If you like Wilbur and Charlotte and the rest of the animals in Uncle Homer’s barn, you might like some of these stories that give animals voices and give YOU a peek into their world. I wonder every day what my dog might be thinking. I like these stories that imagine what an animal might think and if it could talk, what it would say to it’s friends. I especially like these stories when the animals become a character I can love. Who would have thought a spider could be as lovable as Charlotte? In these stories mice, a cricket, a cat, a rabbit & even a gorilla let us know what might be going on in their furry heads and in their beating hearts (which is what they have in common with US!)
Masters of Disquise is a finalist in the non-fiction category for the CYBILS Awards, 2016! More Finalists
If you are interested in animals at all or have studied them at school, you are probably familiar with animal camouflage – the ability for an animal to hide itself because its coloring makes it blend in to its environment. Sometimes, this also involves actively changing color to match the environment, like a chameleon.
Masters of Disguise is about some animals that take camouflage to the next level. They wear disguises or act like other things – they are great fakers! One spider makes a fake spider bigger than itself, and then moves it like a puppet to scare predators away. Amazing animal tricksters is right!
One question I always have is, “how do they do that?” This book answers that question. The amazing ability of each animal to disguise itself is described, but then you can also read the science behind the story. You also get to meet the scientists and see how they studied the animals to figure out how their disguises worked. Fascinating. Cool pictures too. Written and Illustrated by Rebecca L. Johnson.
Finding Winnie the True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear is a finalist in the non-fiction category for the CYBILS Awards, 2016! More Finalists
Finding Winnie is the story of a veterinarian named Harry Colebourn who was a soldier in 1914 during World War I. Harry’s job was to take care of the calvary’s horses. A cavalry is a group of soldiers who fight on horseback. Harry was from Winnepeg, Canada, which is located north of the border between North Dakota and Minnesota.
To get to the east coast to catch a boat to Europe, Harry rode on a troop train. Trains were a very common way to transport troops during the war. During one of the train’s stops on its way East, Harry took a walk on a train platform. While walking, he ran into a trapper with a baby bear. Harry could not walk away from that bear! He bought the bear for $20, and took it with him on the boat to Europe! He named the bear Winnie, after his home town of Winnepeg, and she became his unit’s mascot.
If you think for just a few seconds, you can think of another bear you know named “Winnie.” Could there be two? An odd coincidence. But what if there was only one? Read Finding Winnie to find out what this Winnie, the London Zoo, the bear you know, and a little boy named Christopher Robin (the real one!) have to do with each other! Finding Winnie in Printand on DVD. By Lindsay Mattick. Illustrated by Sophie Blackall.
Pink is for Blobfish is a finalist in the non-fiction category for the CYBILS Awards, 2016! More Finalists
“The World of Weird Animals” says it all. I have never even heard of a blobfish, but there one is, right on the cover. The animals in this book are all unusual, and oddly, they are all pink! If you like the Animal Kingdom and learning about the diversity there, this is a really fun book. Each animal has a full page picture so you can see every detail of their interesting and unusual bodies. Each animal also gets a page of interesting facts, kind of like a baseball card. The facts cover species name, size, diet, habitat & predator threats. as well as some surprising stories about how the animal lives. This isn’t a book that overwhelms you with information. It isn’t the kind that includes everything you need for a report, although it would help with one. Instead, it shows you amazing members of the Animal Kingdom and makes you smile and say, “Oh!….wow!” By Jess Keating. Illustrated by David DeGrand.
Giant Squid is a finalist in the non-fiction category for the CYBILS Awards, 2016! More Finalists
The eyes of a giant squid can be as big as a soccer ball. Seriously. I don’t want to think about giant squid when I am at the beach! In a book though, they are so interesting. Even though giant squid start out bite-sized, just two inches long, they grow to be HUGE. Their tentacles can be up to 40 FEET long. And giant squid are stealthy. They move quietly, like a submarine.
Giant squid live so far down in the ocean scientists didn’t really know very much about them until recently. In the video below with the title “Rare Giant Squid Encounter,” you can watch scientists see a giant squid for the first time interacting with one of their deep sea cameras. It is fun to watch how excited the scientists are.
Scientists and engineers have figured out how to send drones to Mars to study it and have just as much of a challenge figuring out how to successfully study the deepest parts of the ocean right here on earth. The ocean is so deep, lack of oxygen, the darkness, and the pressure per square inch make it as inhospitable to humans as a different planet!
When you watch the giant squid in the video, it looks so beautiful and graceful, like its arms are dancing. And then you read this book and find out even their TONGUES have teeth. Yikes! (A drawing of the tongue.) The giant squid, ferocious and beautiful all wrapped up in one mysterious, enormous creature. Find out what makes this creature so elegant..and deadly…in Giant Squid by Candace Fleming, illustrations by Eric Rohmann.