Bergers Book Reviews

The Song of Spring


Author & Illustrator: Hendrik Jonas
Publisher: Prestel
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-3-7913-7379-9
Pages: 52
Price: $12.95

Author’s website
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It’s springtime, and all the birds are singing their mating calls. But one little bird can’t remember his song. He wants to find a birdie friend, so he attempts to discover it through trial and error.

Time after time, he sings a song, but his moos, meows, and oinks fail miserably. Soon he’s surrounded by farm animals but no birdie friend. Until one day a strange song comes from the distance – a little girl bird attempting to find her own song.

The Song of Spring is an adorable tale of friendship, as each of these animals come to keep little bird company. Kids will love these charming illustrations of cheerful animals in spring. I highly recommend this cute story.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

March 19, 2019 Posted by | animals, birds, children | Leave a comment

Hidden Critters


Author: Stan Tekiela
Publisher: Adventure Publications
Genre: Animals / Nature / Children
ISBN: 978-1-59193-812-5
Pages: 48
Price: $14.95

Author’s website
Buy it at Amazon

The ability to blend in with its surroundings can mean the difference between life and death for many animals. In Hidden Critters, Stan Tekiela shows kids some of these animals that survive by hiding.

Tekiela is a gifted nature photographer who has captured images of the animals in hiding and in plain sight, so kids can see them in their natural settings. In the first picture, kids need to try to find the hidden animal. The second picture shows it in plain view. Closing pages provide fun facts about each of the animals featured: burrowing owl, gray wolf, southern flying squirrel, American alligator, brown creeper, short-tailed weasel, bullfrog, praying mantis, white-tailed deer, and polar bear. A key to the hidden critter pages is also included, showing exactly where to spot these animals.

Nature lovers of all ages will enjoy this book. I highly recommend it for home and classroom.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

December 7, 2018 Posted by | animals, children, nature | Leave a comment

Look at Me!


Author & Illustrator: Jim Arnosky
Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books
Genre: Children / Nature / Animals
ISBN: 978-1-4549-2809-6
Pages: 40
Price: $16.95

Author’s website
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Many animals have coloring that allows them to blend in with their surroundings, camouflaging them from being seen by predators. But some animals have colorful and unusual features that are meant to attract mates, as well as avoid being eaten. Look at Me! shows us some of these creatures and their stunning displays.

Male turkeys spread their tail feathers, and strut to attract females. African bullfrogs blow up to twice their size to avoid frog-eating snakes. Deer have antlers and sheep have horns for battling other males during mating season. These as well as many other interesting animals are introduced with beautiful illustrations, including some fold out spreads.

Nature’s wonders never fail to please children, and Look at Me! is a delight to read. Kids (and teachers) will love it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

November 9, 2018 Posted by | animals, children, nature | Leave a comment

Which Animal Is Fastest?


Author: Brian Rock
Illustrator: Carolyn Le
Publisher: Arbordale
Genre: Children / Animals
ISBN: 9781607187455
Pages: 32
Price: $9.95

Author’s website
Illustrator’s website
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King Lion is hosting a race to determine the fastest animal. But before he can crown cheetah the champion, the other animals protest. Why should the race be for quickness over a short distance? There are other ways to measure speed – why won’t he use those instead?

After listening to all their pleas, King Lion finally decides to hold an Olympics. Each animal now has the chance to show off its skills in the best possible setting, and the winners of each event are congratulated.

The final pages detail each of the speeds of the winning animals in their specialty. Activities and questions are also provided for teachers who might want to use this book for science lessons. Which Animal Is Fastest? is a fun read for animal lovers, and will be a big hit in the classroom.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

November 2, 2018 Posted by | animals, children | Leave a comment

Business Pig


Author & Illustrator: Andrea Zuill
Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books
Genre: Children / Animals
ISBN: 978-1-4549-2684-9
Pages: 32
Price: $16.95

Author’s website
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Jasper the piglet is born at the Sunshine Sanctuary for Farm Animals, and immediately, everyone notices he’s different. He won’t play in the mud or root for grubs like the other pigs. Instead, he sits at his computer in a suit and tie, working on spreadsheets and presentations.

All the other animals are being adopted, but no one seems to pay attention to Jasper. Feeling he needs to do something about this problem, he takes on an advertising campaign, hoping to attract the perfect owner. When a little girl in a business suit with a briefcase sees his ads, she shows up at the sanctuary to meet him. She takes his business card, inspects his charts, and reads his resume thoroughly. And soon Jasper has a new job – and a new home – with his new friend. “It was a perfect fit!”

Business Pig is a delight to read. I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

September 26, 2018 Posted by | animals, children | Leave a comment

Rufus Blasts Off!


Author: Kim T. Griswell
Illustrator: Valeri Gorbachev
Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-1-4549-2099-1
Pages: 40
Price: $16.95

Author’s website
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Rufus the pig needs more stories and knows just what to do. He’ll travel off into space so he can tell everyone all about it. But first he has to convince Commander Luna he has the right stuff.

Treats, a blanket, and even a space suit aren’t enough. But when Rufus shows up with a flag proclaiming, “I love reading!” along with a bag full of books, Commander Luna finally agrees. And soon Rufus is on Mars, reading to kids everywhere on TV.

Rufus is such a cute character and kids will admire his persistence as he keeps chasing his dreams. His love of books and reading is contagious, inspiring kids to read just because it’s fun. I highly recommend Rufus Blasts Off!.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

May 16, 2018 Posted by | animals, children | Leave a comment

Whose Baby Butt?


Author: Stan Tekiela
Publisher:Adventure Publications
Genre: Children / Nature
ISBN: 978-1-59193-783-8
Pages: 48
Price: $14.95

Author’s website
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Baby animals have the cutest features, including their fuzzy, little butts. But can you identify the animal by its baby butt? Whose Baby Butt? uses this question to introduce kids to ten adorable baby animals.

One one two-page spread, kids see a photo of the baby butt to identify. A short blurb accompanies it, ending with the question, “Whose baby butt is this?” In the second two-page spread, the baby is pictured in full, often with parents and siblings, along with a description of the animal. The final pages of this book include more facts about the animals pictured.

Kids love baby animals, and they’ll get a kick out of identifying them by their baby butts. I highly recommend this fun nature book.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

May 10, 2018 Posted by | animals, children, nature | Leave a comment

What Eats That?


Author: Ryan Jacobson
Photographer: Stan Tekiela
Publisher: Adventure Publications
Genre: Children / Nature
ISBN: 978-1-59193-749-4
Pages: 32
Price: $14.95

Author’s website
Photographer’s website
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“A food chain is a string of living things that eat (and might be eaten by) other living things.” What Eats That? explains the concept of a food chain to kids, showing the relationships between predator and prey.

Each animal in a food chain is pictured, along with an explanation of what it eats. A teaser then prompts kids to turn the page and find out who eats it. Beginning with a butterfly eating the nectar of a flower, there is a progression all the way up to humans and the natural end of the food chain. Just for fun, kids are encouraged to build their own food chains beginning with a mosquito. The eating habits of the animals pictured are included in the appendix.

As an animal person, I was a bit worried that I’d see cute and cuddly animals described as dinner. But the authors mostly stay away from those prey, focusing more on insects and cold-blooded animals. Kids will enjoy learning about the food chain with this book.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

May 9, 2018 Posted by | animals, children, nature | Leave a comment

Paint by Sticker Kids: Beautiful Bugs


Publisher: Workman Publishing Company
Genre: Children / Art/ Nature
ISBN: 978-1-5235-0295-0
Pages: 34
Price: 9.95

Buy it at Amazon

Creating images of bugs has never been easier with Paint by Sticker Kids: Beautiful Bugs. Each bug design contains numbered stickers that kids can peel and stick in the designated spot on the diagram. Designs are printed on perforated card stock with colorful backgrounds, suitable for displaying their sticker bug creations.

Some of the featured bugs include: ladybug, spider, beetles, firefly, and butterflies, as well as many other interesting creatures. The age range listed for this book is K-6, but younger children may need some adult assistance to make sure the stickers end up in the right place. Tweezers are recommended for proper placement, and stickers are not removable.

Each design is a puzzle which can only be revealed by proper placement of the stickers, so kids will enjoy the act of creating a beautiful bug. I highly recommend this enjoyable nature activity book.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

May 3, 2018 Posted by | animals, art, children, nature | Leave a comment

Animal Adventures: Sharks


Aathor: Cynthia Stierle
Publisher: Silver Dolphin Books
Genre: Animals / Children
ISBN: 978-1-62686-487-0
Pages: 40
Price: $21.95

Buy it at Amazon

Sharks are fascinating creatures, but how much do kids really know about them? How do they breathe, what do they eat, how do they reproduce, and who are their friends and enemies? In using Animal Adventures: Sharks, kids will get to read all about these dangerous ocean-dwellers and play with the materials provided. Each kit contains a 40-page reference book, six plastic sharks, four 3-D models to build, 20 fact cards, and a dramatic seven piece diorama to create and decorate with 54 reusable stickers.

Kids who enjoying learning about animals will love this kit. This is a great resource for classroom or home use.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

May 26, 2017 Posted by | animals, children | Leave a comment