MAMA LOVES … animal books

Since the moment my kid showed an interest in anything, it’s been all animals, all the time. The majority of our library is composed of animal stories, so to whittle it down to just five faves is tough. This is likely to be the first in a series of mama loves animal books – starting with stories that appeal to the pre-K crowd and moving my way through the age groups.

Wild About Books: Best book ever! “It all started when Springfield librarian, Molly McGrew, by mistake drove her bookmobile into the zoo.” This is the best rhyming story since the great Dr. Seuss, and combines my son’s two favorite things – animals and reading. My kid breaks down into hysterical laughter when the bugs in the insect zoo begin scribbling haiku. Let’s just say, dung beetles are funny!

My Very Own Name: Your child plus a cast of animal characters star in this sweet story – making this an ideal newborn or First Birthday gift. The animals all “gather around … to create a name for her (or him) with the perfect sound.” Together, animals of every ilk offer up a letter to include in the name – until your child’s name is revealed. There is also a “dedicated to” page for a personalized message. It’s not just a book, but a keepsake.

Chimp & Zee: Or, chimpanzees – in case you missed the play on words – are two cheeky monkeys from Jungletown, who hide from their mama and find themselves on a journey through the forest atop an elephant family. This clever story is filled with darling illustrations and a happy ending. My 5-year-old loves to read about other little monkeys being naughty (go wonder!), so this is a winner in our house.

There’s an Elephant in My Bathtub: Just released from first-time authors and father-son duo is this darling story about an imaginative 6-year-old who conjures up a bathtub full of wild animals. The story is illustrated with vivid, child-like drawings, where alligators brush teeth, monkeys jump in laundry baskets and elephants take bubble baths. This story is ideal for those kiddos who resist bath time. Add bubbles and a few wild creatures (of the plastic variety) and see what your little one thinks up!

Owen & Mzee: This is a true-life story of a young rhino rescued during a tsunami, who finds a new home and life-long friendship with a 130-year-old Aldabra tortoise at a Kenyan zoo. It will fill your heart with hope and love for humanity (and the animal kingdom) as these two unlikely creatures become inseparable, best of friends. Owen & Mzee is one in a series of true-life animal stories and the bipeds who care for them.

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