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Animals are Amazing

By on January 1, 2018

Animals of all kinds are a near-magnetic draw for young children. Actually, to be truthful, adults are just as easily tempted by the antics and activities of animals from birds to insects, from fish to reptiles. We humans are as interested in
other species as these animal populations are often intrigued with us. Don’t miss a chance to enjoy these non-fiction picture books with the youngsters in your life.

by Meribeth C. Shank 

The Nutty Little Vulture

by Maria Magellan, illustrated by Mauro Magellan

nutty_little_vulture_300Little Vulture’s mom offers to teach him how to get his own
food. But he’s already off, finding it for himself.
Still learning to fly, he plops on Bald Vulture’s dinner of rotten
meat, and after trying it, decides it’s not for him.
He doesn’t like the bones that are Bearded Vulture’s dinner
either. When he accidently opens the rotten egg by landing
on it, Egyptian vulture thanks him. But after tasting, Little
Vulture is again not interested.
Each time the vultures remind him that if they didn’t eat
what Little Vulture thinks is yukky – “who would?” Their eating
habits help “to keep things neat.”
The importance of what vultures contribute by eating carrion is emphasized by the repetitive comments in large easy to read text, following each of Little Vulture’s food inspections. Expressive illustrations draw readers into the story. The sister/brother author/illustrator team have combined their talents to share this engaging, environmentally thoughtful picture book. Back matter includes facts about vultures, a glossary, and references.
Eifrig Publishing, $14.99 hardcover, $9.99 paperback
Interest Level: Kindergarten – Grade 2
(This book may be purchased from local and online booksellers.)


by Suzi Eszterhas
TigerbySuzi_150Author/wildlife photographer Eszterhas has created a captivating nonfiction picture book with elegant photos of cubs with their mother. Set in India, the narrative begins with “hidden treasure” – the tigress returning to her den where three tiny striped babies
are protected from danger.
Told in pictures with accompanying clear and carefully crafted text, readers are introduced to a family who play, eat, and adventure together. Readers discover how the locations of their homes keeps them safe. How they eat, where they sleep, and explore. Additionally, the substance of playtime is learning how to move their bodies. Emphasizing the importance of waterholes for staying healthy, the author also highlights the young tigers,
watching mom as she hunts. Young people will be attracted to the delightful story and enchanting photos of
these fascinating animals. The final page includes additional interesting information about tigers in the wild.
Frances Lincoln Children’s Books, $15.99 hardcover, $9.99 paperback
Interest Level: Junior Kindergarten – Grade 2
(This book may be purchased from local and online booksellers.)


by Claire Saxby, illustrated by Julie Vivas

Koala-TKA young koala must find a new home away from his mother. It is time for him to get his own food. His mother sends him off when her next baby is
on the way.
Later, he is also chased away by another male, endures a rainstorm, and escapes from a snake. Finally, he finds a new tree home in a different
Large text details the koala’s adventures. Informative commentary is in smaller font near the bottom of most pages. Appealing watercolor paintings show the Australian eucalyptus trees where koalas make their homes. Active koalas eating, climbing, and jumping with their hind legs, connect with readers as text and illustrations blend to make an absorbing
nonfiction picture book.  A note at the end provides additional information about koala features, habits and activities. A brief alpha-betical index helps readers locate specific details in the book.
Candlewick Press, $16.99
Interest Level: Kindergarten – Grade 3
(This book may be purchased from local and online booksellers

Meribeth Shank works in the Media Center at Miami Country Day School, an independent school in Miami Shores, Florida, has taught classes on Writing Books for Children, and earned her MFA in Writing for children from Vermont College. You can also find her on the web:

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