Saturday, August 27, 2011

Top 10 Amazing Animal Tales

Sidenote before getting into this Top Ten recommendations: There is a lot of great animal stories in chapter book format, but I only included picture books in this list. I will eventually do some chapter book Top Tens but it seems most my readers have younger kids. If you like my book recommendations also check out the Shelfari Widget I added. These are books I have run across recently that I love but don't really fit into a Top Ten theme. There are always some good choices on there and I will keep adding to it. Hope you enjoy the new list....

1) The World's Greatest Elephant by Ralph Helfer: A boy and an elephant were both born in the circus in the same day. There bound was unshakable and when the elephant was sold to America the boy stole away and the ship rather than be apart from his best friend. In a shipwreck the elephant saved his live. Even when they got separated-years later they found each other. Some argue if this is a true (as it claims) or not but either way it is a beautiful story!
2) One Tiny Turtle by Nicola Davies: A poetic, illustrated story of the life of a loggerhead sea turtle. The text is very informative but yet remains accessible to young children.
3) Jubela by Cristina Keller: A true story of a rhino that was orphaned by poachers and finds adoptive parents. This story can be sad for younger ones but it does have a heartwarming ending, and is a great way to discuss endangered animals.
4) KoKo's Kitten by Dr. Fracine Patterson: Koko is a gorilla who has famously learned to communicate with sign language. This book is about when she kept asking for a kitten of her own. An amazing tale that also has some heartwrenching & heartwarming moments, but great insight into the emotions of animals. Follow this up by going to KoKo's Kids Club website and learn more about her. You can see videos and even paintings made by her.
Koko reading the book. (Picture from The Gorilla Foundation)
5) Titanicat by Marty Crisp: Another tale that claims to be based on a true story. A young cabin boy for the Titanic was in charge of caring for the ship's cat. When the cat starts to act weird and move it's litter of the ship the day of sailing the boy takes it as a sign he shouldn't sail either. Good thing he didn't. Kid's are intrigued by the Titanic story and this is a different side to the story.
6) A Mother's Journey by Sandra Markle: Another informative text that reads like a picture book. The story the mother's journey of an emperor penguin after she lays the egg and leaves it with the father. It is about her plight and dedication to return back to her chick. A great companion to The Emperor's Egg by Martin Jenkins which is the tale of the father's penguin.
 7)Seaman's Journal-On the Trail with Lewis and Clark by Patti Reeder Eubank: I don't know if it is because we are were the Lewis and Clark trail ended but its a pretty big deal where I live. This is the story of the expedition from the view of Seaman-Lewis's Newfoundland.
8) Craig, Juiliana and Isabella Hatkoff books: The first book was Owen and Mzee. It is the true story of a baby hippo and tortoise over 100 years old. With the success of this book they kept writing about true animal stories. Some other favorites is Knut (all though since the book was written he unexpectedly died just this year), Winter's Tail (about a dolphin with a prosthetic tail, which a movie is being made about), and more.
9) Togo by Robert J. Blake: Many kids know the story of Balto from books and the Disney movie. Balto was the lead dog that brought the serum to Nome, Alaska that helped save the town from Diptheria in 1925. What most people don't know is that all though he ran the last 50 miles and crossed the finish line, a dog name Togo ran 350 miles to get the serum before passing it on to Balto. Togo gave so much of himself he could never mush again. It's a great story about sacrifice, persevering, and being a winner/hero doesn't always mean crossing the finish line-and getting all the glory.
 10) And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell: I have been hesitant to put this on so that I don't get angry comments, but I have to be true to myself- I love this story. It is the true story about two male penguins in a New York zoo who paired up and tried to hatch an egg of their own. When zookeepers observed this they gave the couple an egg (that would have been abandoned), and the same sex pair raised the chick together as a family. I find it fascinating this behavior observed in other animal species, besides humans. If homosexuality is something you have a problem with please just delete this suggestion on the top ten. I on the other hand find this story touching and remarkable.

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