Category Archives: Animals / Pets

Zoo Animals!

Title: Zoo Animals!
Authors: Bethanie and Josh Hestermann
Illustrator: Sara Lynn Cramb
Publisher: Rockridge Press
ISBN: 978-1-64611-533-4

“You will meet wonderful animals from all around the world right here in this book. On each page, read about the animals and other things hidden in the picture, then try to find them,” Beth and Josh Hestermann write at the beginning of their book, Zoo Animals! A Search and Find Book for Kids.

~ What ~
This forty-eight-page paperback targets children ages four to eight years old who enjoy educational search-and-find activity books, especially if they involve the zoo. With no profanity or too scary scenes, there are multiple animals and creatures of the zoo with short descriptions and pictures with sections to find the animals in their habitat.

After a contents page, there are sixteen two-open-pages that display a large scene of zoo life. A paragraph about the designated habitat is in the left corner with six animals or fish with small pictures on the top of the page. The left side has four creatures to also find in the large illustration. The ending has an answer key, a glossary, and authors and illustrator’s biographies.

~ Why ~
Our six-year-old granddaughter loves educational books about zoo life, and this one has colorful drawings of the animals with the added feature to find them on its pages. I appreciate the information on habitats of an African safari, tropical Asia, Madagascar, snow forest, farm, coastal living, bug house, and conservation station plus descriptions of the ball python, ostrich, pygmy hippo, tawny frogmouth, golden takin, binturong, aye-aye, fossa, emerald tree boa, kinkajou, caribou, llama, brown pelican, fennec fox, rose-haired tarantula, and koala.

~ Why Not ~
Young children or those with visual disabilities may not like this book. Some may find there is limited information on the highlighted creatures. Others may prefer photographs instead of illustrations in this type of book. Beginner readers may be frustrated with the two- and three-syllable words.

~ Wish ~
I wish an index on the habitats and creatures could be included in the book for quick reference.

~ Want ~
If your child is fascinated by the zoo and enjoys an educational book that includes a fun search-and find-activity, this is a perfect answer to a stay-at-home day. Our granddaughter will be delighted to find her favorite creature, the meerkat, in it.

Thanks to Callisto Publisher’s Club and the authors for this complimentary that I am under no obligation to review.

#RockridgePress #CallistoPublishersClub #BethanieJoshHestermann #SaraLynnCramb #ZooAnimals

This book can be purchased at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/zoo-animals-bethanie-hestermann/1136637442

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Ocean Life!

Title: Ocean Life!
Author: Jill Richardson
Illustrator: Kate Francis
Publisher: Rockridge Press
ISBN: 978-1-64611-691-1

“Ready to find out about some interesting ocean animals? Let’s begin our fun!” Jill Richardson’s children’s book, Ocean Life! A Coloring and Activity Book for Kids states in the welcome section.

~ What ~
This seventy-two-page paperback targets children ages four to eight years old who enjoy coloring and activity books, especially if they involve sea life. With no profanity or too scary scenes, over fifty word searches, comparisons, dot-to-dots, mazes, and drawings to color fill its pages.

After an ownership page and welcome, this book contains thirty puzzles to complete and thirty black and white illustrations to color. Often there are educational tidbits about the animals and plants regarding the sea. There are eight each of word searches and mazes and seven each of comparisons and dot-to-dots. The ending has all the answers.

~ Why ~
Our six-year-old granddaughter loves educational books about marine life, and this one is spot on with its added information on humpback whales, narwhals, lionfish, parrotfish, sea anemone, horseshoe crab, and others. I appreciated the comparison pictures, dot-to-dot creations, and highlighted information. Some of the pages would work for our younger grandchildren.

~ Why Not ~
While the coloring pages could be for any age, some of the word searches may be too hard for some. With the book containing thirty each of coloring and activities, some may wish there were more puzzles and mazes instead of illustrations.

~ Wish ~
While I was impressed with this read, I wish other themed books on jungles, birds, reptiles, et cetera were also designed similarly.

~ Want ~
If your child is fascinated by the ocean and enjoys activity/coloring books, this is a perfect answer to a stay-at-home day. It not only is fun but educational. Our granddaughter will be delighted finding her favorite sea creature, the narwhal, in it.

Thanks to Callisto Publisher’s Club and the author for this complimentary that I am under no obligation to review.

#OceanLife #SeaColoringBook #MarineActivityBook #JillRichardson #KateFrancis #RockridgePress #CallistoPublisher’sClub

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/2XkgsR5

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1, 2, 3, AMINALS!

Title: 1, 2, 3, Animals!
Author: Bethany Lake
Illustrator: Sarah Rebar
Publisher: Rockridge Press
ISBN: 978-1-64611-580-8

“The animals are on their way,
as happy as can be.
Where are they going?
How many are there?
Let’s all count and see!”
Bethany Lake begins her children’s book, 1, 2, 3, Animals! A First Counting Book for Toddlers.

~ What ~
This forty-eight-page book targets infants to three-years-old who like to look at animals while learning to count. With no scary scenes, it would be best read to beginner readers based on some complicated words. Expressive, colorful illustrations cover the pages with the story often in rhyme. While the beginning has a note to caregivers and teachers, the ending has the author and illustrator’s biographies.

In this educational read with a circus theme, three separate sections teach young ones how to count forward and backward to ten and visualize the numbers in several ways. The first part begins with adding animals one at a time to ten as they get ready for the circus, while the second section counts from ten to one of what the animals do at the circus. The final part has two opened pages of the number written as a numeral and then icons on fingers, dice, charts, sticks, dominos, and playing cards.

~ Why ~
This is a fun book, especially for wee ones who know their animals and have been to a circus. I like that there are three different ways to count so the sections relate to each other while being unique. I appreciate that the wording encourages the reader to look for something in each illustration.

Some of the cute numbers are:
Four kangaroos bring four snack carts to feed a hungry crowd.
Eight tigers carry eight balloons, in time to take their place.
Ten toucans shine the spotlights. Nine apes make quite a sight.
Three elephants stomp to the beat. Two silly dogs poke fun.

~ Why Not ~
The book contains many multi-syllable words that may frustrate beginner readers, but it also is a way to learn new words. However, it is aimed at toddlers, who generally do not know how to read.

~ Wish ~
I wish there were more numbered or alphabet books like this that have more than one story within it.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for an engaging book that will keep your young one entertained while learning, this is an excellent one about numbers, animals, and the circus.

Thanks to Callisto Publisher’s Club and the author for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

#Callisto #BethanyLake #123Animals #CountingBookforToddlers

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/2U4GFkt

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The Fascinating Animal Book for Kids

Title: The Fascinating Animal Book for Kids
Author: Ginjer L. Clarke
Publisher: Rockridge Press
ISBN: 978-1-64611-149-7

“The male narwhal’s long, spiral tusk is really a tooth growing out of its top lip. It has only one other tooth inside its mouth,” Ginjer L. Clarke explains in her children’s book, The Fascinating Animal Book for Kids: 500 Wild Facts.

~ What ~
This two-hundred-and-ten-page paperback targets children ages nine to twelve years old who enjoy books about animals and their distinct features. With no profanity or scary scenes, colorful photographs are on every page with several one to two sentences about various animals. The ending includes the author’s biography.

Divided into six chapters of Magnificient Mammals, Creepy Crawlers, Water World, Scaly Things, Amazing Amphibians, and Feathered Friends, this educational book packs tons of information on all types of animals from the quviut, cicada, and the red-lipped batfish to the reticulated python, marsupial frog, and oropendola to name a few.

~ Why ~
I love children’s books that teach young ones, especially if they are about animals and nature. I appreciate how this one not only has some of the common creatures but also the absurd, unusual, or unknown ones. With a six-year-old granddaughter who is fascinated by narwhals, it was great to see them listed in the book.

Some random wild animal facts include:
Virginia opossum babies are so small that up to 20 of them could fit into a teaspoon.
A fishing spider can stay underwater for 30 minutes while it waits for its fish prey.
Sharks never need to visit a dentist. Their teeth never get cavities.
The tuatara has a small, sightless third eye on top of its head.
The wood frog is the only frog that lives in the Arctic Circle.
Malleefowl nests can be 3.3 feet (1m) tall and 16 feet (5m) wide.

~ Why Not ~
Some children will not like that there is usually only one fact about each creature, yet sometimes there will be a full page describing several kinds in one animal family. Others may prefer less photographs and more information. The book may be too sophomoric for some fourth to seventh graders. Beginner readers may have trouble with some of the three- and four-syllable words.

~ Wish ~
Although I greatly appreciate this book that focuses on God’s creations, I wish there was an index so one could look up the animal’s fact and feature quickly. Due to its limited information per animal, it would be a hard book to use for a school report.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a fun book about the strange and interesting characteristics of mammals, insects, fish, reptiles, amphibians, and birds, this one would be a good option that will keep a child’s attention and offer adults insights to the amazing animal kingdom. I am sure my young grandchildren will enjoy learning a thing or two also.

Thanks to Callisto Publisher’s Club and the author for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

Rated 4.5 of 5 stars.

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/2sLq5LL

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Piper & Mabel

Title: Piper & Mabel
Author: Melanie Shankle
Illustrator: Laura Watkins
Publisher: Zonderkidz
ISBN: 978-0-310-76086-3

“I’m just not sure Happy Tails Ranch is the place for two very wild but very good dogs,” the manager suggests in Melanie Shankle’s children’s book, Piper & Mabel: Two Very Wild but Very Good Dogs.

~ What ~
This thirty-two-page oversized hardbound with a matching jacket cover targets children ages four to eight years old. With no scary scenes, it is a story about 2 mischevious dogs who want to go on vacation with their owners. Detailed, expressive colorful illustrations cover the full pages.

In this short tale, Piper and Mable are two white-chested large black sibling pups who think they will be going to the beach with their family. However, when they learn they will have to stay at Happy Tails Ranch, they question if it will be full of excitement or dull and boring. When they realize they have nothing to do at the kennel, they escape and get lost, only to be found and reconnected to their peoples where they can happily play.

~Why ~
This innocuous, charming story shows how two dogs would rather be with their owners than anyone else. I like how they fantasize about being at the ranch chasing rabbits, running after cows, and digging in the mud and become disappointed in the boredom so jump a fence, only to be alone and lost in the woods. I appreciate how one dog writes several haikus of their situation.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like any references to God may not like this book, although He is only mentioned once at the end. Kennel owners may not like the suggestion that a dog ranch or doggie daycare is not a fun place for dogs. Due to some of the three and four-syllable words, it may be hard for beginner readers.

~ Wish ~
I wish the ending had a page explaining a haiku is a seventeen-syllable poem divided into three lines of five, seven, and five syllables, usually about nature.

~ Want ~
If you want an adorable tale with fun-filled drawings for someone who loves or has dogs, this engaging book will delight kids as they read about two wild but good dogs enjoy their lives.

Thanks to Zblog Squad for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/2rYQiWV

#Zonderkidz #ZblogSquad #PiperandMabel #MelanieShankle #LauraWatkins

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Love You, Love You

Title: Love You, Love You
Written by: Mary Hassinger
Illustrator: Alison Brown
Publisher: Zonderkidz
ISBN: 978-0-310-76841-8

“’Love You, Love You,’ Mama squeaked. Into her nest she quickly peeked. Sleeping babies softly snore. ‘I’ve never felt such love before,’” Mary Hassinger rhymes at the beginning of the children’s book, Love You, Love You.

~ What ~
This twenty-page board book with rounded corners targets children ages three years old and older. With no scary scenes, it focuses on animals and their families as they go to bed.

After a presentation page to fill out, this cute tale told in rhyming format shows an animal mother, father, grandparents, aunt, uncle, and siblings showing love as they put their charges into bed. The animals include mice, bears, snakes, dogs, chickens, ducks, cats, and frogs.

~Why ~
This is a nice story for those who like bedtime reads about animals getting snuggly and cozy as they hit the hay. I like the pretty illustrations and sleepy-looking critters that are calm and serene.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do care to read to their young ones when they get tucked in bed may have no interest in this short tale. Others may find it too sophomoric in content, as it only has animals in their sleeping areas.

~ Wish ~
I wish this book had more than the families simply going to bed with four-line rhymes and was more realistic to animals’ bedtime rituals. For example: The Nana snake makes sure all her grandchildren are kissed and then turns off all the lights, yet it could have been more engaging if the illustration was in a dark den than has no lamps in it.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a nice bedtime story about animals, this may satisfy your child’s interest, yet I do not think it will hold our grandchildren’s attention for long.

Thanks to Zblog Squad for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/35M62v0

#Zonderkidz #ZblogSquad #AlisonBrown #LoveYouLoveYou #MaryHassinger

 

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Filed under *** OK - Don't Love It, Don't Hate It, Animals / Pets, Book Review, Childrens, Christian

NIrV Adventure Bible Book of Devotions: Polar Exploration Edition

Title: NIrV Adventure Bible Book of Devotions for Early Readers: Polar Exploration Edition
Publisher: Zonderkidz
ISBN: 978-0-310-76509-7

“From the artwork, biblical truths, and hands-on activities, you will have a polar adventure,” the introduction states on Zonderkidz’s book, NIrV Adventure Bible Book of Devotions for Early Readers: Polar Exploration Edition: 365 Days of Adventure.

~ What ~
At three-hundred-and-eighty-four pages, this hardbound targets children ages six to ten years old who want a daily devotional regarding the Bible with a polar twist. The New International Reader’s Version is used. A Scripture and topical index complete the book.

With three-hundred-and-sixty-five devotionals, each numbered page has a title and written-out Bible verse or two followed by a short adventure story, usually asking a question first, followed by a few paragraphs regarding how the topic correlates to God and His Word. There are repeated illustrations of polar animals and artic scenery throughout the pages. The ending has a prayer, challenge, or activity.

~ Why ~
Emphasizing the Word of God to be read daily, this devotional for young ones is an ideal way to stimulate day-to-day reading. Although most of the stories have nothing to do with polar subjects, they draw the reader in, hopefully engaging them to read about knowing God better. I appreciate the included suggested activities and prayers.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ may not understand the purpose of reading a daily devotional over a year. Some may wonder how the written topics do not contain any expedition subjects yet have repetitive polar animals, arctic outposts, and icy landscape illustrations on the pages. Young readers may struggle with the two- and three-syllable words.

~ Wish ~
One suggestion I have is to include more stories that are already in God’s Word. This may not stimulate a young reader, but it would be more of a devotional about knowing God more. With nothing to do with a written polar exploration, I see no connection between it and the devotions yet appreciate its focus on Jesus. I wish all pronouns of God were capitalized for reverence.

~ Want ~
If your early elementary school-age child wants a daily devotion that will draw them closer to the Lord, this would be acceptable, but there is little correlation to polar events or cold-climate animals (which are rarely mentioned in the Bible). Often I feel the devotions could have included polar ideas or appropriate designs to match the day’s content (example #313 titled God’s Wings is about flying and mama birds yet the illustration shows white huskies).

Thanks to Z-Blog Squad for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

#AdventureBible #Zonderkidz #PolarExpeditionEdition #Zondervan

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/33JTaUu

 

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Filed under *** OK - Don't Love It, Don't Hate It, Animals / Pets, Book Review, Childrens, Christian

Darling Hedgehog Goes Down a Foxhole

Title: Darling Hedgehog Goes Down a Foxhole
Author: Auralee Arkinsly
Illustrator: Julia Swezy
Publisher: Capture Books
ISBN: 978-1-951084-06-6

“We’ve each learned a lesson about the nature of things … Not every stranger can be a friend,” the little critter is told by her father in Auralee Arkinsly’s children’s book, Darling Hedgehog Goes Down a Foxhole.

~ What ~
This numbered forty-four-page paperback targets four to nine-year-old children who like stories about animals and befriending strangers. Being a three-chapter book, it would best be read out loud to beginner readers due to some complicated wording. Colorful but rudimentary illustrations are on each page.

In this short tale, a little hedgehog named Darling wakes up to find her parents missing so goes on a search to find them. When she falls down a hole and meets a fox, she tries all she can to friend the animal by helping out or doing exactly what it says. Only when the small spiny animal finds her parents in a precarious position does she realize that friendships may have the wrong intentions.

~ Why ~
This is a story about an innocent, naive creature who is beguiled by a fox for ulterior motives. The chapters are short and direct; the illustrations are easy to understand without providing too much detail.

~ Why Not ~
Children who are leary of strangers may become more fearful of them as the learn what intentions the fox has for the hedgehog. Some may get scared when it is discovered that the fox captures and imprisons small animals, later planning to eat them.

~ Wish ~
With this being a discouraging book about a fox tricking a hedgehog into doing what it wants, it did not address how the little animal easily forgot about its parents and never considered freeing the other imprisoned animals. Although the writer’s purpose may have been to be careful of strangers by stating not everyone can be a friend, it may establish insecurity and fear in trusting others.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a kid’s book that is about a hedgehog learning to be cautious when meeting strangers, this may work, but I think it could potentially frighten some children.

Thanks to BookCrash and the author for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

#DarlingHedgehog #AuraleeArkinsly #CaptureBooks #Bookcrash

This book can be found at https://amzn.to/30LIxik

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Filed under *** OK - Don't Love It, Don't Hate It, Animals / Pets, Book Review, Childrens, Fiction

Gracie Lou Wants a Zoo

Title: Gracie Lou Wants a Zoo
Author: Shelly Roark
Illustrator: Simone Kruger
Publisher: Little Lamb Books
ISBN: 978-1-7332828-2-6

“Be patient if you can. Wait on God’s plan. He’ll take care of you … even if you want a zoo,” Gracie is told in Shelly Roark’s children’s book, Gracie Lou Wants a Zoo.

~ What ~
This thirty-six-page paperback targets four to eight-year-old children who like stories about animals and trusting God. With no scary scenes, it would best be read out loud to beginner readers due to some complicated wording. Colorful, expressive illustrations are on each page. The ending has fifteen fill-in-the-blank questions and biographies of the author and illustrator.

In this short tale, a little girl named Gracie lives with her parents and pet turtle in a small apartment, yet all she wants is to have more animals, such as an entire zoo of them. Each time she asks her dad and mom for a monkey, duck, giraffe, and elephant, they tell her to be patient because God has a plan. After she confides in her pet turtle and has a dream about all the animals being in her home, she learns to wait on God.

~ Why ~
This is a nice story about a child wanting to have a zoo full of animals but later realizes it is not the best idea. I loved how the demands of a child are answered calmly by her parents, trusting God to find the right answer. The problem of owning more pets was easy to comprehend for the age level. 

~ Why Not ~
Children who do not have a relationship with or do not know God as their personal Savior may not enjoy or see the value of this book. Beginner readers may struggle with the two and three-syllable words.

~ Wish ~
There is nothing I would change in this book. I greatly appreciate that it is well written and promotes relying on God.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a kid’s book that is cute while promoting patience and understanding there are reasons we do not get what we want, this is a keeper, especially if one realizes all is in God’s timing, not ours.

Thanks to BookCrash and the author for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

#GracieLouWantsAZoo #ShellyRoark #SimoneKruger #LittleLambBooks

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/2oh31ll

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Animal Skins

Title: Animal Skins
Author/Photographer: Mary Holland
Publisher: Arbordale Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-64351-3393

“Fur (hair), feathers and scales are animal skin coverings that look very different from each other but do many of the same things,” Mary Holland begins her children’s book, Animal Skins.

~ What ~
A part of the Animal Anatomy and Adaptation series, this oversized thirty-two-unnumbered-page hardbound with a duplicate jacket cover targets children ages four to eight years old who enjoy educational information about nature. With no scary scenes, the book may be best read out loud by adults to beginner readers due to some complicated wording.

In this artistically photographed collection, the outer coverings of animals are the focal point. Beginning with the wings of a moth, the pages show a cicada, porcupine, skunk, fawn, birds, frog, salamander, toad, snake, turtle, and little child, explaining what each’s covering is, does, and how it protects them.

The last four pages have more educational tools of learning activities for creative minds that involve a matching skin game, how animals’ skins are used, special skins of a hairy-tailed mole, European honey bee, turkey vulture, and gray treefrog, and animal classes with answers.

~ Why ~
What makes this book fun is not only the full-page, full-color photographs and explanation of skin coverings but also the informational data at the end for older readers. A child will enjoy viewing the animals and insects that show the skin and skin covering differences between species.

~ Why Not ~
Those who have no interest in animal life and their skin may not appreciate this book. Others may prefer more information in chart or comparison format. Beginner readers may struggle with the many two- and three-syllable words.

~ Wish ~
To me, skin is usually the epidermis on a human, animal, or some insects, yet this book considers fur, hair, and feathers to be skin while technically these three are coverings on the skin. Thus maybe the book should have been titled “Animal Skin Coverings” or “Animal Covers.”

~ Want ~
If your child is interested in an educational series about the different parts of animals such as ears, eyes, legs, mouths, noses, and tails, this one on skin is a good choice.

Thanks to Arbordale Publishing, Bookpleasures, and the author for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

#ArbordalePublishing #AnimalAnatomyandAdaption #MaryHolland

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/2O1pFcg

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