Happy Earth Day! I lucked into today's post. Some friends of a friend have written a new series of books called Wise Owl Tales, and my friend asked me if I wanted to review a set! I leaped at the chance, and I'm glad I did.
I love Earth Day, I really do, but I need some new books. I love the ones we've read in the past, but they tend to be a bit redundant. This series, which is on sale at Amazon today, is different. Each book tells a different story about an animal, or in the case of Footprints, a place. Some of the stories are rather cheerful. Footprints is about the different creatures leaving prints at the beach. Frank The Tank is a happy, gassy mixed-breed dog, adopted from an animal shelter. Armando is an armadillo who wanders into a family's yard. Other books are more somber. Nanuk is a polar bear, watching her habitat melt due to global warming. Mali is an Asian elephant, rescued from years of forced labor. Daphina is a captured dolphin dreaming of freedom. Gamba the baby gorilla is rescued by veterinarians after his parents were killed by hunters. Chitraka the cheetah searches for food for her cubs, as her habitat shrinks and poachers hunt nearby. With the exception of Frank the Tank, the stories are fiction, but the lessons they teach are all too real.
The rhyming text makes the books especially accessible to a young audience. While I wasn't sure what to think about the mixed-media illustrations at first, my fellow reviewer (Big Sis) thought they were "awesome." She liked that they were different from other books she has read. At the back of each book is a map showing the region where the animal may be found, a helpful glossary, and a list of questions for further discussion, and if you want more, activity pages can be downloaded and printed from the website.
|Footprints: A Beach Tale|
|Frank the Tank: An Adopted Dog Tale|
|Armando: An Adventurous Nine-Banded Armadillo Tale|
|Daphina: A Freed Bottlenose Dolphin Tale|
|Gamba: An Optimistic Gorilla Tale|
|Nanuk: A Hopeful Polar Bear Tale|
|Glossary and facts from Chitraka: A Challenged Cheetah Tale|
|Discussion questions from Mali: A Rescued Asian Elephant Tale|
|Mali: A Rescued Asian Elephant Tale|
Big Sis gave the books an enthusiastic thumbs-up, and we had some very good discussions about habitat destruction, climate change, and captivity versus the wild. The books are glossy paperback picture books, and appropriate for young elementary school-age children.
*Disclaimer: The copies I reviewed were loaned to me for review purposes. I do not know the authors, nor did I receive anything for my review. All opinions expressed are my own.