Animal Books

Noisy Bird Sing Along

Targeted Audience: Preschool and Lower Elementary (Ages 3-8)
•        Genre: Nonfiction Picture Book
•        Author/Illustrator: John Himmelman
•        Publisher: Dawn Publications
•        Publication Date: March 1, 2015
•        Binding: Paperback
•        Dimensions: 9.5″ x 9.5″
•        Printing: Full Color
•        Length: 32 Pages
•        ISBN: 978-1584695141

“The deep voice of a barred owl seems to ask a question. Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you allll?”

Look, Listen and Learn
Noisy Bird Sing Along is John Himmelman’s third Noisy title. Children love to bird watch and listen to birds chirping, and inside the pages of this title, they will learn about the habitats and sounds of many of the species they typically hear. Every two-page spread features a different species of bird – thirteen in all – such as a white-throated sparrow, yellow warbler, hummingbird and downy woodpecker. The text is written on curvy lines and big bold letters reveal the sound each bird makes. The illustrations are large and colorful and are fun to look at, with wonderful details showing what the birds look like. Combine reading the book with Dawn’s Activities Page, where you can listen to actual sounds many of the birds make, and you’ve got a treasure of a learning tool for the youngest readers. There’s a page of Fun Facts About Birds and another of Birdy Things to Do, with tips on feeding and watching them, plus resources to learn more.

The book is fun to read, lovely to look at and so educational. Get outside with your young child and learn all about birds together!

Listen to sounds the birds in the book make on Dawn’s Activities Page!

About the Author/Illustrator
Himmelman-John-SMWhen John Himmelman was eight years old, he started his first “Bug Club” in a friend’s garage, and he’s been playing with insects ever since. Even now, on summer nights John is often in his wooded yard in Killingworth, Connecticut, flashlight in hand, searching for little creatures. Some of his most exciting discoveries are found just a few feet from his house! John co-founded the Connecticut Butterfly Association, is past president of the New Haven Bird Club, and both gives nature programs and makes school visits. He is an author and illustrator of over 75 books for children.


Over on a Mountain: Somewhere in the World

Targeted Audience: Preschool and Lower Elementary (Ages 3-8)
•        Genre: Nonfiction Picture Book
•        Author: Marianne Berkes
•        Illustrator: Jill Dubon
•        Publisher: Dawn Publications
•        Publication Date: March 1, 2015
•        Binding: Paperback
•        Dimensions: 9.5″ x 9.5″
•        Printing: Full Color
•        Length: 32 Pages
•        Retail: $8.95
•        ISBN: 978-1584695196

“Over in a mountain
Grazing in the morning sun,
Lived a wooly mother llama
And her little aria one.
‘Roll,’ said the mother.
‘I roll,’ said the one.
So they rolled in the dirt
Grazing in the morning sun.”

Geography and Nature, A Beautiful Combination
Author Marianne Berkes spends her days teaching children about nature – whether she’s writing a new book or visiting a classroom.

My regular readers know how I feel about geography education and the lack of it in our schools, so I get excited when I see a book that teaches geography, especially to the youngest readers. Over on a Mountain introduces children as young as three to different mountain ranges around the world and the animals who live there. There are mini maps on each two-page spread showing where the mountains are, and delightful paper collages illustrating animal families. The text is lyrical and rhyming and makes for a perfect read aloud experience. In the back of the book is a big uncluttered world map, plus facts about mountains and animals that are not so easy to see in the mountains, because they love to hide. There’s more detail about the animals in the story, activity suggestions from the author, and even tips from the illustrator who talks about how she creates her fascinating artwork. But that’s not all, there’s lyrics and music to the tune, “Over on a Mountain” too.

You’ll love the depth and texture of the paper collage illustrations the illustrations. The animals’ fur really looks like fur! There’s so much fascinating information here presented in a perfect format for readers ages three and up. What an amazing book to use in a classroom!

Check out the Dawn Publications Activities Page for more information about this book.

About the Author
Marianne_BerkesMarianne Berkes has spent much of her life with children as a teacher, children’s theater director and children’s librarian. She knows how much children enjoy brilliantly illustrated, interactive picture books with predictable text about real animals. She retired to write full time and visit schools, libraries and literary conferences. Marianne is the author of eighteen picture books about nature. The twelve books Marianne has published with Dawn Publications have won numerous awards and garnered exceptional reviews. Her verse is lyrical, reflecting the fact that music and theater have always been part of her life. Marianne lives near the ocean in Florida, where she still picks up beautiful shells to add to her collection.

About the Illustrator
DubinJill Dubin’s whimsical art has appeared in over 30 children’s books, including five Dawn Publication titles. Her cut paper illustrations reflect her interest in combining color, pattern and texture. She grew up in Yonkers, New York, and graduated from Pratt Institute. She lives with her family in Atlanta, Georgia, including two dogs that do very little but with great enthusiasm.


Pitter and Patter

Targeted Audience: Preschool, Lower & Upper Elementary (Ages 4-10)
•        Genre: Nonfiction Picture Book
•        Author: Martha Sullivan
•        Illustrator: Cathy Morrison
•        Publisher: Dawn Publications
•        Publication Date: March 1, 2015
•        Binding: Paperback
•        Dimensions: 9.5″ x 9.5″
•        Printing: Full Color
•        Length: 32 Pages
•        Retail: $8.95
•        ISBN: 978-1584695097

“The river poured into a wetland of tall, swaying grasses.
Hello crab.
So nice to meet you shrimp.
A happy day to you, heron.”

The Story of Two Raindrops
Pitter and Patter are two raindrops go on an extraordinary visual outdoor adventure to teach children about the cycle of water.  They drop from a cloud one day to greet a squirrel, blue jay and caterpillar in an oak tree, fall to the stream below and get carried through a maze of wondrous places. Along the way they see so many different animals and landscapes, rivers and streams. I had the pleasure of interviewing artist Cathy Morrison about her astounding artwork in The Prairie That Nature Built. Her artistic genius continues with Pitter and Patter as she takes readers on a journey above and below ground and water with her vibrant digital illustrations that are incredibly detailed. Pair those image masterpieces with the simple text by author Martha Sullivan, written as though the raindrops are greeting the creatures they meet, and you’ve got an engaging book. There are a few Explore More pages in the back of the book introducing readers to how water constantly changes and moves (something my own daughter is studying as she is working toward a PhD is Geomorphology), definition of a watershed, different states of water – solid, liquid, gas – and  activities suggestions for further learning.

What’s not to love about a geology book for young readers with extraordinary illustrations and invaluable information?

Check out the Dawn Publications Activities Page for more information about this book.

About the Author
Sullivan-Martha-350Martha Sullivan is a children’s book author with a special interest in nature and sustainability. Born and raised in the US, Martha has also lived in Belgium, Austria, the UK, and most recently, County Clare, Ireland, where she enjoys kayaking, hiking, set-dancing, and gardening. Martha is passionate about her mission—helping children to connect with the natural world so that they are primed to protect it later in life. A Master’s thesis on Education for Sustainable Development through the University of Bath was the catalyst that moved Martha from the classroom where she taught Biology for fifteen years to the writer’s desk. She now focuses on stories that help children to understand the importance of biodiversity and conservation.

About the Illustrator
Morrison1408-011 copyCathy Morrison is an award-winning illustrator who lives on a shortgrass prairie in Colorado, at the western edge of the Great Plains in view of the Rocky Mountain National Forest. She watches the grasses, the animals and their burrows, as well as floods and fire—all close up and personal. She began her career in animation and graphic design, but discovered her passion for children’s book illustration while raising her two children. After several years illustrating with traditional media, she now works digitally, which helps the publisher adapt the art into interactive book apps.


The Mouse Who Ate the Moon: A Peek Through Story Book

Targeted Audience: PreSchool, Lower Elementary (Ages 3-7)
•        Genre: Fiction Picture Book
•        Author/Illustrator: Petr Horacek
•        Publisher: Candlewick Press
•        Publication Date: September 23, 2014
•        Binding: Hard Cover
•        Dimensions: 9″ x 10″
•        Printing: Full Color
•        Length: 32 Pages
•        Retail: $15.99
•        ISBN: 978-0763670597
20140909-005017

Nobody Can Really Eat the Moon, Right?
Little Mouse admires the moon from his bedroom window one night, and the next morning she wakes up to discover a piece of the moon has fallen from the sky onto the ground. This chunk of fallen moon smells delicious, so Mouse can’t help but take one little bite out of it. She discovers it’s so tasty, she has to eat a little more – well a lot more. She reluctantly tells Rabbit and Mole she has eaten part of the moon, so there won’t be a full moon up in the sky ever again. This makes Little Mouse sad, but something magical happens to bring joy back into her life, and it sure is magical.

Charm, Imagination, Cut-Outs and Vibrant Illustrations
The Mouse Who Ate the Moon combines cut-outs, die cut pages and beautiful illustrations with saturated colors that are made from acrylic paint, crayon, pencil and paper collage. Author/illustrator Petr Horacek seems to understand what it’s like to be a child and exactly what it is that captures a child’s attention. The story is simple, yet imaginative, and there’s a lot of dialog to show the action of this heartwarming story.

“Nobody can eat the moon,” said Mole, laughing.
“Well, I just did,” said Little Mouse.”
Why You’ll Love This Book
This is a feel good book from start to finish. Little Mouse’s naiveté (along with his striped socks) will melt your heart, and young readers will relate to her slip-up. After all, who could resist tasting a tiny bit of a delicious smelling chunk of moon? The very notion that she believes she has altered the moon intrigues and amuses readers and gets them thinking about how the moon rises and changes its shape. The die-cut pages create layers as you flip through the story, and the combination of paper collages and vibrant paint colors give the images incredible depth. All the animals in the story are lovable and kind, and your child will ask you to read the story again just as soon as you’ve finished .

THE MOUSE WHO ATE THE MOON. Text and Illustrations copyright © 2014 by Petr Horacek. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.

About the Author
Petr Horácek grew up in Prague, where he trained at the Academy of Fine Arts before becoming a graphic designer, illustrator, and painter. Inspired by his two daughters, he has created numerous books for children, including Animal Opposites, One Spotted Giraffe, Silly Suzy Goose, and Strawberries Are Red. He lives in England.


Nature’s Perfect Package: Egg

Targeted Audience: PreSchool, Lower & Upper Elementary (Ages 4-8)
•        Genre: Non-Fiction Science Picture Book
•        Authors: Steve Jenkins and Robin Page
•        Illustrator: Steve Jenkins
•        Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
•        Publication Date: March 3, 2015
•        Binding: Hard Cover
•        Dimensions: 9″ x 9″
•        Printing: Full Color
•        Length: 32 Pages
•        Retail: $16.99
•        ISBN: 978-0547959092

As soon as a book by Steve Jenkins arrives at my door, I’ve got to read it immediately – especially when it is co-written with his wife, Robin Page. The two are a Caldecott Honor-winning team. I just know the book is sure to fascinate and enlighten me and I’ll be enamored with the illustrations. I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing Steve, and the work he puts into his books is awe-inspiring.


The Making of This Book (Over the Course of Two Years!!)
Yes, you read that correctly. It took Robin and Steve two years to complete this outstanding book! First they read a pile of books about eggs, and they spent a great deal of time doing research on the internet. Then they visited museums and zoos to take photos and talk to the experts there to learn all they could about different animal eggs. It took some time to decide which eggs to use in their book and then they made prints of those photos. Then it was time for rough sketches and experimenting with different layout possibilities. Writing the text for the book began with taking handwritten notes and turning them into something cohesive. Eventually, the text was typed into the computer and edited until it was in good enough shape to send to the editor. After at least a dozen drafts, it was ready to go. Steve made the illustrations, as he always does, out of cut paper collage. Every illustration he does starts with a sketch, which is used as a template to cut out the paper. Choosing which paper to use takes some time, as Steve’s collection is quite extensive. The process to cut and put all the different papers together to form an image is also time consuming, and when you see how many different images there are in the book, you’ll so appreciate the work that went into it!


“Animals that lay eggs bury them, carry them, guard them, or simply leave them alone. And each egg contains everything needed to create a new living creature.”
Who Knew There Was So Much to Learn About Eggs?

From slugs and insects to reptiles and the platypus, so many animals lay eggs. Those eggs differ in shape, size, color and weight significantly, and in Nature’s Perfect Package: Egg the images of all but one of the eggs are enlarged to show you the detail. Steve includes a drawing beneath each egg to show you the actual size. Some are just barely larger than a pinpoint! Did you know the size of an animal isn’t always an indicator of how large her egg will be? Where these creatures lay their eggs, and how many they lay differ as much as their sizes and shapes. We learn about the animals that eat other animals’ eggs, the different ways animals try to protect their eggs, and how eggs are encased, incubated and carried. There are spectacular illustrations of the different stages of both a chicken and an alligator developing inside an egg and hatching. In the back of the book are small illustrations of every animal mentioned in the book, along with short descriptions.


What This Book Teaches
Nature’s Perfect Package: Egg teaches us that there is so much more to learn about eggs than we ever thought possible. The diversity among eggs and the animals that lay them is astounding. We learn how much the egg is coveted as food for predators and how much effort it takes the adults to protect them. And perhaps most of all, we discover the miracle of birth.

“The eggs of the brine shrimp can remain dormant, not hatching for as long as fifty years. Then, when the temperature and salt content of the water is just right, the eggs can hatch within hours.”


Why You Should Buy This Book

Nature’s Perfect Package: Egg is so well organized and written, and teaches without talking down to the reader. There’s so much fascinating information, yet nowhere in the book is it copy heavy – perfect for young readers. There are short, factual blurbs along with Steve’s mesmerizing paper collage illustrations that give each image a unique sort of depth you just don’t find in traditional paintings. A curious child (and parent) will want to explore every inch of this outstanding book. I read science books for kids just about every day, and Natures Perfect Package: Egg reminds me there’s an endless amount of information I’ve yet to learn.

Where else will you find a book with scientific details about animal eggs for an audience this age? The book is so fascinating, it is sure to inspire some children to want to become scientists themselves, and of course, paper collage artists too.

About the Authors
JenkinsPageRobin Page and Steve Jenkins have written and illustrated many nonfiction picture books for young readers, including the Caldecott Honor-winning What Do You Do with a Tail Like This? Their books have been called stunning, eye-popping, inventive, gorgeous, masterful, extraordinary, playful, irresistible, compelling, engaging, accessible, glorious, and informative. Robin and Steve live in Boulder, Colorado.


Do A Double Take

Being a Floridian myself, I was thrilled to see several interesting species of birds from South Florida and the Everglades like the Roseate Spoonbill, Anhinga and Flamingo, all of which I have photographed numerous times. There are many birds in the book I’ve never seen before too, that are so unusual, they require a second look. The Brown-Eared Pheasant has what appears to be beard that grows backward along sides and behind his head. The Luzon Bleeding Heart Pigeon is fluffy round blob with a red spot in the center of its chest that’s heart-shaped. And the Eurasian Hoopoe is odd looking, with it’s Indian headdress of a head,  and it spray feces at potential predators to protect itself. Ew!

WeirdFrogs

Targeted Audience: Middle & High School (Ages 10-18)
Genre: Non-Fiction, Science Book
Author: Chris Earley
Publisher: Firefly Books
Publication Date: September 11, 2014
Binding: Paperback
Dimensions: 9″ x 9″
Printing: Full color
Length: 64 Pages
Retail: $9.95
ISBN: 978-1770853614


Declining Populations
There have been close to 6,000 species of frogs identified, but frog populations are on the decline due to climate change, pollution, habitat loss, pet trade and invasive species. In Weird Frogs, we discover the most odd-looking amphibians, whether it’s the shape, size, coloration or unusual features. It’s unlikely to discover most of these creatures out in the wild, because they are pros at hiding. 58 different types of frogs are featured along with spectacular zoom photographs and fascinating descriptions about how they survive and where they live.



More Shapes and Sizes Than You Ever Dreamed Possible
Frogs sure are funny looking creatures and the variety is astounding. There are 150 different species of Glass Frogs alone. From below, you can actually see into their bodies! The Solomon Island Leaf Frog has projections on its eyes and nose that make it look like a leaf. It even has ridges on its back that resemble leaf veins. The Mexican Burrowing Frog has the oddest shape and almost human-looking lips. It lives underground, eating ants and termites. The two most unusual looking frogs in the book are probably the Vietnamese Mossy Frog, with its lumpy bumpy body covered in a mossy color perfect for camouflage and Wallace’s Flying Frog with its bright green and yellow coloration and its black webbed feet.

Why You Should Buy These Books
Weird Birds and Weird Frogs are beautiful books with outstanding photographs that capture the reader’s attention, no matter what the age. The animals are as unique to look at as they are fascinating to learn about. Author Chris Early chooses not to bog the reader down with heavy text, so he starts each book with an interesting introduction, then each photograph of a species is accompanied only by a short paragraph description. Admiring the beauty and uniqueness of all these animals are what encourages children to want to learn more about helping protect them. These books will inspire your kids to get outdoors and explore the natural wonders around them. Exploring and appreciating nature and constantly asking questions and uncovering answers are essential parts of learning, and it is this curiosity that makes children smarter and better students.

As an author who wrote a children’s book about the rainforest, I paint posters of animals to teach children during my author visits. Reading Weird Birds and Weird Frogs has inspired me to want to paint more. Perhaps it will inspire your kids to do the same.

About the Author
Chris Earley is the interpretive biologist at the University of Guelph Arboretum. He writes for adults and for children. His kids’ books encourage youngsters to get out and explore the natural world around them. He has previously written, Caterpillars and Dragonflies.


Saving Turtles: A Kid’s Guide to Helping Endangered Creatures

Targeted Audience: Upper Elementary, Middle School (Ages 9-11)
Genre: Non-Fiction, Science Book
Author: Dr. Sue Carstairs
Publisher: Firefly Books
Publication Date: September 11, 2014
Binding: Paperback (Hardcover available too)
Dimensions: 9″ x 9″
Printing: Full color
Length: 64 Pages
Retail: $9.95
ISBN: 978-1770852907
“Small turtles can live as long as 50 years, while tortoises and sea turtles can live 100 years or longer.”

What This Book Teaches
Rather than just listing facts, Saving Turtles is more like a literary documentary of the rescue and rehabilitation of turtles. With excellent photographs and even a diagram of the anatomy of a turtle, readers will feel like they are a part of the action alongside conservationists and veterinarians. There are many different species to discover, each with their own set of challenges. Without preaching, the author demonstrates the need for educating the world about turtles to help them survive and thrive – including what we can do to get involved. Readers will also learn new science vocabulary words with the glossary in the back to help them, along with a list of resources for further learning.

Why You Should Read This Book
Most of us think of veterinarians as doctors who treat dogs and cats, cows and horses, but Saving Turtles shows us that there is so much more to animal medicine than domesticated and farm animals. Teaching children that it is rewarding to combine animal science with conservation this way really opens their minds to possible careers they may not otherwise have known about. What children take away from this book is that threats to turtles are a much bigger problem than they realized and by the time they have finished reading, they will be passionate about doing their part to save turtles. There’s simply nothing better than a book that makes children feel like they too are scientists, standing right beside those they are reading about.

About the Author
Sue Carstairs BSc, DVM is the executive director and medical director at the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre (OTCC) in Peterborough, Ontario and also teaches veterinary science at Seneca College. Dr. Carstairs received her Bachelor of Science from the University of Guelph, and her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the Ontario Veterinary College. She is an authorized wildlife custodian with over 20 years of experience in wildlife medicine.

You may also like...