animals, children, history

Maisie Mammoth’s Memoirs


Author & Illustrator: Rob Hodgson
Contributor: Prof. Michael J. Benton
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Genre: Children / History / Animals
ISBN: 978-0-500-65206-0
Pages: 48
Price: $19.95

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Maisie Mammoth lived during the Ice Age, and she considers herself a popular socialite. In Maisie Mammoth’s Memoirs, she introduces us to some of the animals she knew in her day.

After a brief description of the Ice Age, Maisie introduces us to her personal assistant, Buttercup, who unfortunately fell in a bog and remained preserved in ice. Then she provides a tour around the world, sharing fun facts about each of her friends. As she introduces them by name, she explains a little about their diet, habits, body characteristics, and the dangers they faced.

When a woolly mammoth narrates, Ice Age information goes from hum-drum to fascinating. I highly recommend Maisie Mammoth’s Memoirs for anyone interested in Ice Age animals (and Neanderthals).

Reviewer: Alice Berger

animals, children

If I Had a Sleepy Sloth


Author & Illustrator: Alex Barrow and Gabby Dawnay
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Genre: Children / Animals
ISBN: 978-0-500-65194-0
Pages: 32
Price: 14.95

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What would be the perfect pet for this little girl? A sleepy sloth, who will help her slow down and relax. Sloths are the perfect companions for hammocks, meditation, and simply hanging around.

If I Had a Sleepy Sloth is a cute rhyming book sharing all the benefits to having a sloth as pet. Kids will love this adorable, lovable creature, and probably ask Mom and Dad for a sloth of their own. (Parents, consider yourselves fore-warned!) I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

animals, children, nature

Bats


Author & Illustrator: Gail Gibbons
Publisher: Holiday House
Genre: Nature / Children
ISBN: 978-0-8234-4354-3
Pages: 32
Price: $18.99

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Bats are amazing creatures, but many people are afraid of them. They are harmless animals that care for their young, help control the insect population, and pollinate plants. And right now they are in danger.

Since people don’t understand much about these mammals, they destroy their habitats. Pollution and pesticides also threaten bats. And now, they face a terrible disease called white-nose syndrome that has killed many bats.

Bats may be associated with Count Dracula but they’re not scary at all. In fact, they will probably never come near you. Bats provides a wealth of information so kids can learn all about these nocturnal animals and develop a healthy respect for them. I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

animals, children, dogs

Why Do Dogs Sniff Butts?


Author: Dr. Nick Crumpton
Illustrator: Lily Snowden-Fine
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Genre: Children / Dogs
ISBN: 978-0-500-65223-7
Pages: 48
Price: $16.95

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Have you ever wondered why dogs sniff butts? Or what their wagging tails mean? Do you know about the various jobs dogs were bred to perform? Or why dogs chase cats? If you’re fascinated with man’s best friend and just want to know more about them, Why Do Dogs Sniff Butts? is the perfect book for you.

Filled with lots of interesting facts about dogs, this illustrated book is a fun read for kids or any dog lover. I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

animals, children, nature

Whose Track is That?


Author: Stan Tekiela
Publisher: Adventure Publications
Genre: Children / Nature / Animals
ISBN: 978-1-59193-958-0
Pages: 52
Price: $14.95

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If you were hiking in the woods and came across an animal track, would you be able to identify it? Whose Track is That? is a fun way to learn which animals might make the tracks you find.

This book features animals tracks for 11 different animals. First, we see a close-up photo of what it looks like, along with a description and a clue as to what it might be. Then when we turn the page, the animal is identified, along with photos and interesting information about it. The appendix shows all animal tracks with some additional pointers to help in identification.

Stan Tekiela has created another fun activity book for kids with his beautiful photography and knowledge of nature. I highly recommend Whose Track is That?

Reviewer: Alice Berger

animals, humor, tween

Squirrel in the Museum


Author: Vivian Vande Velde
Illustrator: Steve Björkman
Publisher: Holiday House
Genre: Middle grade
ISBN: 978-0-8234-4167-9
Pages: 112
Price: $15.99

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Twitch, the squirrel, has heard stories about wolves who eat squirrels. Twitch doesn’t want to be eaten, but he has no idea what a wolf is. So when the students are going to the museum, he decides to tag along and see if he can learn about wolves.

No one expects to see a squirrel in a museum, so the staff are understandably upset, especially when the squirrel becomes a disruption to the exhibits and proves difficult to catch. But when it appears that Twitch might meet a fate worse than wolves, an unexpected hero comes to his defense.

Squirrel in the Museum is a madcap adventure to the museum through the eyes of a squirrel. Fast-paced, zany action will delight young readers who will enjoy reading about Twitch’s escapades.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

animals, children, Christian

Night Night Zoo


Author: Amy Parker
Illustrator: Virginia Allyn
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-1-4003-1014-2
Pages: 20
Price: $9.99

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The zookeepers have locked up and gone home for the day, but the animals still have to get ready for bed. Hippos, gazelles, elephants, and many others all have a nightly routine. As each animal family prepares for bed, kids are encouraged to wish them a good night’s sleep through the repeating refrain, “Night night [animals].” A box at the bottom right corner introduces the next animals they will see.

Finally, everyone is tucked in for the night. All the animals are now asleep, and this charming bedtime board book closes with the message that God is in control, even in a zoo.  Night Night Zoo is the perfect bedtime story for children who love animals.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

animals, audio book, nature

Sounds of the Night


Author: Brent A. Ford
Publisher: nVizn Ideas
Genre: Children / Nature
ISBN: 9781947348745
Pages: 40
Price: $11.95

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Nighttime animal sounds make a summer symphony that’s a joy to hear. But what are the animals that make them? Curious kids can find out by listening to Sounds of the Night.

This unique interactive book uses QR codes for kids to listen to various sounds of the night. Its opening track is a long segment of night sounds that includes all the animals presented in the book. Then each animal is featured separately in sound, with a prompt for kids to try to identify it. Once we know who it is, the original comprehensive track is played so kids can try to find it among all the others. Animals featured include various species of bugs, birds, frogs, and toads.

As a nature lover, I found this process fascinating, and I had fun trying to guess the animals as I listened to their sounds. Kids will enjoy listening to this interactive book, and will apply what they’ve learned as they spend time outdoors at night. I highly recommend Sounds of the Night.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

animals, birds, children, nature

The Big Book of Birds


Author & Illustrator: Yuval Zommer
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Genre: Children / Birds
ISBN: 978-0-500-65151-3
Pages: 64
Price: $19.95

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Birds delight us with their brightly colored plumage and beautiful songs. But how many different kinds of birds are there? And what are the various categories they belong to? The Big Book of Birds shares a wealth of information regarding these fascinating creatures.

Beginning with a bird family tree, kids are introduced to birds of prey, woodland and forest birds, owls, seabirds, perching birds, water birds, and flightless birds. Feathers, beaks, songs, nests, migration, and flight are explained, and several species of birds are explored in more details. Colorful images fill the pages, as kids get to know these interesting birds.

Bird watchers of all ages will enjoy the touch of whimsy in these unusual illustrations. I highly recommend The Big Book of Birds for anyone who loves to watch birds.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

animals, children, nature

Can You Count the Critters?


Author & Illustrator: Stan Tekiela
Publisher: Adventure Publications
Genre: Children / Nature
ISBN: 978-1-59193-819-4
Pages: 32
Price: $8.95

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Counting to twelve just got a whole lot more fun! Rather than just counting the animals in these amazing nature photographs, kids have the opportunity to read about each animal while they learn their numbers. Featured animals are: Monarch butterfly, American toad, Eastern cottontail, American black bear, Black-tailed prairie dog, Elk, Bald eagle, Virginia opossum, Lesser long-nosed bat, Painted turtle, Mallard duck, and American bison. In addition to the text on each photo, fun facts on each animal are included in an appendix.

Stan Tekiela is a talented nature photographer, and the images of these animals are close-up and candid. I highly recommend Can You Count the Critters? for all young nature lovers.

Reviewer: Alice Berger