Who doesn’t love learning more about the secret lives of animals! Here are three books that give us a glimpse into the lives of elephants, foxes, and more.
Thirsty, Thirsty Elephants
By Sandra Markle; illus. by Fabricio VandenBroeck
32 pages; ages 3-7
It’s a hot, dry day in Tanzania when Grandmother elephant smells water in the distance. Mama, Little Calf, and the rest of the herd follow Grandmother’s lead. It’s been a long, dry season of drought, and the river they find gets smaller by the day. There’s barely enough grass for the zebras!
It’s so hot, and so dry that Little Calf drops from exhaustion. But finally Grandmother finds a waterhole filled with cool, thirst-quenching water. She remembered it from a long time ago. Back matter reveals the true tale behind this story and lots of fun elephant facts, plus resources for those who want to dig deeper.
The Secret Life of the Red Fox
By Lawrence Pringle; illus. by Kate Garchinsky
32 pages; ages 6-9
Boyds Mills Press, 2017
We have foxes living in our area; some nights you’ll see one running across the road and leaping through the fence into a field. But they’re secretive critters, so it’s nice to find a book that gives an up-close look at their lives.
This book opens as Vixen sets out on her hunt. She has a mate – they send wild foxy calls into the night – and it’s time to look for a den so she can provide a safe place for her kits. Eventually we see them, as they emerge to explore the world above ground.
Back matter includes more information about red foxes, a glossary, and books for curious kids who want to read further.
Whose Poop is That?
By Darrin Lunde; illus. by Kelsey Oseid
32 pages; ages 3-7
There are lots of books about animals: how they make homes and raise families, how they escape predators, and how they hunt. There are even books about what animals eat - but there aren’t very many about what comes out the other end.
Whatever you call it – poop, dung, scat – it comes in all sizes and shapes. And if you look at it closely, it can tell you a lot about an animal. This book presents footprints on one side of a spread, with the animal’s scat on the other. The reader’s job is to figure out the mystery animal. You don’t have to be an expert because with the flip of a page you learn whose scat that is and a bit about the critter. There’s turtle poop, owl pellets, and even fossilized dung.
Back matter includes the “scoop on poop” and some animal scat facts. That fossilized animal poop? That’s called a coprolite.