Monday, September 14, 2009

Non-Fiction Monday: Peculiar Pets

As you've read many times before on this blog, I am a huge fan of Bearport Publishing and their offerings with non-fiction for kids. The books are incredibly sturdy, easily able to withstand the not-so-forgiving hands of children, and the content is informative, fun, and also bright and colorful. They have some great new offerings this season (which I'll be featuring throughout the fall), but I think my favorite new series is "Peculiar Pets."

I've only actually looked at two out of the four titles in the series, however I can't help but believe they are all just as fabulous as these two. Furry Ferrets, written by Natalie Lunis, introduces kids to the world of being the proud owner of a ferret, complete with the sounds they make, why they may smell, and what their daily activities typically are.

Fact bubbles and boxes on each page give tips to kids about how to best train their ferrets, what to feed them, or what toys they may like. Up close, bold photographs allow the reader to really see what is being written about, helping to decide whether or not a ferret may be the right pet for them.

In the last few years, I think ferrets are becoming less of a "peculiar pet" and more of a popular pet. My husband worked part-time in a friend's exotic pet store until we moved out of state a couple of months ago and he says ferret sales were right up there with snakes and lizards. Not a pet I personally would like to have (I prefer the 60lb dog variety), but I know kids and adults alike love these furry creatures!

Potbellied Pigs, also written by Natalie Lunis, uses the same format as Furry Ferrets with the text, bolded vocab words, and facts boxes/bubbles, focusing on a pet I WOULD love to have, the potbellied pig! I would definitely rank this adorable snouted, animal in the "peculiar" category, as they certainly aren't very common, so if you're looking for a peculiar pet, check out these guys!

There care and mannerisms appear to be quite similar to a dogs, as the book describes the pigs as very easy to train, loyal companions (and they wag their tales when they're happy!). Tips are given to readers as to how to best care for pigs in terms of diet and what they need if they are going to be spending time outside.

Other books in this cool series include Green Iguanas and Miniature Horses. Be sure to check those out too! And if you're going to order these two for your library shelves, order the whole series, I'm sure you'lll have a hard time keeping them on your shelves!

The targeted age for these books is elementary school children, however I think younger children would enjoy looking at the photographs and the material could be useful for older children looking at getting a pet. The information level and writing is best appropriate for elementary schoolers.

Furry Ferrets and Potbellied Pigs
24 pages each
Natalie Lunis
Bearport Publishing
9781597168601, 9781597168625
August 2009

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