Posts Tagged ‘Animal stories’

Pax

by Sara Pennypacker

ISBN 9780008158286

Twelve-year-old Peter, finds a lonely, orphaned baby fox. His father suggests the kit should be left to die but Peter rescues it, cares for it and the two become inseparable, best friends. Peter’s father enlists in the military so Peter has to live with his grandfather. On the way to grandfather’s house, Peter is forced to return Pax to the wild. They are separated and Peter is heartbroken. His guilt at leaving his fox eats away at him. He misses Pax so much, that in utter desperation, he packs his bag and runs away, determined to find his companion. Pax also misses Peter and sets out on own journey too.

The story of Peter and Pax is beautifully written. The language and style often made me stop and reread the sentences or paragraphs just to soak in the language and imagery. The story of loss, grief, separation, guilt and loneliness is often sad, but it is also hopeful.

Peter’s pain is palpable and the story is both heartwarming and heartbreaking. I loved Peter’s vulnerability, but also his determination to be reunited with Pax. Told in alternate points of view chapters, this is just such a wonderful story to read.

Pax : Journey home

ISBN 9780008470289

Oh my goodness, what a sequel. Peter has suffered even more loss after his father was killed in the war. I can feel Peter’s heart breaking with every sentence. Now orphaned, he is determined to be strong and not let anyone, or anything, get close to him, for fear of losing anyone else. In his young life, he has suffered one loss after another, so he builds walls all around himself but the reality is, people need other people. Leaving Viola, the old woman who has been caring for him, Peter sets out to start a new life and joins the Water Warriors, a group of people trying to fix the land after the damage from the war. In a parallel storyline Pax now has his own family but needs help when one of the young kits gets very sick.

So begins the journey to be reunited.

Trust and love are big themes here. Pax and Pax: Journey home are both very special books to treasure, and to read again and again. I loved both books and Peter and Pax will stay with me for a long time. Oh yeah, tissues may be needed! Quality writing and storytelling at its best. Great to read alone, great for a class read aloud, and perfect to share as a family read.

Remarkable Animal Stories

By Maria Gill

Illustrated by Emma Huia Lovegrove

ISBN 9781775436454

Scholastic NZ and Scholastic Australia

I have just spent a very pleasant afternoon reading this gorgeous new book from award winning author, Maria Gill. Her speciality is writing non fiction and often, creative non fiction. Her latest book fits neatly in the creative side of things.

The animal and bird stories in this collection, are based on truth. Many may be familiar to you as their stories have made the news. Some have even made world-wide headlines; like Inky the octopus, who was known for escaping his aquarium. There are stories that will make you smile; like Moko the dolphin, and some that are a little sad, like Paddles, the cat who was owned by the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern.

These are my favourites; Moko, Ken-Joe a cheeky kea, because I love keas, Henry, the oldest tuatara in captivity, and Lulu, a kangaroo who loves cuddles.

The stories are written over double-page spreads which is great for short reading times to share or dip in to when time permits. The likelihood, however, is that you will want to read all these stories in one go.

The illustrations by Emma Huia Lovegrove are created in watercolour and gouache and gorgeous with just the right amount of cuteness. Photos are also included. At the back of the book there is also details of the role of wildlife sanctuaries. Without places like these, many animals would not survive. We need to be aware of what we can do to help these places, as they are the ones who help our animals.

A wonderful book to share with family. Teaching notes provided by Scholastic can be found here.

If you are in Christchurch on Saturday, August 21 then you might want to pop down to the Arts Centre as Maria will be having her book launch for this delightful book. Details can be found here.

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Brothers from a different mother

By Phillip Gwynne

Illustrated by Marjore Crosly-Fairall

Penguin Random House Australia

 

This is just adorable. A lovely story of friendship and the idea that no matter what our differences are, we can all be friends. Wonderful concept that we all need to remember. I love this trailer. Just gorgeous and cute and has that warm fuzzy feeling. Will be ordering this ASAP.

 

The bee’s sneeze

By Lucy Davey

Illustrated by Katz Cowley

ISBN 9781775432982

Scholastic NZ

5-2

 

That teasy sneeze came breezing …

like ants in the pants of a kangaroo,

it grew till it blew with a loud

 

AH-CHOO!

 

I would suggest anyone wanting to read this delightful picture book out loud, pre-read it first to get a taste of the lovely tongue twistery language.

One sneeze by little Buzzy McBee leads to another and then another and then in to danger. This is sure to delight young children and no doubt the many parents who will read this funny picture book out loud.

Warm  illustrations by Katz Cowley add to the humour. Lots of greens and browns help create a natural setting. I love the looks of surprise on bee and bear’s faces when they are blown all over the place. Sneezing takes on a whole new meaning in Lucy Davey’s latest picture book.

The other brother

By Stephanie Thatcher

Illustrated by Stephanie Thatcher

ISBN 9781775433828

Scholastic NZ

 

 

brother

Bertie McQuerty is the other brother, the one who struggles just a bit. He has no special arty skills, or sporty skills, in fact he feels quite lacking in skills and talents altogether. Not to be put off though, Berty does attempt things but somehow, no matter how hard he tries, he ends up being a little distracted.

The gorgeous illustrations show just how adorable he is with his big friendly smile. He does have a little yellow chick as his special friend and young readers will love looking for this chick hidden on each page of the book. This is a feel-good picture book all about trying things out, giving it a go and accepting that we are not all the same. We all have that something which makes us special, that something we are good at. Do look out for this gorgeous picture book especially if you want to know what makes Berty McQuerty special.

I think this would be ideal in both pre-school and primary schools, not just for its moral message but because it is simply a lovely book to share.

 

 

Line up, please!

By Tomoko Ohmura

ISBN 9781877579998

Gecko Press

 

 

5

What a lovely wee gem of a story. All the animals are standing around in a queue. Some are waiting patiently just talking to each other while some are annoying each other. Their host is bird a gorgeously intuitive creature, trying to keep the peace as they wait in line. When the animals finally get to the front of the line they are in for a wonderful surprise and so is the reader especially when the pages open up wide and double the length of the view. This is a book to read again and again. It is perfect for pre-school but also great at primary school for having fun with maths. The animals are named  and numbered counting down from 50 to 1. The illustrations are bold, birght and curious, without distractions, so that each character is the centre of attention. Do look out for it – perhaps one to get for Christmas!