Early Egyptians worshipped a cat goddess and even mummified their beloved pets for their journey to the next world—accompanied by mummified mice! Cultures around the world later adopted cats as their own companions. Like their wild relatives, domestic cats are natural hunters able to stalk prey and pounce with sharp claws and teeth. They are particularly effective at night, when their light-reflecting eyes allow them to see better than much of their prey. Cats also enjoy acute hearing.
All cats are nimble and agile, and their long tails aid their outstanding balance. Cats communicate by marking trees, fence posts, or furniture with their claws or their waste. These scent posts are meant to inform others of a cat's home range. House cats employ a vocal repertoire that extends from a purr to a screech. Domestic cats remain largely carnivorous, and have evolved a simple gut appropriate for raw meat.
They also retain the rough tongue that can help them clean every last morsel from an animal bone and groom themselves. Their diets vary with the whims of humans, however, and can be supplemented by the cat's own hunting successes. Instead of being welcomed as the new student in the class, she is treated as an outcast. Taunting and bullying are two themes explored in this book.
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Simple story, beautifully told, appeals to kids who like thoughtful character-based stories. This lyrical look at pre-Columbian Taino culture stresses the bonds of family, and behavioral changes involved in growing up, and raises the issue of culture differences in a powerful way. Find Morning Girl at your local library. Samuel shares the excitement and the hard work that is involved with his first harvest. Samuel quickly discovers how difficult the harvest can be. The story is set in the year Told in the first person, Sarah takes young readers on a historic field trip back in time.
Photographs in the book were taken at the Plymouth Museum, which is a replica of the settlement. The historic backdrop and the words of 9-year-old Sarah invite children of all ages to experience the Pilgrim way of life. Brooks , illustrated by: Kurt Wiese - Alfred A. Knopf, pages. Originally published in , Freddy the Detective is an overlooked classic. Freddy is a pig who finds his true calling when he finds a copy of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes in the barn one day. The witty and still very fresh vocabulary in which Freddy expresses himself is just delightful! Find Freddy the Detective at your local library.
Eleven-year-old Victor is up way past bedtime when he sees something very unusual on television: a band of giant lizards performing wild music! Find Lizard Music at your local library. When the kids receive an assignment to create a newspaper expose, Nolan thinks that this is the perfect chance to truly expose Bubba.
After gathering some very compromising information, Nolan creates shredderman. Find Shredderman: Secret Identity at your local library.
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Nancy Drew continues to march into the 21st century with its ubiquitously pen-named writer, Carolyn Keene. Find The Case of the Sneaky Snowman at your local library.
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This beautiful Jan Brett collection features some of her best winter and Christmas stories. When magic words are spoken, the pan fills with delicious latkes. Unfortunately, trouble occurs when Sadie leaves the pan in the hands of her younger brothers. The team is equipped with only two things to help them: a mysterious rhyme from the Ice Wizard and a magical rope. Will they find Merlin and Morgan Le Fay? Are you brave enough to travel along? Find Winter of the Ice Wizard at your local library. The hook: The sixth installment of the Babymouse series finds our heroine at summer camp. The illustrations are as fun and humorous as ever, in the familiar black, white and pink.
Graphic novels are incredibly popular with tweens and teens, so it follows that younger kids want them as well. And those for the very young — especially for young girls — are few and far between, but gaining a foothold. Here is a well-established series that fills that void with a spirited, likable, adventurous character. Danny is a boy who has a great life with his father. Find Danny: The Champion of the World at your local library. The climax comes when a dapperly dressed but hungry fox comes for a new gold tooth, and the quick-witted dentist saves himself from ingestion by means of his professional skills.
Find Doctor De Soto at your local library. Nonsensical word play will entice readers to try reading this poetry aloud. A simple switch in the beginning letters of certain words makes language fun and the resulting sounds smile-crackingly funny. Surely, Wayside School was already strange enough. The builders built a story school sideways with the rooms piled one on top of another — except for the 19th floor where Miss Zarves teaches class. There is no 19th floor, and there is no Miss Zarves. Nevertheless, there is a 13th floor, where nice Mrs. Jewls presides over her eccentric pupils.
Jewls, however, takes a maternity leave. Before she returns with her little stranger, Wayside School gets a little stranger. While reading this ridiculously funny book, children will not only be laughing, they will be learning. Alien fantasies come and go, but this one has focus. Base has created a universe where music, or the lack thereof, separates the planets and gives them their distinct personalities. This is a gift of cosmic proportions and hours of fun. Find The Worst Band in the Universe at your local library. Mike owes his success in baseball to his advisor, his dog Harry.
It turns out that Harry is a great base coach. A chronology of the highlights of women in baseball concludes the book. Yingtao is the only one in his family with no musical talent. His father, however, insists that he continues to play the violin. How will he survive daily music lessons and recitals when all he really wants to do is play baseball, his true, natural talent? Alison Lester, an Australian-born author and illustrator, has written a lovely introduction to Australia for young readers.
Through the eyes of 8-year-old Grace, we tag along for a six-month journey around Australia with her family. Find Are We There Yet? Opal is forced to deal with the absence of her mother and a father who is absorbed in his work. Opal adopts the dog and he helps her make friends with people that the town-folks have labeled as strange and different.
This is a beautiful story about friendship, forgiveness, and tolerance. Find Because of Winn-Dixie at your local library. Imagine an army that is treated so well by the country it invades that it loses its will to conquer. It is the kind of well told story that parents can refer back to during difficult conversations for years. The artwork is warm and subtle and the message is timeless: Love is always more fun than war.
Find The Conquerors at your local library. By listening to stories told by his father and grandparents, a young boy learns how choices can lead to overcoming adversity. Find Dare to Dream!
Children are whisked away on a vibrant journey of hopes and dreams. Many deaths occur by a variety of weapons and methods, and a major character is beaten unconscious. Do people really do that? Do you expect to one day? Is there a modern equivalent that, perhaps, involves less violence? This Japanese story of a dog whose devotion inspired a nation is an ideal bridge from picture books to chapter books. Find Hachiko Waits at your local library. Yes, Judy is a third-grade girl but she is very much the tomboy and boys love this series as much as girls.
The series does a great job of captivating unmotivated readers who are making the transition into chapter books. Taylor, loves a challenge. When Jason gives Mr. Perfect for: Inventive kids with creative ideas to cure boredom and update old rules. Find Ramona the Pest at your local library. This is a bittersweet and uplifting story of a young girl coping with the fact that her father is hospitalized for clinical depression. She writes to this post office box, hoping that the person her father was writing to will help her understand what is happening.
Told through her letters, this novel is poignant and emotionally raw. Her humor, courage and intelligence will resonate with the reader. Find Letters from Rapunzel at your local library. There is so much to discuss here that a family, or a class, could spend days talking it over, which is why it is already a favorite with discussion groups. Two of the biggest topics are what it means to be human and what it means to grow up. Try combining it with a movie about growing up, such as Wide Awake , or one about not growing up, such as Peter Pan.
Find Loser at your local library. Uniquely told by weaving together the adventures of year-old Maya with those of Artemisia, a wild horse in the remote Wyoming wilderness, this is a beautiful coming-of-age story about relationships and making tough decisions. With the death of her grandmother, Maya is thrust into a totally foreign lifestyle. Accustomed to a rigid and formal urban household, Maya suddenly finds herself on a rural ranch surrounded by loving and caring people.
Discovering one another, the two develop a bond that will be tested under severe conditions.
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The addition of a glossary and a list of websites dealing with the subject of wild horses in America make this a must-read for any horse lover. Find Paint the Wind at your local library. Conversations, pictures, charts and stories find their way into it. Find Please Write in This Book at your local library.
This beautifully written and illustrated book will appeal to a wide range of ages. Its story of materialism verses charity addresses the value of giving and encourages children to reach out to help others. The story of a greedy king and the lesson he learns helps children get perspective on what is important. The vivid, intricately designed watercolor illustrations add drama and life to the story of a young wealthy child who, one night, steps out of a walled city to find the world beyond.
She becomes a quiltmaker after her elders reject her idea of helping the needy. Another poignant message for children of all ages. This is a heartwarming story of how a community comes together to help Minna, a little girl who so badly wants to attend school, but has no coat. The story deals with death and poverty in a real and positive way with a loving solution. Find The Rag Coat at your local library.
Nolen and Nelson give us a spunky cowgirl heroine of the West who names herself Thunder Rose. Rose is resourceful and fearless, and no challenge defeats her, not stampeding cattle, drought, tornadoes, hooligans nor desperadoes.
Find Thunder Rose at your local library. The author creates an alphabet book using the first names of the 26 women who have made impressive contributions to the world. The women came from different ethnic groups and countries. Author Helen Lester writes a humorous tale about her life from age three to adulthood. She describes how she became a writer, citing her achievements and challenges, including overcoming dyslexia, along the way. This cheerful book will inspire the writer within your child. Find Author: A True Story at your local library. Bill Peet, a former Disney illustrator, shares his life story in this book.
Find Bill Peet: An Autobiography at your local library. Rachel Carson has long been considered the original environmentalist. Her publication of Silent Spring in the s was the impetus for President Kennedy to call for a scientific study of the questions she raised about the environment.
Here now we have an accessible, empowering biography of this unsung heroine for boys and girls that care about the environment. Included are several lesson plans, as well as recommended reading on steps to save the environment. In this picture book biography of the magician Harry Houdini born Erik Weiss , the author emphasizes the qualities of perseverance, dedication and a commitment to self-improvement that made Houdini so successful. This would be the perfect book for kids fascinated by all things magical.
The picture-book format and outstanding illustrations make it highly appealing for children. The text is friendly and loaded with interesting details about the subject. Find Leonardo da Vinci at your local library. Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon, writes this autobiographical work as page-long vignettes of highlights from his life. He writes about how he got his unusual nickname from his sister , his favorite movie hero the Lone Ranger , how he almost drowned one summer, his military life, and his training and missions as an astronaut.
Find Reaching for the Moon at your local library. George , illustrated by: David Small - Philomel, 56 pages. George and David Small take us on a fun romp through the excellent discoveries and great mishaps of the great and infamous explorers of the world. Some of the exquisitely drawn illustrations are small and subtle in meaning, and the typeface used in the illustrations could be challenging for young readers as well. The subject matter of the biography will be of interest to adult as well as child readers, and this book might best be enjoyed in a joint first reading.
This is an excellent series of biographies and includes books on Benjamin Franklin, Harriet Tubman and Leonardo da Vinci. Written in a fun, conversational style that grabs even the most reluctant reader! Find Who Was Harry Houdini? Levine Books, 32 pages. But there were over fifty ice cream sellers and dozens of waffle makers, so who put the two together? Five men and one woman claim they were the first to combine tasty waffles, shaped into a cone, with yummy ice cream.
But the frozen delight honor goes to Italo Marchiony, an Italian immigrant who was selling ice cream cones from a push cart on the streets of New York in Find Ice-Cream Cones for Sale at your local library. George , illustrated by: David Small - Philomel Books, 56 pages. Books about the presidents are usually boring, but not this one. George outlines the positive points about being president big house with its own swimming pool, bowling alley and movie theater and negative points having to dress up, never get to go anywhere alone and lots of homework.
The book concludes with the oath of office, and there is an appended list of brief biographical sketches of each of the presidents. Furthermore, rats and lice and the threat of a bath were greater enemies than the British Navy. What can kids do to protect the environment? A lot! Easy to Be Green is filled with simple eco-friendly tips and activities children can try at home. A perfect way to make the concept of green living accessible and fun.
This book examines how the amazing range of colors in the animal world works to help animals survive in their natural habitats. Animals use color to attract a mate, lure prey, camouflage themselves or startle enemies. Additional information about animal coloration and the particular species pictured is found at the end of the book. This book is a visual treat, as well as fascinating reading for young naturalists. Find Living Color at your local library. The familiar twosome cover a lot of ground — landscape, animals, the lives and cultures of native people, and the effects of global warming.
Brilliant full-color photographs of thunderstorms, hailstorms, tornadoes and hurricanes accompany the factual text of this beautiful informational book. Simon carefully explains how storms form and describes the havoc they wreak on humans who are still fascinated with the power of weather. Find Storms at your local library. As more parents realize the importance of teaching their children about green living, the need for everyday, eco-friendly lessons grows.
With activities for home and school and during playtime, Ways shows how easy and fun it is to prepare your kids for a better future. Washington , illustrated by: Stephen Taylor - HarperTrophy, 40 pages.
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Learn about the origins of Kwanzaa. The seven principles or beliefs of the holiday are explained in detail and accompanied by lovely illustrations. Recipes and crafts ideas are also included. Find The Story of Kwanzaa at your local library. McElderry Books, 48 pages. Who can resist the title of this book? Certainly not young baseball fans who will delight in this comical history of the great American pastime.
Readers learn tantalizing tidbits about the history of the game, like the facts that in the early days teams had no specific uniforms and that base running was once a contact sport. The amusing illustrations add to the fun, and colorful baseball slang is defined in page margins. Find Hey Batta Batta Swing! The Wild Old Days of Baseball at your local library. Finally all the lessons are put to use in the playing of two complete games.
The first is a move game with comments on the reasons for certain moves; next is the analysis of an actual turn game played by two grand masters. Find Ultimate Chess at your local library. Four of the visiting children are nasty brats who will get exactly what they deserve.
Only Charlie is worthy. Kids may be more drawn to the chaotic, colorful adaptation starring Johnny Depp, but the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory , which was written by Dahl himself, is a gentler take that still stands up today. Large labeled ovals with the animals superimposed on them act as guides, so children can scan the scenes to find where the sea stars are hiding in the coral reef or the sidewinder in the desert.