to choose this book as a read aloud introduction for one animal which will be further researched. Parents would not want to attempt to read this book in one setting to a younger child. The text is aimed toward a middle grade and up reader. All in all it is a good book to introduce children to animal life on planet earth! If you would like to get information on more books for children, please subscribe to this biweekly blog by clicking on the Follow + icon in the lower right or the orange RSS feed icon in the upper right hand corner,

HAPPY EARTH DAY EVERYONE

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