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Animal Books for Kids Age 8 Years Old & Less
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The Pet-Sitters (West Side Kids, 4)
by Ellen Schecter, Bob Dorsey (Illustrator)

Pet-sitting seems like a simple task to DeVonn and his friends, but it soon becomes much more than they bargained for.


3 Little Kittens
by Paul Galdone

The favorite Mother Goose rhyme about the three careless kittens who lost their mittens is given added appeal with Galdone's bold and colorful illustrations. "This refreshingly hearty version of the nonsense verse will be as much a favorite of adult storytellers as it will be of toddler listeners


The 4th Garfield Treasury
by Jim Davis

Once again Garfield dons his Sunday best and steps out in his fourth outrageous oversized collection of full-color Sunday strips. A collector's item and a must-have for the millions who made Garfield number one. Illustrated.


ABC Cats
by Kathy Darling,
Tara Darling (Illustrator)

Ages 5-8. The team responsible for ABC Dogs (1997) and a number of photo-essays on wildlife babies relies again on fetching photos linked to the alphabet to attract children. The concept of the ABCs, stretched to the limit here, works better as an organizational device than as a learning tool, and the cutout pictures, which usually appear underneath or beside the full photos, look pasted on as they float against their bright white backgrounds. But there's still a lot kids will like: the full photos are sparkling clear, the text is lively, and the Darlings have done an exceptionally good job of choosing cats with attributes kids will find memorable and interesting. The final double-page spread is a small gallery of charming, captioned cat photos


Alfie and the
Birthday Surprise
by Shirley Hughes

Ages 2-5. Alfie reaches from his own home to the neighbors across the street in the latest touching story about the sturdy English toddler and the mundane and momentous events of his day. When the neighbors' old cat, Smoky, dies, everyone is sad ("Why does Smoky have to be dead?" Alfie wants to know). They bury Smoky, and they all cry. Alfie helps his young teenage neighbor, Maureen MacNally, make a handsome memorial. Then they all begin to feel better--all, that is, except Maureen's dad, Bob MacNally. Alfie suggests they give Bob a surprise birthday party to cheer him up. Tension builds as they shop for presents and bake the cake in secret; and best of all, Maureen asks Alfie to hide her gift of a kitten. Preschoolers will appreciate the honest talk about the death of a pet, and they will love the story of the secret and the surprise. Hughes' line-and-watercolor pictures express the toddler's earnest body language--shoulders back, arms stiff, tummy out--and the tenderness between different ages across generations and across the street. When Alfie shows his little sister, Annie Rose, how to play with the new kitten, how not to squeeze it too hard, Alfie is passing on the love he has learned.


Annie and the Wild Animals
by Jan Brett

When Annie's cat disappears, she attempts friendship with a variety of unsuitable woodland animals. The borders of the pages foretell the emergence of spring and the birth of kittens. "The pictures hold countless surprises. Indisputably, this is a work of wonder that deserves highest honors.


Barn Cat : A Counting Book
by Carol P. Saul,
Mary Azarian (Illustrator)

Barn cat at the red barn door, / Barn cat, what are you looking for?" So rings the playful refrain of this feline frolic through the farmyard (and through numbers 1 to 10). Readers are presented with a cat's-eye view of 1 green grasshopper, 2 brown crickets, 3 black-and-orange butterflies, all the way up to 10 sparrows. These distractions would seem compelling enough to a regular cat, but, for some reason, not to barn cat. Young readers will love counting the creatures in the bold, hand-colored woodcuts, which illustrator Mary Azarian created with a 19th-century hand press. And there's plenty to admire in the large, striped barn cat, whose careful expressions are clearly the work of an avid cat observer. Author Carol Saul's nimble verse trips and trills along the pages, buoying the cheerful audience--until the dramatic pause just before the surprise ending. A heartwarming, humorous day in a special cat's life. (Ages 4 to 8) --Brangien Davis


Barney & Baby Bop
Follow That Cat!
by Stephen White, June Valentine-Ruppe

Colorful and cute

My child ADORES barney and found that this book, Follow that Cat, keeps his interest. He touches it alot and likes to see the different faces show up in the holes of the book as you move page by page.


Barney Goes to the Zoo
by Linda Cress Dowdy, Karen Malzeke-McDonald

Young children assist Barney in discovering the answers to a collection of riddles hidden behind the flaps that lift to reveal various animals that live in the zoo.


Bath-Time Boots
by Satoshi Kitamura

In general, cats hate baths, and Boots will do anything to avoid a scrub down. He searches for a good hiding place, but the cupboard and chair don't offer sufficient cover. In desperation, he leaps into the bathtub to hide literally finding himself in hot water. Boots is a funny looking, pyramid-eared cat whose droll expressions and simple adventures will hit home with small children. With its companion, A Friend for Boots, this one joins Kitamura's other board books (Duck Is Dirty, Cat Is Sleepy, etc., 1996) in offering some very brief but jovial outings for toddlers


Duck Is Dirty
by Satoshi Kitamura

This book recounts the modest tribulations of Duck during a potentially pleasant stroll. It starts raining, he gets his feet muddy, is buffeted by winds, papered by leaves, and takes a header into the muck. A dip in the pond and Duck is good as new. Kitamura coaxes an appealing story from this 19-word trifle; one, moreover, that will ring familiar with the intended audience. The misleadingly simple artwork is graphically sophisticated, with Duck coming across as a winsome geek.


Squirrel Is Hungry
by Satoshi Kitamura

Squirrel considers keeping his walnut in a bird's nest, under a rock, or even in the hollow of a tree; then finally he finds the perfect place for it.


A Beautiful Feast for a Big King Cat
by John Archambault, Bruce Degen (Illustrator), Bill, Jr. Martin (Contributor)

Ages 3-5. Twice a mouse teases a cat until the cat responds. Quickly the mouse flees to his mother for protection; she then chides the cat for picking on someone so much smaller. On the third try, the mouse can't escape the clutches of the cat. He turns to his wits to persuade the cat that the feline deserves a much more elegant and tasty meal than one small mouse. When the cat closes his eyes, dreaming of the feast, the mouse runs to safety, having learned his lesson. The singsong rhyming text, originally published by Silver, Burdett in 1989 as part of a basal reading series, takes on new life with Degen's colorful, detailed drawings. Youngsters will enjoy the flamboyant antics of the tiny mice against the large fluffy white cat so deftly portrayed in the artist's expressive scenes


Big Squeak, Little Squeak
by Robert Kraus,
Kevin O'Malley (Ill

Ages 4-6. Convinced that there must be more to life than watching TV and eating cheese curls, two mice, aptly named Big Squeak and Little Squeak, embark on a trip to the cheese store. Mr. Kit Kat, proprietor, greedily awaits their arrival in the hope of adding them to the other mouse shoppers already imprisoned in his basement. This time, however, his prey isn't so easily captured, and it's Kit Kat who ultimately finds himself on someone else's dinner menu. O'Malley's pictures turn the rather bland story into a rousing melodrama, and although his mice, decked out in ties and crisp white shirts, are not your usual sweet-faced children's-book rodents, O'Malley's cat, with squinty eyes and twirly moustache-whiskers, is a perfect textbook villain.


Bijou, Bonbon & Beau :
The Kittens Who Danced for Degas
by Joan Sweeney, Leslie Wu (Illustrator)

On a blustery day long ago, a weary cat crossed a bridge over the river Seine in Paris. All afternoon, she had been searching for a warm place." So begins Bijou, Bonbon & Beau: The Kittens Who Danced for Degas, Joan Sweeney's second playful peek at the art world after her critically acclaimed Once upon a Lily Pad: Froggy Love in Monet's Garden. In Bijou, Marmalade, the weary cat in question, decides to stop in a Parisian theater known for its ballet and its resident artist, Edgar Degas.

Et voilą! The next morning Madame Duvay discovers Marmalade and three adorable kittens--Bijou, Bonbon, and Beau. The friendly felines make themselves right at home--to the delight of the dancers and Degas, who quietly sketches them: "Oh, the mischief they got into! They chased after the ballerinas and slept in their toeshoes. They got tangled in Madame Duvay's thread and ran off with her ribbons." On the big opening night there is a bona fide feline fiasco as the kittens make their dancing debut! Furious, the stage manager threatens to throw the kittens out on the street--but of course the next day they are the talk of the town, and they are allowed to stay.

This charming story, illustrated by Leslie Wu with Degas-like pastels, includes a gatefold reproduction of Degas's The Rehearsal on the Stage, and a short biography of the artist. "Wu makes the obvious choice of imitating the impressionists in hazy pastels but takes imaginative leaps with her perspectives (e.g., one playful picture shows the backs of the kittens as they view the performing dancers)--and her kittens are undeniably adorable," says Publishers Weekly. Cat lovers, art lovers, and young ballerinas rejoice! Bijou, Bonbon & Beau has a little something for all of you. (Ages 6 and older) --Karin Snelson


Once upon a Lily Pad :
Froggy Love in Monet's Garden
by Joan Sweeney, Kathleen Fain (Illustrator)

Ages 4-7. It's love among the lily pads, as two newly married frogs disport in the pond at Giverny. Sometimes dancing on the lily pads, sometimes sitting still to pose for "the old man" who paints at his easel, Hector and Henriette live an idyllic life. Many seasons pass, until one spring, the painter does not come. Still, the loving couple tell their children and grandchildren how "the most famous frogs in all of France posed for an old painter in a battered straw hat." The last page of the book folds out into one of Monet's paintings of water lilies, while the text invites children to look for Hector and Henriette. Softly shaded pastels in glowing colors illustrate the story. Offering a charming perspective on the artist and his paintings, this picture book would be good to read aloud as part of an introduction to Monet. Pair it with LeTord's Blue Butterfly (1995), a sensitive, picture-book homage to the artist


Bimmi Finds a Cat
by Elisabeth Jane Stewart,
James Ransome (Illustrator)

Gr. 3-4, younger for reading aloud. A Creole boy living on Galveston Island in the Gulf of Mexico, Bimmi goes out looking for his cat, Crabmeat, and finds him lying dead beside a coconut palm. Later, as he sits crying over his loss, another little cat comes up and befriends him. Naming her Kitty-Louise, Bimmi takes her home. When he realizes that someone may be missing her as much as he misses Crabmeat, Bimmi looks for Kitty-Louise's owner. His search brings an unexpected reward. The occasional use of Creole dialect may trip up younger readers, but the rhythmic, colloquial speech reads aloud well within the tautly written text. Each turn of the page brings another full-page (occasionally double-page) illustration. These beautifully crafted oil paintings interpret the settings, characters, and emotions with dignity.


Adam Raccoon and the King's
Big Dinner (Parables for Kids)
by Glen Keane (Writer & Illustrator)

Let Adam Raccoon and King Aren the Lion help your kids learn biblical truth. Children will see themselves in rascally, fun-loving Adam who wants to follow His King, but finds it so easy to stray. The wise King Aren will remind them of Jesus, their King.


1 2 3 Moose : A Pacific Northwest Counting Book by Andrea Helman, Art Wolfe (Photographer)

Ages 4-7. With so many counting books competing for a relatively small market, authors and illustrators have had to think of ways to distinguish their book from the rest of the pack. This 1^-20 counting book uses captivating color photographs and brief, informative text to acquaint youngsters with wildlife and other living and nonliving things native to the Pacific Northwest. The numbers are large and prominently positioned and a few passages do invite the reader to count items, but the counting often takes a backseat to science as Helman informs us about the effect of water erosion on river rocks, how to know when salal berries are ready to eat, and the habits and characteristics of such creatures as musk ox, Bohemian waxwings, and bald eagles. This attractive picture book will be useful in teaching both math and science.


1000 Facts About Wild Animals
by Moira Butterfield

Presents facts about mammals, insects, fish, reptiles, birds, amphibians, endangered species, and wildlife in the home.


A Bear Called Paddington
by Michael Bond, Peggy Fortnum (Illustrator)

Paddington, the most endearing bear from Darkest Peru, first charmed American audiences forty years ago. Now a new generation will surely be won over by Paddington's particular brand of preposterous humor and gentle satire.

The Browns first meet Paddington on a railway platform in London. He is sitting on a battered suitcase, wearing an odd-looking hat and a sign around his neck that reads, "Please look after this bear. Thank you." And that is just what they do, unaware that home will never be the same once Paddington becomes a member of the family. For an earnest, gentle, and well-meaning bear, poor Paddington has an absolute talent for getting into trouble.


More About Paddington
by Michael Bond, Peggy Fortnum (Illustrator)

In this updated version of the second book in Bond's popular series, Paddington spends an autumn getting in and out of humorous scrapes--ecoratinghis room, playing detective, wreaking havoc in a swanky department store as he shops for Christmas. Little has changed from the previous edition; Paddington remains as genial, and as endearing, as ever.


Paddington Abroad
by Michael Bond, Peggy Fortnum (Illustrator)

Paddington gets himself into one scrape after another on a family trip to France, including accidentally winning the Tour de France bicycle race


Paddington Helps Out
by Michael Bond, Peggy Fortnum (Illustrator)

A well-meaning Paddington creates havoc in the kitchen and the launderette when he tries to help out. "Paddington comes out trumphant." -- New York Times Book Review


Beatrix Potter : The Complete Tales :
The 23 Original Peter Rabbit Books
& 4 Unpublished Works
by Beatrix Potter

I cannot draw you a picture of Peter and Benjamin underneath the basket," writes Beatrix Potter in The Tale of Benjamin Bunny, "because it was quite dark, and because the smell of onions was fearful; it made Peter Rabbit and little Benjamin cry." Beatrix Potter's animal stories, the first of which was published in 1902, have been a joy to generations of young readers. This deluxe volume collects all of Beatrix Potter's 23 Peter Rabbit tales and verses together--complete and unabridged--in one book. All the original illustrations, both color and black and white, are included. The stories are arranged in the order in which they were first published to enable them to be read in the proper sequence, from A Tale of Peter Rabbit to The Tale of Little Pig Robinson. Beatrix Potter's tales were often connected with real places, people, or animals, so each story also includes a brief introductory note about its history. For example, "The story of naughty Peter Rabbit in Mr. McGregor's garden first appeared in a picture letter Beatrix Potter wrote to Noel Moore, the young son of her former governess, in 1893." In addition to the original 23 tales, this edition contains two early narrative picture sequences, Three Little Mice and The Rabbit's Christmas Party. And, there are two charming little stories, The Sly Old Cat and The Fox and the Stork, which were originally intended to be worked up into books, but remained unpublished. This beautiful introduction to the world of Beatrix Potter is sure to remain on the family bookshelf for generations to come. (Baby to Preschool)


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