Non Fiction Reviews: Amazing Places and Incredible Animals

Barefoot Books Amazing Places by Miralda Colombo

Barefoot Books Amazing Places
by Miralda ColomboBeatrice Cerocchi (Illustrations)
5 out of 5 stars

This book gives information about fifteen famous places around the world, beautifully illustrated with colorful drawings. The book includes the Taj Mahal, Stonehenge, the Colosseum, Easter Island, the Great Wall of China, and many more! Each landmark has a four-page spread with facts and history about the location, the people who built it, what to look for as a tourist, and how the structures are preserved.

Barefoot Books Incredible Animals by Dunia Rahwan

Barefoot Books Incredible Animals
by Dunia RahwanPaola Formica (Illustrations)
5 out of 5 stars

This book gives information about animals around the world with unique qualities and abilities. There are sections for different types of animals like predators, expert builders, devoted parents, and animals with camouflage. There are animals that glow, animals that migrate, and animals that are small but deadly. There is even a special section for animals that become unlikely friends, like the suckerfish that hitch a ride on the back of a seaturtle and clean the turtle’s shell.

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Book Reviews: The Mystery Kitten and Little Lion Rescue

The Mystery Kitten by Holly Webb

The Mystery Kitten
by Holly WebbSophy Williams (Illustrator)
5 out of 5 stars
Elsa is worried about moving into a new house and having her own room, separate from her sister, Sara. When she hears scratching and mysterious noises coming from the attic, she is terrified. But then she discovers an adorable black kitten, and has to keep him a secret from her family.

Elsa meets new friends, solves the mystery of the kitten, and figures out how to convince her family to keep the kitten. I love Elsa’s character. She is smart and compassionate, but she is full of anxiety about moving to a new house. She learns to have more confidence and build stronger bonds with her family. I was impressed with her simple but powerful character development.

Little Lion Rescue by Rachel Delahaye

Little Lion Rescue (Little Animal Rescue, #1)
by Rachel Delahaye
4 out of 5 stars
Callie loves animals, especially lions. She is visiting the zoo with her class, when she is whisked away to the African Serengeti, where she rescues a lost lion cub and tries to find the lion’s family.

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Book Review: Skunk and Badger

Skunk and Badger by Amy Timberlake

Skunk and Badger (Skunk and Badger #1)
by Amy TimberlakeJon Klassen (Illustrations)
5 out of 5 stars

Badger has a simple and quiet life studying rocks and doing Important Rock Work. One day Skunk shows up on Badger’s doorstep as his new roommate, and Badger’s quiet life is thrown into chaos. Skunk cooks delicious meals, but dirties up the kitchen. Skunk moves furniture around and recycles all the cardboard boxes that Badger was saving. Skunk invites guests over for a story-time popcorn party until the house is overrun with chickens! Badger is torn between enjoying all the excitement and being angry with Skunk for his wild behavior. How will these two roommates ever find a way to live together in harmony?

I loved this book so much! It reminds me of one of my favorite animal books, “Wind in the Willows”. There is a quiet character and an adventurous character, and they learn to be friends.

The character development is fantastic! Badger goes through a whole internal journey as his world begins to open up and he realizes just how isolated he has become. He is initially dismayed at Skunk’s antics, but also enjoys the good food and companionship that comes into his house. Skunk makes him think differently about his life and see things from a new perspective. I love the warmth of their friendship and how they laugh together.

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Picture Book Review: We Love Babies!

We Love Babies! by Jill Esbaum
We Love Babies!
by Jill Esbaum,  National Geographic Society 

5 out of 5 stars

This adorable picture book features dozens of baby animals from familiar species like the Elephant and Rabbit, to strange species like the Long-Eared Jerboa and the Serval. The photographs of these cute little babies are colorful and sweet! There are tiny cartoon characters drawn into the corners of the pages who cheer for the babies.

The text describes all the things we love about animal babies, their soft fur, their stripes, and fins. Their hooves, and paws. Their snuffles and snorts, their squawks and peeps. “Big or tiny, fast or slow” we definitely love animal babies!

Photographs of the animal babies are placed in a colorful background design that is sure to capture the attention of little readers.

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Non-Fiction Review: The Fascinating Animal Book

The Fascinating Animal Book for Kids by Ginjer Clarke
The Fascinating Animal Book for Kids: 500 Wild Facts!
by Ginjer Clarke

5 out of 5 stars


Divided into chapters for mammals, insects, fish, reptiles, amphibians, and birds, this book gives amazing facts and information about each animal. Did you know that male lions will often sleep for 20 hours a day? Did you know that fireflies can speak to each other through the patterns of flashing lights? And that the smallest bird in the world is the bee hummingbird, which is only 2 inches long?

Every page is covered with beautiful photographs of animals in the wild. Each photo is vibrant and energetic, with the action of racing predators, diving birds, or a busy ant colony.
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Book Review: Pax

Pax
Pax by Sara Pennypacker
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Pax was only a kit when his family was killed, and “his boy” Peter rescued him from abandonment and certain death. When Peter’s father enlists, Peter has to move in with his grandpa, but Pax can’t go. Peter throws Pax’s favorite toy soldier into the woods. When the fox runs to retrieve it, Peter and his dad get back in the car and leave him there—alone. But before Peter makes it through even one night under his grandfather’s roof, regret and duty spur him to action; he packs for a trek to get his best friend back and sneaks into the night. This is the story of Peter, Pax, and their independent struggles to return to one another against all odds. -GoodReads Description

 

I’m not a huge fan of animal stories (unless they are anthropomorphic), but the writing in this book was so excellently crafted that I loved it!
I especially loved the boy’s story, how he travels across country and the people he meets and connects with. There’s a lot of depth to the story, and the spiritual journey that the boy goes through is just beautiful.
The fox’s story was less compelling. Basic animal survival and a lot of dead things, but it was certainly interesting. Continue reading