Friday, October 12, 2018

Books about Animal Families

Two recent books reveal family life among the animals. Themes for the day: animals, families, nonfiction.

Meet My Family! Animal babies and their families
by Laura Purdie Salas; illus. by Stephanie Fizer Coleman
32 pages; ages 5-9
Millbrook Press, 2018

My parents both take care of me. 

Written from the point of view of animal babies, they introduce us to their families. The tundra swan cygnet lives with both mom and dad, while a raccoon kit has never met its father.

What I like love about this book: Large text on each page introduces the animal baby and its family. Smaller text adds detail about where they live (a den or nest), whether they have siblings, and how parents interact with the young. Wolves play, for example, while some frogs give their kids piggyback rides.

At the same time, facing pages highlight comparisons and contrasts. A foal is an only child, whereas piglets have lots of brothers and sisters. Beaver kits live in one place through their childhood, while orangutans move to a new nest each night.

Best of all ~ the large text, read by itself is a long, lyrical poem about animal families. Plus there's back matter: a glossary of what animal babies are called in their home ranges, and a map showing where the 22 animal families live. And did I mention the awesome illustrations? I love that the cover resembles a family album.

He's Your Daddy: Ducklings, Joeys, Kits, and More
by Charline Profiri; illus. by Andrea Gabriel
32 pages; ages 3-8
Dawn Publications, 2018

Baby animals, wild or tame,
Don't always have their daddy's name.

For example, a puppy's father is called a dog, while a kit's dad might be a beaver. 

What I like about this book: Rhyming couplets describe animal characteristics. The illustrations portray the habitats that provide homes for each animal family. In addition, illustrations show the range of jobs animal dads do - from bringing worms to nestlings to romping through the backyard. My favorite, though - the green frog dad leaping from a log. Back matter includes more information about each animal plus activities to engage curious young minds.

Beyond the books:
Compare baby animals to their adult parents. Find photos of animal babies and adults. How are they alike? And how are they different? (For example, Bird babies and parents have beaks and wings. But hatchlings don't have all their feathers...)

What would it be like to live in an animal family?  Choose a favorite animal and imagine you are one of the young. Draw a family portrait. Describe what your day would be like. Would you go to school? What would you eat?

Does your family keep albums of family photos? If so, spend some time looking at them. Do children and parents look similar? If you have a camera, take photos of your family and make an album.

Today we're joining the STEM Friday roundup - and we're also joining others over at Perfect Picture Book Friday, an event in which bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's site. She keeps an ever-growing list of Perfect Picture Books. Review ARC's from publishers.


  1. These both sound terrific. I will be checking them out. Thanks for the post.

  2. Thanks, Sue--I'm so glad you enjoyed MEET MY FAMILY!

    1. I love the scrapbooky cover and the invitation to come in and meet the kids! Even if they're not yours...

  3. There's something so sweetly appealing about animal baby books. Glad to hear about these two!

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  5. Let's try this again. This is a nice pairing. I'll see if I can get both and read them together. Thanks for featuring!

    1. It just happened - I was sorting through books and tossed them into the same pile. Turns out I have a couple more that I'll post later.

  6. Both books are very appealing. My grandson loves everything animals. Thanks for the suggestion!

    1. Animals are amazing! I loved reading books about animals when I was a kid. I wanted to grow up to be Dr. Doolittle.