Monday, March 2, 2009

Non-Fiction Monday: Dogs and Cats

I think I'm animal book obsessed. No, really...I have a problem with wanting to devour books about animals, while others often sit on my TBR shelf for quite some time. Oh enjoy them right?

I have three, yes count them, THREE non-fiction Monday selections for you this week, one on dogs, one on cats, and one on dogs AND cats. Enjoy!

My first choice, Don't Lick the Dog: Making Friends with Dogs is written and illustrated by Wendy Wahman. A cute and simple introduction-to-dog-etiquette book, this one takes the time to let kids in on the secrets of making friends with dogs.

Making sure you ask the owner before petting any dogs, curling your fingers inward to avoid getting any digits bit off, and letting the dogs sniff before introducing one's self are just a few of the simple rules the author encourages children to follow.

The quirky illustrations are done in bold colors with pretty unique drawings. I loved the fuchsia and pistachio coloring...which may be weird, but hey, I like what I like!

This is a great choice for families planning on getting a new dog or just one for little ones wanting to learn more about doggies. Perfect for libraries!

Don't Lick the Dog: Making Friends With Dogs
Wendy Wahman
32 pages
Henry Holt
April 2009

What Cats Are Made Of, written and illustrated by Hanoch Piven, is another quirky selection. The "illustrations" are cats created from found objects, which is just an awesome talent some artists posses. How this man created cats from circuit boards and lipstick (and a campfire from combs I might add) is unknow to me, but SO cool!

Basically, the concept of the book is pretty simple. Each page displays something cats are made of, including legends, showbiz, toughness, etc, and then some info on why cats are made of that characteristic. For example, on the "cats are made of glamour page" we lean that Persian cats were said to have come from Persia and Iran, smuggled with rare spices and jewels, earning them their rich stature.

We also get a feline fact on each page, which was my favorite part of the book. I learned that cats walk on their toes, a cat's jaw moves up and down, rather than side to side, and cats can't taste sugary food. Cool right?

This is another great choice for the library, for both cat fans and those just wanting to know a bit more about the feline species. I really liked this one!

What Cats Are Made Of
Hanoch Piven
40 pages
March 2009

Finally, one of my absolute favorite books of last year, which I never got around to reviewing, was Two Bobbies: A True Story of Hurricane Katrina, Friendship, and Survival, written by Kirby Larson and Mary Nethery and illustrated by Jean Cassels. This is just one of those stories that will really touch your heart...and if you're a complete animal softie as I am, it will probably bring out a few tears too.

Bobbie the puppy and Bob Cat the kitten are best friends, living together in New Orleans with their family. When Hurricane Katrina hits, the pair are left alone, their family having evacuated and not being able to take the animals. They spend their days trying to survive, searching for shelter, food, and relief from the heat, not knowing if they'll make it to the next day, but always looking out for each other.

Eventually the Two Bobbies as they came to be called were rescued, taken to a temporary shelter run by one of my absolute favorite organizations, Best Friends Animal Society. It was discovered that Bob Cat was actually blind, meaning Bobbie not only helped keep his friend alive, but kept his BLIND friend alive after the hurricane aftermath.

At the shelter, they got well, grew strong, and eventually made their way to the home of Best Friends in Utah. They appeared on CNN's Anderson Cooper and had loads of people lining up to adopt them, finally finding a home together in Oregon.

So beautifully written and wonderfully illustrated, this book not only portrays true love and friendship between two unlikely animal friends, but it also allows the reader to see the damage Katrina did to the animal world, and what good things Best Friends Animal Society is doing for those animals, as well as thousands of others.

This one is a must for home and library shelves.

Two Bobbies: A True Story of Hurricane Katrina, Friendship, and Survival
Kirby Larson and Mary Nethery
32 pages
Walker Books
August 2008

To learn more about any of the titles, or to purchase, click on the book covers above to link to Amazon.

And don't forget about my big picture book giveaway, going on now! It ends tonight, so head on over here to learn more and enter!

1 comment:

Mary Nethery said...

Amanda, thank you for your kind words about Two Bobbies. Kirby and I had an opportunity to meet Bobbi and Bob Cat and found them to be delightful and truly inspiring. Your readers might find Jean Cassels' coloring page lots of fun for children. It can be downloaded at!