Tag Archive: animals



Antics!Antics! by Cathi Hepworth
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A couple of friends recommended this fun little treat. After their great reviews knew I had to find a copy.

Okay, so it might be a little advanced compared to other alphabet books. Still, the pictures and one word per page make it a quick memorized book. It may be more fun for older siblings to read to younger ones with a more advanced vocabulary. And parents and teachers can find a lot of conversation starters on each page.

First of all, ANTS! Hey, you could obtain a good ant farm for the kids to watch or a walkout to see ants in their true habitats. Hopefully, you haven’t been inundated by the ones that love your kitchen. But, heck, there’s another educational moment for you and the students.

The illustrations are so much fun! Who knew ants could be so expressive? This brings me to the choose your favorite page. My friends chose Deviant and Chant. I do like both of those. But my favorite is a psychological thriller with personal history. Hesitant. I remember graduating to the level of the high dive. I remember the first time actually climbing back down the ladder to my shame and embarrassment. I gave myself speeches for days and was determined to do it the next time. I did get all the way out on the board—no diving for my first few times. Even the first jump, I felt hesitant. I don’t remember ever getting confident on that dive. I preferred the sturdy diving platform, and I could dive from and reach the other end of the pool in one breath.

I think I will donate this to our little library.

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Guardians of the Trails: Secret Agents of the Wilderness Volume 1Guardians of the Trails: Secret Agents of the Wilderness Volume 1 by Ron Guiley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I recently went to the eye doctor. Yes, the one that didn’t give me new glasses as he is setting up cataract-removal surgery for me. I can’t wait! It will be so nice when I can read all books again. Until that operation happens, I guess children’s books or Kindle and Audible are my only way to read. As the doctor and I discussed how I couldn’t even see the big E with my left eye, I told him how important it was that I be able to read. “I’m a writer!” I said as I pointed to my 2020 NaNoWriMo winner’s T-shirt. He pulled out his bookmark to prove he not only wrote but actually had published his masterpiece. I couldn’t wait to get it and read it.

Luckily, this book is a wonderful picture book. The poodles pictured in the book are the doctor’s own. He enjoyed taking them on hikes and snapped pictures. A story evolved with the pictures, as with children’s books, the writing is large enough for most of us to read. And the illustrations are adorable. Don’t think for a minute it is just a bunch of poodle pics. The story is fun. The poodles are secret agents solving nature puzzles. I can’t wait to see what they get up to in volume 2!

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The Chicken-Chasing Queen of Lamar CountyThe Chicken-Chasing Queen of Lamar County by Janice N. Harrington
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was an adorable tale! The little girl, Baby, as Big Mama calls her, sees it as her mission to catch every chicken. But one eludes her.

Shelley Jackson makes the story come alive with illustrations that seem real yet whimsical with a bit of collage throughout the book.

My children and I would have loved this when they were 5-8ish years old. It might have helped as educational moments as we had chickens back then. Learning that you must chase down a chicken every now and thing to medicate or isolate certain ones. But chasing, as fun as it could be, frighten the chickens and can be bad for them. My kids never found that a goal. Instead, they learned to gather eggs and mostly leave the chickens to live their own lives. They saw hens clutch and babies hatch and follow mothers around.

This fits in the Black Lives Matter category as the child, and her mom are black. It is incidental. This could have been any race living in rural areas. I like that. I can’t wait until things like this book become commonplace. Books and the arts should reflect our lives. All kinds of people live on this earth. Why not enjoy the variety?

Now that I am finished reading this book, I will donate it to the local library as I think it might be a good addition.

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The Elephant WhispererThe Elephant Whisperer by Lawrence Anthony
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It’s funny what happens when you start researching a book you are writing. I have an elephant in my story, and he tells another character that his favorite book is… Well, that meant I needed to find a book for him to refer to. I looked up elephant books on Amazon, and this one came up. I chose the Audible version because I had a credit waiting for my next listen. I am not sure it is my character elephant’s favorite book. But I did enjoy it as my night read.

Simon Vance did a great job narrating this autobiography. His voice is believable as the author’s own, I suppose. I don’t know what the author sounded like, as my guess is the author passed before finishing the book. That was a little jarring.

The author shared his experiment by having a place for a herd to come and live. He shared his getting to know the elephants’ personalities personally. All in all, I did enjoy the story. I just need an elephant book more personal to the elephant and not the human. I did have my guy like Dumbo. But I need more.

If you love elephants, you will love this book.

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The ForetellingThe Foretelling by Alice Hoffman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a fun mythological story to read before bed. I always love an Alice Hoffman tale. I wonder if this could be made into a movie like Practical Magic? A tribe of women living their truth in their own time. And HORSES. Yep! All the fun things a fem could want to read about.

I may have to read this again sometime when escape isn’t my only intent. Or even if it is. I could jump into this world again. Maybe take it slower and absorb it more.

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Hello LoveHello Love by Karen McQuestion
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After spending so long time traveling with the Outlander, I needed a light read. This one was free on Kindle Unlimited. And I used a credit to get the Audible because I needed to just relax and listen to the story.

If you are looking for something light, this is for you. It was enjoyable. Karen McQuestion’s writing made a nice story with plenty of character development. It is both a believable story and not. But with all that is going on in the world right now, I needed a bit of fiction to help me sleep. If you have a dog or love dogs, the story plays out even deeper.

Just one little problem. Dan John Miller, the narrator does a good job playing the male main character but like all male narrators, in my estimation, all the woman voices sounded like a male making fun of women. But I think he did his best and he did keep the reader’s interest. Give it a try if you get the chance.

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Animals

(Kali, Teddy, and Rosey) Social Distancing on my bed while I get morning writing done.

This is how it started.

Then Rosey (you can barely see her but the blackness with the blue tag on the right) wanted to join.

Yep, that’s when they all got up and chased through the house.

 

 

One-liner Wednesday prompt hosted by Linda G. Hill

And that was the start of #A-to-Z Challenge.

 

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The Litter of the Law (Mrs. Murphy, #22)The Litter of the Law by Rita Mae Brown
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was given this book by a friend who read it on her vacation and left it with me when she visited. It took me so long as the font is rather small so I could only take it in bits and pieces. There was enough dialogue to break up the page so I could read it in tiny doses.

The book kept my interest. I did want to find out more about the farming and life of these farm people. I loved reading about the characters. I found the Native American research interesting though it added to the shame of how our founders dealt with the original inhabitants of our country.

I absolutely loved the drawings. Yay for adult books that have pictures!

What I found annoying and distracting from the story: talking animals. But I suppose that is where the ‘cozy’ comes in for this mystery.

I love Halloween but I never go to ‘haunted house’ features because I worry that real blood could be involved with no one knowing. And I hate things jumping out at me to make me scream or be startled. This book just reinforced those fears. It is what made this a gruesome mystery rather than cozy. But others of you may love it and can read it with the grain of salt that is implied. I’m glad to finally be finished and to pass it to the friends of the library.

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The Night WorldThe Night World by Mordicai Gerstein
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This won’t go down as a favorite for me. But I think it would have been a good one for my young children. We aren’t good sleepers in my family. We like to stay awake forever. Darkness does not mean the end of the day. It just means you need other sources of light.

Pages and pages of dark pictures are annoying to me, like a lack of color. Still, if you live in the country like we did back then, and how I live now, knowing what lives in the darkness, as far as the animal life you don’t see in the daytime, that might be outside is a great way to teach about nocturnal animals.

If a child is having problems with fear of the dark, this might be a fun book to bring about that discussion.

As for me, I read it late at night it stayed with me through my insomnia. When I just can’t handle that darkness staring at me, I find I need the colorful pages at the end of the book. So I will pull up a nature show on Netflix. A soothing narrator keeps me away from the millions of thoughts, the colors and life help me relax and soon I am ready to sleep. Too bad we didn’t have such things when my kids were young. Meanwhile, a book with the promise of sunrise could help all of us. And for that, it is worth buying for some families.

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Elephant Company: The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in World War IIElephant Company: The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in World War II by Vicki Constantine Croke
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I love elephants. Such smart sensitive beings. And this book is by a woman so it sort of fit my requirements of reading diet. The guy was a human being who cared, so I dismissed my final mission of female main character. Besides, it is about WWII so the chances of the main character being female was diminished as women were back then.

The writing was dry, historic. I wish there was a way to get into it all more deeply. It seemed to be a his-story. Bits about elephants were interesting but I wanted more. I wanted to know more about his wife who seemed very much of kindred spirit.

Still, had I not read the book, I wouldn’t have known about how the elephants helped in the second world war.

Many people have given this book high ratings. Maybe you will, too.

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