Are you a fan of Animals books? Check out all our Animals book reviews, read extracts and compare prices.
In a nutshell: unforgettable Christmas with mini-dragons It’s Christmas and Eric is going to have an exciting day: he’s woken up early by Pan, the mini-dragon who lives in his sock-drawer, and they discover that Pan’s parents have arrived unexpectedly to spend Christmas with their son, so that makes three mini-dragons in the house… Then, thanks to trouble at the airport (which might just have something to do with the dragons), Eric’s friends and neighbours arrive for Christmas too, including the thoroughly awful Toby. Anything could happen, and probably will. The action is fast, funny but firmly rooted in family life and friendship, while Sarah Horne’s illustrations of dragons and humans alike catch the tone perfectly. This series will keep the ho-ho-ho going long after Christmas. ~ Andrea Reece One to recommend to fans of Guy Bass and Josh Lacey’s Dragonsitter series.
In a nutshell: warm-hearted animal story set on a proper farm These sweet little stories are perfect for animal-mad youngsters and filled with useful information about how to care for pets. When friends Jasmine and Tom find an abandoned kitten they know they need to look after it. As Jasmine’s mum is a vet she can give them lots of advice on how to do this and soon the kitten, called Holly, is thriving. Jasmine loves Holly very much but as Christmas approaches she has to make the brave and generous decision to give Holly to someone who really needs her. A typically well-written and convincing story in this excellent series which has lots to appeal for young readers, particularly those who dream of living on a farm. ~ Andrea Reece The Editor at Nosy Crow says: “This series is going to be a classic. It’s beautifully written with clever plotting and proper animal adventure. Life as a farm vet’s daughter shows Jasmine that nature is not always kind and life-and-death situations are never far away. But what cute animals! And what great stories!”
In a nutshell: warm, inspiring animal story When Isabelle comes face to face with a beautiful snow leopard in her local zoo an amazing adventure begins. She goes to bed tucked up with her snow leopard toy but wakes up in a ger, a Mongolian yurt. Only the little girl of the family can see her and they quickly become friends. Odval takes Isabelle up into the mountains and shows her a family of snow leopards. Odval loves them but her family want them gone because they are preying on their sheep. Can the girls protect the leopards? This is a lovely story of friendship starring some of the most beautiful animals on the planet; readers will be inspired to find out more about snow leopards and how they can help them survive in the wild. ~ Andrea Reece
Whether as villains in fairy stories or heroes of ancient myth, wolves have a special role in our imaginations, and this handsome information book will further inspire and intrigue the young. Inviting readers to decide whether wolves are “beautiful or bloodthirsty”, it describes their lives in great detail, from pack life and behaviour to physical appearance as well as facts on geographical distribution, food and how they raise their young. It acknowledges our fear and fascination but gives readers real insight into wolves’ actual lives. Jonathan Woodward’s cut paper and collage illustrations are beautiful to look at and wonderfully atmospheric, and complement the text perfectly. ~ Andrea Reece
In a nutshell: classic animal story by one of our best authors for children Sky Dancer is a vivid, inspiring animal story in which the British countryside is as important a character as its human protagonists. Joe has grown up on the moors, and knows no other world. But following the death of his father, nothing seems certain anymore. His sense of insecurity is reflected in the wider community, divided over the fate of the hen harriers that nest nearby. Gill Lewis explores ideas of trust and loss, and like the very best animal stories, this is a thrilling and moving read that will help young readers understand the natural world, and their responsibility to look after it. ~ Andrea Reece
One of Our Books of the Year 2017 A book to make you think and feel, this is an important, beautiful, spellbinding treasure. Words from nature are disappearing, being removed, left to one side to be forgotten. Some words are in real danger of being lost forever, this book reveals those words, sings them, shows them, reminds us how to love them. Spell-weavers Robert MacFarlane and Jackie Morris have created a bewitching ode to nature, reminding us of the danger of absence, highlighting beauty, whispering to our soul. It feels as though the words, the poems, and vividly beautiful pictures are as one, the essence of the word, of the being, escapes the page to wrap itself around you. ‘The Lost Words’ is suitable for all ages, and should find a special place in all homes, all libraries, all schools, all hearts. Do read the spell-poems out loud, listen, look, feel, touch, allow your awareness to open and receive these gifts. I found myself entranced, I fell completely under the spell of ‘The Lost Words’, I simply can’t recommend it highly enough. ~ Liz Robinson
Wonderful rhyme carries you through this rollicking ride through the wild west and a town they called Fear, whose scary inhabitants wear rattlesnake socks, chew rocks and and soon leave newcomer, the colourful and jolly Bingo B. Brown without his cheerful grin. Bingo soon discovers that as scary as the cowboys in town are, the wildest, scariest cowboy of all comes calling after dark. Frightened by the tales he hears of this terrible stranger, Bingo and his dog decide to leave town. They soon discover that you can't run away from the things that scare you as they come face to face with the fear spreading cowboy. Bingo soon finds his courage though and before long this baddie goes from spiteful to delightful. This is an absolute joy to read and is packed full of fun and colourful illustrations that complement the story perfectly. ~ Shelley Fallows - You can also find Shelley here.
November 2017 Debut of the Month In a nutshell: the night-time escapades of a pair of adventurous cats Inspired by his own cats, one of which is almost totally blind, Dermot O’Leary has indulged in some ‘what if’ imagining and dreamed up a rather wonderful world of adventures for them. On their first night in London, Toto and Silver make friends with the gregarious Catface, who promises to show them the town. Riding round the city on the Animal Tube they have a brilliant time, ending up in London Zoo where they become involved in the attempt to recapture an escaped Boa Constrictor, at which point Toto’s ninja skills really come into their own. Young readers will lap up this lively, funny story and Toto and Silver – particularly as depicted in Nick East’s illustrations – are charismatic characters. ~ Andrea Reece Dermot says: 'The idea for Toto first came to me when my wife and I rescued two stray cats from an olive grove in Italy. One of them, Toto, has been blind from birth, but we quickly realised she had ninja-like reactions. Like a lot of cat owners (or cat servants), we like to imagine our pets having secret lives when we're out or asleep. So before I knew it I was writing about Toto and her brother Silver's nocturnal adventures around London. I really hope that children who pick it up enjoy reading the adventures of our little Italian underdog (cat).' For readers who like their heroes feline, Anne Fine’s Diary of a Killer Cat is clever and entertaining, Marilyn Edward’s White Chin gripping and realistic, and Paul Gallico’s Jennie a real classic.
This clever interactive board book is just the thing to get everyone smiling in the run up to Christmas. Turning the pages really does wake up Santa, thanks to a neat bit of paper engineering. Readers can wake up an elf too, and watch Rudolph’s nose light up, before a teddy gets ready to play. The artwork is bright and lively, full of things to spot, count, name and discuss and it’s a really useful first book as well as being a fun introduction to the festive season. ~ Andrea Reece
Some of the world’s most extraordinary animal migrations are detailed in this beautiful book, in short lyrical passages of text and stylish illustrations. From garter snakes, to Emperor penguins and Bar-headed geese, their journeys are brought to life over stunning double-pages, additional notes at the end detailing the exact distances travelled. There’s a map of the world so that you can trace their journeys across the globe and in an important final scene, people of different races are shown at an airport, a reminder that humans too travel many thousands of miles and for lots of different reasons. ~ Andrea Reece
There’s a new mystery afoot in this entertaining sequel about Noble Warrior and his owner. Everything seems calm. Young horse lover Charlie Bass is getting her life back on track and her horse Noble Warrior is safely back in his stable after the excitement of the race. But, after such fame, is he safe? Soon Nobel Warrior goes missing. How will Charlie ever track him down? TV presenter Clare Balding has created a terrific adventure with a heart warming relationship between a young owner and her horse at the heart of it. ~ Julia Eccleshare
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