Tag Archives: animals

What If Humans Were Like Animals?

Title: What If Humans Were Like Animals?
Author: Marianne Taylor and Lauren Taylor
Illustrator: Paul Moran
Publisher: Reader’s Digest
ISBN: 978-1-62145-030-6

“What if your parents appeared to have two pairs of eyes? Some birds have eye-like patterns on the backs of their heads, so it seems like they’re watching you when they’re not. Your devious deeds might come to an end if you had trouble telling whether you were being watched or not,” Marianne Taylor and Lauren Taylor ask in their book, What if Humans Were Like Animals – The Amazing and Disgusting Life You’d Lead as a Snake, Bird, Fish or Worm!

With one hundred and forty-three pages, this hardbound small book is targeted toward elementary to middle school children with no profanity or uncomfortable topics except for making fun of bodily functions. Illustrator Paul Moran does a thorough job with his artistic black and white ink drawings on every page. Having seventy-two different topics, unfortunately there is no index for quick animal reference at the back of the book.

Taylor and Taylor are creative in their adaption of animals to humans by asking what if we had specific body designs or traits similar to animals. Starting with common themes such as eyes, ears, mouth and teeth, drawings and descriptions correlate spiders, flies, honeybees, lizards and flatfish to our own bodies with fun, imaginative pictures.

Four circular icons are on specific pages, notifying the reader if the blended concepts are scary, smart, handy or rotten with a numbered one to five rating. A person having the sawfish’s long nose gets only a three in the handy rating while there is a rotten five rating for vomiting chewed food into their young ones’ mouths if you were like a mother bird. If you had the horned lizard’s eyes that can shoot a stream of blood up to five feet, you get a five scary score but a smart three rating is if you could communicate like a fish that farts.

One can glean information about the smiley babirusa pig, the hairy musk ox, the microscopic tardigrades, the communicating howler monkeys, the sweat-drinking sweat bees, the slimy velvet worms and the dirty malleefowl depicted on the pages.

Although some of the concepts are rather gross and sophomoric, this actually is a great innocuous teaching tool about unique animals and their traits. The authors and illustrator did a good job stimulating creativity and individuality that not only young children will enjoy, adults can also learn a bit about the amazing animal kingdom.

This book was furnished by the publicist for review purposes.

This review will also be posted on Bookpleasures and Amazon with links on LinkedIn and Pinterest.

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Filed under ***** Great - A Keeper, If You Borrow It, Give It Back!, Animals / Pets, Childrens

Whims, Wits, and Whiskers – A Californian Pet Tale

Whims, Wits, and Whiskers: A Californian Pet TaleTitle: Whims, Wits, and Whiskers – A Californian Pet Tale
Author: Sieglinde C. Othmer PhD.
Illustrator: Clare Rosean
ISBN: 978-1-4759-6141-5

“This show will have seven acts and no intermission. So if you need to excuse yourself for necessary things, please to do it now! You’ve got five minutes!” Mr. Guinness explains to the crowd of animals in Sieglinde C. Othmer’s book, Whims, Wits, and Whiskers – A Californian Pet Tale.

At one hundred and thirty-eight pages, this hardbound book is a tome about bored family pet animals who want to do something more with their dull, predictable lives. If not for a few slang words such as fart, darn and hell, the book would be nicely targeted toward young readers or make a fun, adventurous bedtime story. The beginning has a helpful list of animal characters and the ending includes a glossary of British and French words, their pronunciation and description. There are only a few pencil illustrations by artist Clare Rosean with grainy plant drawings relating to the story.

Mr. Guinness, the in-control of everyone and everything Labrador / Pit Bull decides to stay home from work one day with his two female charges, Lexi the Shih Tzu and Rosie the Terrier. Coaxing them to do something more than watch television and sleep all day, he challenges the girls to card games including poker. But to no avail, they tire and get bored easily, begging Mr. Guinness to come up with something more exciting.

When cousin dogs Bailey, another Lab, and George, an irreverent Beagle/Basset hound come for a visit, the five try to come up with something fun to do. Miles and Cosmo, two French cats with attitudes warily show up, encouraging the dogs to do something unique and creative.

After hummingbirds teach the cousins how to make up a song and sing it, the animals decide to do a production and take their program on tour. They group together and work hard on each of their artistic parts. Their owner flies them to Kansas City, Missouri, in his sea plane, where Aunt Jetta, a Blue Heeler, helps provide the audience and locale for their seven part play.

With so many different animals’ personalities and characters, the reader is quickly engaged in the silliness, creativity and thoughtfulness that the cousins have for one another and their mammal friends. Having a successful stage presence with a fun-filled participating audience leaves all the animals wanting to take the show around the world with the help of Condor. This is a fun, easy to read book with only one sad ending but lots of charm and the reiteration that working together accomplishes goals.

This review will be posted on http://www.bookpleasures.com and http://www.amazon.com.

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Filed under **** Good - Will Be Glad to Pass On to Others, Animals / Pets, Childrens, Fiction

26 Poem-Stories About Animals, A to Z, Aardvark to Zebra: Fun and Funny Poems Telling Real Stories About Real Animals

26 POEM-STORIES ABOUT ANIMALS, A to Z, Aardvark to Zebra: Fun and Funny Poems Telling  Real Stories About  Real  AnimalsTitle: 26 Poem-Stories About Animals, A to Z, Aardvark to Zebra: Fun and Funny Poems Telling Real Stories About Real Animals
Author: Tom Guy Pettit
Illustrator: Peter O’Malley Pierson
Publisher: Tom Guy Pettit
ISBN: 978-1-4701-3637-6

“For your animal list, which would you say
Ought to be first, they both start with “aa”
Is aardwolf in front and aardvark second?
Just which one goes where; what do you reckon?

As you think of the answer, you should know
They both love bugs and don’t care where they go.”

Tom Guy Pettit writes in carefree, poetic format about all types of animals in his educational children’s book, 26 Poem-Stories About Animals, A to Z, Aardvark to Zebra: Fun and Funny Poems Telling Real Stories About Real Animals.

With fifty-seven pages, this oversize paperback book covers twenty-six adventurous to entertaining animals listed alphabetically. Illustrator Peter O’Malley Pierson depicts colorful drawings in pen, ink and water colors that are detailed and creative. The book is targeted toward children age eight to twelve years old but could be easily read to preschool or younger ages who want to learn about animals. In the beginning, there is a special note to parents about the author and illustrator along with an explanation of poems. The end of the book has a special note to animals not included within the pages.

With two to three pages devoted to one letter of the alphabet animal, there are multiple four-line rhyming stanzas explaining each creature’s features, traits, eating habits and living environment in a playful but informative style. On each side of the page of the poems is several small to half-page drawings that even non-readers would enjoy looking at while listening.

It is time to learn something! Did you know koala bears eat leaves but not bamboo, an elephant’s tusks are really teeth, a group of hippos is called a pod or a walrus weighs four hundred pounds? And donkeys do not eat meat, kangaroos kick like a horse, ostriches do not have teeth and zebras make long, loud horn-honking noises.

Even adults can learn a thing or two in this useful, one-of-a-kind book. Have you ever heard of a nabarlek, uakaris or xerus? This fun find not only explains these odd mammals but the differences between a skunk and a skink or a vole and a mole if you do not know!

With so many different types of animals listed in their sing-song tales, this book can be read one per day as a bedtime story or over and over for memorization. It is a wonderful, educational tool to help children learn and care about the unique animal kingdom that surrounds us.


This review will be posted on http://www.bookpleasures.com and http://www.amazon.com.

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Filed under ***** Great - A Keeper, If You Borrow It, Give It Back!, Childrens

Happy Misunderstanding – How Folly Gets His Name

Happy Misunderstanding: How Folly Gets His NameTitle: Happy Misunderstanding – How Folly Gets His Name
Author: Ginny Buller
Illustrator: Julie Chettle
Publisher: Outskirts Press, Inc.
ISBN: 978-1-4327-8234-4

If you are a child and get lost or separated from your parents, fear and uncertainty can easily take over and consume you.  But with the help of friends, you can find comfort and peace, maybe even having a little fun in the process.  In Ginny Buller’s Happy Understanding – How Folly Gets His Name, this short story hones in on the subject of making friends when scared and lonely.

This twenty four page oversized paperback book depicts a happy young lion on the front jacket.  The book is targeted for any age, but especially apropos for young pre-school or kindergarten age.  With no profanity or overtly scary situations, it could be a good book to read at bed-time.  Illustrator Julie Chettle does a thorough job in her pen and colored pencil drawings that are detailed, fun, creative and take up more space on each page than the writing itself.

This short tome is about a young lion that wakes up in the bushes in a jungle but cannot remember why he is there or how he got there.  All he remembers is that his mother told him to stay in the bushes and be very quiet. Scared, afraid and wanting to cry, he looks around and sees there are other animals beyond the bushes.  But being inquisitive and wanting to look around further, he pokes his head between the leaves.  He first is introduced to a baby monkey and his father who tell him they are not his mother. The cub squeaks out a weak roar in sadness and the father monkey picks him up to comfort him, taking him to the nearby pool.  Next he talks to a hippopotamus, an alligator, an elephant and a bear but learns none of them are his mother.

An eagle flying above calls down to “Folly” and all the animals misunderstand him and think this is the lion’s name and repeats it to him.  In the end, everyone invites the newly named lion to live with them and be a part of their community.  Folly roars like a real lion when he happily realizes he is wanted by his new animal friends.

This is a nice, innocuous read for any child that enjoys looking at pictures while being read to or individually reading even though there are several large words.  It is a perfect book to read over and over even though the lion’s mother does not return or is discussed any further.

This review will also be posted on http://www.bookpleasures.com and http://www.amazon.com

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Filed under *** OK - Don't Love It, Don't Hate It, Childrens