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Books categorized as 'Animals'

Little Dog Lost: The true story of a brave dog named Baltic

little dog lost coverLittle Dog Lost: The true story of a brave dog named Baltic by Monica Carnesi
Recommended for: PreK – 2

This is the true story of a dog that was stranded on an iceberg in Poland. The author heard the story of Baltic on National Public Radio (NPR) and knew it had to be shared with children and families. No one knows for sure how this little dog ended up stranded on an iceberg, headed down the Vistula River in Poland toward the Baltic Sea. Firemen tried to help, but with no success. The last best hope was the crew of a research boat…but even that looked bleak. On a final try, a seaman rescues the dog! This book arouses lots of empathy with minimal words and icy pictures. This is a great animal story to share with young children.

Reviewed by: Mrs. Wettergreen

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The One and Only Ivan

one and only ivan coverThe One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
Recommended for: Grades 4 – 6

Winner of the 2013 Newbery Medal
This story is told by the one and only Ivan, who is a gorilla. He lives at the Big Top Mall and Video Arcade which features a circus ring with 3 performances daily by Stella the Elephant, Snickers the Dog and Ivan. When not performing, the animals return to their glassed-in domains (the word cage is not allowed) for the viewing public. Ivan has lived in his domain for 9,855 days or 27 years! He enjoys his friendship with a stray dog and the other animals, but his best friend is the mall janitor’s 10 year old daughter who brings him crayons, markers and paper. Ivan is a good artist! When mall revenues fall, a baby elephant arrives, and Stella is mistreated, Ivan draws plans for a new home – one with trees, flowers and even a waterfall. The author based this book on a real Ivan who lives at Zoo Atlanta.

Reviewed by: Mrs. Wettergreen

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Lulu and the Duck in the Park

Lulu and the Duck in the Park by Hilary McKay
Recommended for Grades 2-4

Lulu and her best friend/cousin Mellie are in Mrs. Holiday’s class, along with the class pet guinea pig.  Mrs. Holiday stands firm that there will be no additional animals in the classroom, even though Lulu loves all animals and tries to introduce others.  When Lulu finds the last surviving duck egg in the park, after a tumultuous rampage by two unleashed dogs, she sneaks it into school.  Will it hatch at school?  What will Mrs. Holiday do about it?  This engaging easy chapter book will have children waiting for McKay’s second Lulu book due out in March 2013.

Reviewed by: Mrs. Baumgartner

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Hamster and Cheese

hamster and cheese cover image Hamster and Cheese by Colleen A.F. Venable and Stephanie Yue
Recommended for: Grades 2-5

First in the Guinea PIg, Pet Shop Private Eye series, Hamster and Cheese tells the story of a reluctant detective and her irrepressible (and self-appointed) sidekick who are on a quest for a missing sandwich. Funny characters (including Mr. Venezi, the befuddled pet shop owner) and detailed drawings make this a great read. Includes fun facts about animals at the end of each story.

Reviewed by: Ms. GS

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War horse

War Horse by Michael Morpurgo
Recommended  for: Grades 4-7

Joey was a farm horse cared for by gentle Albert until Albert’s father sold Joey to the British cavalry during World War I.  Albert is too young to enlist but vows to find Joey when he is old enough to join.  During the war, Joey has many caretakers both kind and cruel. He suffers many losses & hardships and sees the terrible toll war takes on men and horses of both sides. Will he ever be reunited with his friend Albert?

Reviewed by: Mrs. McIntire

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Mamba Point

Mamba Point by Curtis Scaletta
Recommended for: Grades 4-7

Linus and his family move to Liberia when his Dad gets a job at the US Embassy. Linus longs to project a bolder image of himself to any new friends he makes in his new life.
He comes into immediate and frequent contact with the deadly black mamba snake and is very hesitant to go out, but he gradually notices changes in himself.  He dares to do things he never would before.  Is it because of his connection with the mamba? Is the mamba his kaseng – an animal with which he has a special connection?

Reviewed by: Mrs. McIntire

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The Golden Ghost

Golden GhostThe Golden Ghost by Marion Dane Bauer
Recommended for: Grades 1-4

Delsie yearns for a pet, especially a dog, but her father is allergic. Read this story to find out how she gets a very special kind of pet!

Reviewed by: Mrs. Teixeira

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The Masterwork of a Painting Elephant

Masterwork of a Painting Elephant coverThe Masterwork of a Painting Elephant by Michelle Cuevas, illustrated by Ed Young
Recommended for: Grades 1-4

Pigeon (a boy) is raised by Birch (an elephant) after being abandoned by his parents. Birch longs to find his former acrobat partner from his circus act, so the pair travels to Paris (by way of New York & Hollywood) on their search for her. Along the way, they meet an unusual cast of characters: the Ringmaster, hobos, zoo animals and an ancient sea turtle.
Birch may be an elephant, but he is a talented artist who can see and paint the true essence of people. The themes of family, security, and the true nature of love are explored while telling of many strange events in the lives of Pigeon and Birch. If you like magical realism, you’ll be entranced by these two special friends.

Reviewed by: Mrs. McIntire

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Sidekicks

Sidekicks by Dan Santat
Recommended for: Grades 3-5

Captain Amazing, defender of Metro City, is getting older.  After an especially fierce superhero battle, he decides he needs a sidekick.  His four pets, Manny the cat, Roscoe the dog, Fluffy the hamster, and Shifty the chameleon, all vie to be his chosen sidekick, and end up saving their master in his ultimate time of need.  This graphic novel is full of great superhero action and humor, and is a surprisingly touching story about friendship and family, too.

Reviewed by: Mrs. Waring

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Young Fredle

Young Fredle by Cynthia Voigt
Recommended for: Grade 3-5

Fredle the kitchen mouse is curious and adventurous.  Unfortunately for him, these two traits are dangerous and discouraged by his family, who live behind the cupboards in the kitchen of a farm house.  One day, Fredle’s impulsive and curious nature gets the best of him, resulting with him being kicked out of the nest to the dangers of the wide world.  This book follows Fredle’s adventures as he tries to make his way home.  Along the way he learns important lessons about independence, friendship, and self-reliance.  This is a lovely coming-of-age story whose main character happens to be a mouse.  Black and white illustrations help bring the tale to life.

Reviewed by: Mrs. Waring

 

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