Book Reviews

Kitten Corner: Bears and Birds!

This week I want to share with you three funny and sweet picture books featuring animals. All of these were sent to me free of charge, but as usual all opinions are my own.

There’s a Mouse in my House by Ross Collins, from Nosy Crow

Ross Collins’ books are always good fun, and this story of a bear plagued by a mouse determined to live with him is no exception! The characters stand out on plain coloured backgrounds, which makes this very visually unique and appealing, and the large rhyming text practically begs you to read it aloud (and energetically!). Just great fun – I think everyone would enjoy this!

Goodnight Toucan by Jane Partis, from Little Tiger

This is an adorable story of friendship and acceptance. Toucan is determined to make sure his sleepover is the best ever, so he sets out to gather all kinds of items to stand out – but all his friends need to have a good night is his company. It’s a sweet message, and both the text and the art are filled with humour as Toucan has quite a bit of trouble carrying everything! I really enjoyed the bright colours and strong illustration style, particularly the expressive faces on all the animals. Plus, though it’s quite an energetic one, it winds down nicely at the end so would be great for bedtime.

Two Bears by Patricia Hegarty and Rotem Teplow, from Little Tiger

This is a more serious book, but it’s still very cute. It tells the story of two bears forced to leave their habitats by climate change and human destruction, the grizzly bear moving north and the polar bear moving south until they meet in the middle and make a family. I had no idea this was happening in real life, but there’s a non-fiction section at the end of the story that shows you some of the facts about this migration and the new kind of bear that’s come about because of it. The environmental message might be a bit much for very sensitive kids – there are scenes of the grizzly bear fleeing fire, for example – but it’s told in a sweet and uplifting way. In fact, it’s a little conflicted in its depiction: the story of the bears seems happy, but the fact file at the end suggests ways to help mitigate climate change, and indeed this kind of migration surely should be a cause for concern rather than celebration? Taken just as a story though, this is very heartwarming, and the soft, sweet art is beautiful.

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