Thursday, November 20, 2014

PICTURE BOOK MONTH: Strongheart and Born in the Wild


Strongheart may have been a movie star, but he wasn’t always famous. He started out as a police dog who could sniff out criminals and march like a soldier, but he didn’t know how to have fun. Larry Trimble was a Hollywood director who wanted to put Strongheart in his movies—not just as a pet but as the lead actor. Larry taught him to play with toys and walk like a regular dog. In his films, Strongheart brought audiences to tears. He was a sensation! But when Strongheart's military training led to trouble, was his career over? Set in the early days of silent movies, Emily Arnold McCully's extraordinary story about a real-life hero will capture the hearts of dog lovers and movie fans everywhere.


Mankind's love affair with dogs has been around for a long time.  Our love affair with the movies hasn't been around as long, but it's just as strong, the two were bound to meet sooner or later.  Strongheart is the fictionalized story of the dog that brought the two together.  Trained as a police dog, Strongheart didn't know how to play when Larry Trimble adopted him.  This is an interesting story about the intelligence and heart that dogs can offer.  A fun book that is bound to be enjoyed by dog and movie lovers.


What do grizzly bear cubs eat? Where do baby raccoons sleep? And how does a baby otter learn to swim?

Every baby mammal, from a tiny harvest mouse "pinky" to a fierce lion cub, needs food, shelter, love, and a family. Filled with illustrations of some of the most adorable babies in the kingdom, this awww-inspiring book looks at the traits that all baby mammals share and proves that, even though they're born in the wild, they're not so very different from us, after all!


A beautifully put together book, Born in the Wild, is sure to be a favorite with young animal lovers.  The text is very informative and brief enough to be appropriate for younger readers.  But the real draw here are the amazing illustrations.  There are so adorable.  Baby animals are always cute, but Judge's illustrations are especially appealing.  For those readers who want to know more, each of the animals mentioned in the book are further described in notes at the end of the book along with a source list and recommended websites.  As far as the information goes, the author focuses on the needs of baby mammals including: birth, food, protection, shelter, and movement.  This is definitely one of my favorite picture books of the year.

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