Elem. – Animal Rescue Friends

Hashimoto, Meika & Gina Loveless. Animal Rescue Friends. Andrews McMeel Publishing. 2021. 978-1-5248-6806-2. $9.99. Gr. 2-4.

What do you do when you find a stray dog that is friendly, smart, but has no collar? While keeping the dog may be what you want, is it the best choice to make? Maddie makes this discovery when she finds a lost dog she calls Boyd. While she wants to keep Boyd, her mother has her take Boyd to Animal Rescue Friends, an animal sanctuary. There, Maddie will find a place for Boyd, a new job for her helping animals, and even may make a friend or two!

THOUGHTS: This Epic! Original book follows several kids who all help or rescue animals in some way! This book is for the pet lovers of the world, with relatable situations, all presented in a fun comic-book style format.

Graphic Novel         Rachel Burkhouse, Otto-Eldred SD

Elem. – Favourite Pets (Series NF)

Crumpton, Nick. Favourite Pets. Thames & Hudson. $16.95. Grades 2-8.

Why Can’t Horses Burp? 2021. 978-0-500-65230-5.
Why Do Cats Meow?
2020. 978-0-500-65238-1.
Why Do Dogs Sniff Bottoms? 2020. 978-0-500-65202-2.

 

Have you ever wondered why horses can’t burp? Or maybe you are curious about the different types of horses, the color of a horse’s hair, mane, or tail, or even where a horse came from. This book will answer all of those curious questions you may have about one of your favorite pets and animals: a horse! Filled with information by horse expert Dr. Nick Crumpton, many of those captivating and curious questions you have can be answered in this illustrated, yet humorous, book!

THOUGHTS: Horses are the favorite animal of many readers, and this book is an excellent choice for elementary and middle school readers. As a librarian, I learned a lot about horses that I did not know! Readers will enjoy this book and be drawn in with the curious questions about horses!

636.1 Horses          Rachel Burkhouse, Otto-Eldred SD

Elem. – Pangolina

Goodall, Jane. Pangolina. Minedition. 2021. 978-1-6626-5040-6. $17.99. Gr. K-4.

Pangolina grew up with a loving mother that took care of her everyday. As Pangolina grows older, her mother takes her out to explore the world, showing her all of the things she needs to know to eat and be safe. Pangolina is curious, learning about the different animals around her, even the humans that can sometimes be scary. As Pangolina grows even older, mother tells her it is time to leave so that she can find a mate and have her own baby. One night as Pangolina sleeps in her burrow, a scary man grabs her and puts her into a cloth bag. She is put into a cage where there are other scared and crying animals. Pangolina is about to be sold away, when a young child from the village saves her, as it is illegal to hunt and sell pangolins. Pangolina is sent to a sanctuary where she is safe, able to be with other pangolins, and be cared for.

THOUGHTS: A beautiful book about pangolins, an interesting animal, as it is the only mammal with scales. Pangolins are endangered and are a protected species. This book provides a heartwarming and suspenseful story about a pangolin, all the while providing information about this unique animal. The back of the book contains more information and resources to learn more about pangolins.

Picture Book          Rachel Burkhouse, Otto-Eldred SD

Elem. – Mr. Complain Takes the Train

Bradford, Wade & S. Britt. Mr. Complain Takes the Train. Clarion Books. 2021. 978-0-544-82981-7. $17.99. Grades K-3

Mr. Complain is ready to take the train to his vacation in Dullsville. Unfortunately, the train is late. And loud. The train shows people that are too happy, but also too sad. Mr. Complain’s luggage won’t fit, and his seat is too lumpy. When he receives a new seat, his seat companions are just not up to par. There is nothing perfect on this train… especially when the train spirals downhill, goes in the dark, and even loop-de-loops! Is there something on the train that Mr. Complain will like?

THOUGHTS: Sometimes we need to see the positive things that are in life! We all know a Mr. Complain – this book provides readers with a chance to see the bright side of life, even when things may be a little different or crazy!

Picture Book          Rachel Burkhouse, Otto-Eldred SD

Elem. – We Want a Dog

Cole, Lo. We Want a Dog. Sourcebooks. 2021. 978-1-7282-3817-3. $17.99. Grades K-2,

There are so many different types of dogs! Long dogs and short dogs, skinny dogs and fat dogs! There are even dogs who are sneaks, thieves, and ones who may pee on Christmas trees! There are so many different dogs to choose from, how can one decide? Maybe one needs a dog that begs, one that sheds, or one who may rip things up INTO shreds? When there are so many dogs to choose from, perhaps you decide that you do not want any of them. In fact, you may decide that you want a cat!

THOUGHTS: This book is full of adorable dogs that are all different and special! This book is sure to make young readers laugh in delight at the silly dogs, all the while enjoying the flowing rhythm and rhyme this book contains.

Picture Book          Rachel Burkhouse, Otto-Eldred SD

Elem. – The Duck Who Didn’t Like Water

Small, Steve. The Duck Who Didn’t Like Water. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. 2021. 978-1-534-48917-2. $17.99. Grades K-2.

“There once was a duck who didn’t like water.” Wait…a duck who didn’t like water?! Duck did not like swimming in it, paddling in it, or even when it rained! Donned in his raincoat, rain hat, rubber boots, and umbrella, duck avoids water at all costs! Imagine his horror when a hole is blown into his roof during a massive storm. This massive storm blew not only a hole into his roof, but a lost visitor: frog. Frog does not know where he lives, so duck allows him to stay the night. Together the next day and weeks, they search for frog’s house, all the while becoming friends. Things are great until they find frog’s home and frog goes on his way. Duck now feels as though something is missing when he is home alone… and duck will travel through all the water in the world to fix what is missing!

THOUGHTS: A cute story on friendship, enjoying different things, and making the best out of something you may not fully enjoy!

Picture Book          Rachel Burkhouse, Otto-Eldred SD

Elem. – The Elephants Come Home: A True Story of Seven Elephants, Two People, and One Extraordinary Friendship

Tomsic, Kim, and Hadley Cooper. The Elephants Come Home: A True Story of Seven Elephants, Two People, and One Extraordinary Friendship. Chronicle Books, 2021. 978-1-452-12783-5. unpaged. $18.99. Grades 2-5.

Welcome to Thula Thula, a wildlife reserve in South Africa! Lawrence and Francoise are caretakers for the animals and the land, which is huge and protected and harmonious, until a desperate call comes in to adopt seven elephants. These elephants have been angry, troubled, and dangerous in their previous homes. Though Lawrence has never cared for elephants before, he willingly tries to take in the herd. What follows is a learning experience of trial and error as a relationship slowly grows with patience and practice. Lawrence and Francoise show empathy and compassion, which wins over the herd leader and subsequently the rest. With amazing and vivid illustrations and sparse but poignant text, Tomsic and Cooper tell a true tale of hope and redemption which will stick with young readers. The remarkable connection between elephants and Lawrence is fully felt when they grieve his death by migrating to his home and comforting Francoise. Endnotes and works cited will leave readers wanting more tales from Thula Thula.

THOUGHTS: This works great with other true animal and human relationship bonding books. The method of dealing with the herd’s angry behavior will also be a talking point for social emotional learning lessons. Beautiful and worthy addition to African animal collections.

333 Natural Resources          Dustin Brackbill    State College Area SD

Elem. – A Party to Remember

Tebow, Tim, with A.J. Gregory. A Party to Remember. Illustrated by Jane Chapman. Waterbrook, 2021. Unpaged. 978-0-593-23204-0. $17.99. Grades K-2. 

Bronco is a friendly, loveable puppy who needs glasses to see clearly. He wakes one morning to his friend Squirrel chattering that “the party is tonight! Do you have your puzzle piece?” Every invitee has received a puzzle piece, but though Bronco received an invitation, he figures the party isn’t for someone nearsighted like him. But he really wants to go. He begins to search for his puzzle piece and encounters other friends with puzzle pieces who are excited to attend the party. When he tumbles into Chelsie the rabbit, who has fallen over her extra-long ears, he finds that she, too, feels inadequate to attend the party. Bronco encourages her to go with him, saying, “It’s always better together.” They add to their small group Ethan, the cardinal with a broken wing, and Alexis, the goat who sneezes too loudly and scares everyone away. But as they continue, Alexis’ sneeze reveals the party, Bronco discovers his puzzle piece, and they happily find that they all fit at this party. “Each creature is born unique. Our differences make us special. And someone special, like you, is always able to do great things,” says Colby the panda. The friends joyfully dance and enjoy party food and music. The book closes with a scripture verse, “we are God’s masterpiece” and a reminder, “You are unique. You are special. And you are wonderful.”  This is an often-shared message that kids still need to hear, and it gets expert treatment from illustrator Jane Chapman, who makes these characters feel like friends that the reader would like to join.

THOUGHTS: This is definitely a positive look at differences and feels like an inviting beginning to the series “Bronco and Friends.” This is a definite encouragement for all readers.

Picture Book          Melissa Scott, Shenango Area SD

Elem./MG – Fred & Marjorie: A Doctor, a Dog, and the Discovery of Insulin

Kerbel, Deborah. Fred & Marjorie: A Doctor, a Dog, and the Discovery of Insulin. OwlKids Books, 2021.  56 p. 978-1-771-47411-5. $18.95 Grades 3-6.

Fred & Marjorie follows the story of Frederick Banting and his partner Charles Best who conducted research towards finding a cure for childhood diabetes. The doctors decide to use street dogs to test their theories on, and this graphic novel shows the successes and the failures of their scientific journey. The illustrations are well done and add to the story as the reader goes through. There is also an extensive authors note at the end of the book, along with a list of sources the author used for the graphic novel. This book brings up the issues surrounding the use of animals for scientific research, and after the author’s note there is a section that discusses animal testing in more detail. This book is a great introduction to a topic that many readers might not be aware of and gives just enough information to make the reader want to learn more.

THOUGHTS: Overall, this would make a great addition to any other nonfiction graphic novels you have in your collection.

Graphic Novel          Mary Hyson, Lehigh Valley Regional Charter School

Elem. – Whooo Knew? The Truth About Owls

Whipple, Annette. Whooo Knew? The Truth About Owls. Reycraft Books, 2020. 978-1-478-86962-7. 32 p. $17.95. Grades 1-3. 

Children and adults have long been fascinated with owls. Likely many of our students have read a fictional story featuring an owl or heard the hoot of an owl while camping, hiking, or just relaxing in their backyard. In Whooo Knew?, readers have the opportunity to learn more about these amazing creatures. Information about owl characteristics, life cycle, and habitat are introduced by the author posing a question (for example: “Can Owls Spin Their Heads?”, “What Good Are Ear Tufts?”, and “What Do Owl Babies Do?”). Each question is answered in an informational two page spread featuring numerous photographs. The title also includes a section on what readers can do to help owls, and backmatter includes a glossary, instructions on dissecting an owl pellet, and illustrations of owl anatomy.

THOUGHTS: This engaging non-fiction title is sure to be a hit with students, who will find it useful for research as well as casual reading. The structure of the book, with each topic introduced by catchy questions, will catch the attention of readers and the numerous photos of owl species and close-up views of owl characteristics will allow readers to appreciate these amazing animals. Recommended.

*Note: This book is by a Pennsylvania author.

598.97 Owls          Elizabeth Henry, Lampeter-Strasburg SD