animals, children, nature

Hidden Critters


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

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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

animals, children, nature

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

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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

animals, children

Which Animal Is Fastest?


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

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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

animals, children

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

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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

animals, children

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

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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

animals, children, nature

Whose Baby Butt?


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

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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

animals, children, nature

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

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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