Animal Teachers

Animal Teachers

by Janet Halfmann, Katy Hudson
     
 

An Oppenheim Toy Portfolio 2014 Gold Seal Best Book Award Winner

How Do Animals Learn To Swim, Fish, Box, Or Build?

In the forest, in the pond, in caves, prairies, and jungles, in all the world’s outdoor “classrooms,” baby animals are…learning! They are taking lessons on how to be an expert swimmer, alarm-sounder, racer-chaser, or

Overview

An Oppenheim Toy Portfolio 2014 Gold Seal Best Book Award Winner

How Do Animals Learn To Swim, Fish, Box, Or Build?

In the forest, in the pond, in caves, prairies, and jungles, in all the world’s outdoor “classrooms,” baby animals are…learning! They are taking lessons on how to be an expert swimmer, alarm-sounder, racer-chaser, or hide-and-seeker. They don’t have books, or desks, or computers. But they do have teachers!

With clear, graceful prose and striking illustrations, Animal Teachers showcases the teacher-student dynamic between adult and young animals as they are taught crucial skills needed to handle daily challenges.

An entertaining combination of science and storytelling, this instructive title presents skills that a dozen different young animals have to learn.

Will the animals earn an “A” for their efforts? No! But a banana or a good hiding place might be even better!

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
08/04/2014
Twelve vignettes explore the kinds of “lessons” that various animal adults teach to their offspring. A kangaroo gives her joey “boxing lessons” so he can defend himself, an elephant mother models how to drink water, an orangutan shows her offspring how to stay dry in the rain, and a cheetah teaches her babies to run. Hudson’s graceful artwork offers a hint of anthropomorphic tenderness between the animal parents and children, while remaining naturalistic. Readers should especially enjoy prompts inviting them to compare their own behavior with that of the animals: “Do you yip? Can you bark? Or shout? Or yelp? How do you make yourself heard?” Ages 4–8. (Aug.)
From the Publisher
"Twelve vignettes explore the kinds of “lessons” that various animal adults teach to their offspring. A kangaroo gives her joey “boxing lessons” so he can defend himself, an elephant mother models how to drink water, an orangutan shows her offspring how to stay dry in the rain, and a cheetah teaches her babies to run. Hudson’s graceful artwork offers a hint of anthropomorphic tenderness between the animal parents and children, while remaining naturalistic. Readers should especially enjoy prompts inviting them to compare their own behavior with that of the animals: “Do you yip? Can you bark? Or shout? Or yelp? How do you make yourself heard?” —Publishers Weekly

"Just like human children, animal babies from chicks to bear cubs learn lessons from adults around them.

Spread by spread, the conversational text of this instructive title presents skills a dozen different young animals have to learn and connects them to readers. Two paragraphs describe the learning task: finding what’s good to eat; learning to swim, defend, feed and shelter oneself; learning to recognize and make particular sounds. Questions to readers follow. 'Who sings to you?' the narrator asks after presenting information on penguins. Some shared skills may surprise. It takes time for elephants to learn to use their trunks for drinking, just as it does for children to learn to drink from a water fountain. Great apes learn tool use: Chimps crack nuts with stones, and orangutans gather leafy branches for umbrellas. Hudson’s realistic pen-and-watercolor illustrations show animal parents and their child or children in their natural environments. (The leafy endpapers are less relevant, showing an unlikely collection of unmentioned though recognizable birds and a few animals, some placed so far toward the edges they will likely be hidden by the cover flaps.) A final spread offers two to four additional interesting facts about each of the creatures described.

Nicely connecting the child to the natural world, this would be a useful opener for a unit about animals as well as a title to share with young animal lovers.(Informational picture book. 4-8)" —Kirkus Reviews

Children's Literature - Heidi Hauser Green
Here is an open invitation for children to reflect upon their own learning process, indulge their curiosity, wonder about a variety of animals, and find out about how young animals are taught to care for themselves. Many different animals appear on the pages, including chicks, sea otters, kangaroos, beavers, elephants, prairie dogs, chimps, penguins, orangutans, cheetahs, bottlenose dolphins, and brown bears. For each, a different skill is highlighted; an explanation provided; and questions for further thought offered. For example, “Food Lessons” takes a look at chicks. The mother teaches them how to recognize seeds and stop pecking at their own toes. Readers are asked: “Who taught you what’s good to eat? Did you ever try to bite your toes?” Swimming, boxing, building, and many other areas of daily living in the animal kingdom are explored. A two-page spread at the end provides “More Animal Facts,” with exactly three more bits of trivia for each of the featured animals. This book is a good resource for the elementary science classroom; it will be well-received by students who like animals. The questions are better-suited to shared classroom reading than to personal use in the home. Parents reading the book to their children for the umpteenth time may wish to skip the questions. However, children are likely to ask for this book many times, just so they can take in the many details of Katy Hudson’s realistic watercolor illustrations. Reviewer: Heidi Hauser Green; Ages 4 to 8.
School Library Journal
11/01/2014
K-Gr 2—Halfmann explains that animal babies, just like human children, have very important teachers—parents. Otter pups are taught to swim and dive, beaver kits learn to make dams, young cheetahs practice stalking their prey. Each spread features one animal and one lesson, concluding with questions asked directly to readers, e.g., "Who gave you your first swimming lessons?" "Who sings to you?" These questions help children relate to the baby animals they are reading about and understand the importance of families in their world. Hudson's realistic watercolor illustrations depict the tenderness between parent and child. Each picture features families in their own environments, expanding on the text in a subtle way. The book concludes with additional facts about the animals introduced. A useful and attractive title for classrooms and libraries.—Susan E. Murray, formerly at Glendale Public Library, AZ
Kirkus Reviews
2014-06-01
Just like human children, animal babies from chicks to bear cubs learn lessons from adults around them.Spread by spread, the conversational text of this instructive title presents skills a dozen different young animals have to learn and connects them to readers. Two paragraphs describe the learning task: finding what’s good to eat; learning to swim, defend, feed and shelter oneself; learning to recognize and make particular sounds. Questions to readers follow. “Who sings to you?” the narrator asks after presenting information on penguins. Some shared skills may surprise. It takes time for elephants to learn to use their trunks for drinking, just as it does for children to learn to drink from a water fountain. Great apes learn tool use: Chimps crack nuts with stones, and orangutans gather leafy branches for umbrellas. Hudson’s realistic pen-and-watercolor illustrations show animal parents and their child or children in their natural environments. (The leafy endpapers are less relevant, showing an unlikely collection of unmentioned though recognizable birds and a few animals, some placed so far toward the edges they will likely be hidden by the cover flaps.) A final spread offers two to four additional interesting facts about each of the creatures described.Nicely connecting the child to the natural world, this would be a useful opener for a unit about animals as well as a title to share with young animal lovers. (Informational picture book. 4-8)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781609053918
Publisher:
Blue Apple Books
Publication date:
09/02/2014
Pages:
36
Sales rank:
472,480
Product dimensions:
8.60(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile:
AD720L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Janet Halfmann: Janet Halfmann is an award-winning children's book author who grew up on a Michigan farm and later became a journalist before forging a career in books for kids. She created coloring and activity books for Golden Books, and her books on animals and nature can be found in the Smithsonian and have informed and inspired many a budding entomologist, future farmer, aspiring veterinarian, etc.

Katy Hudson: Katy Hudson was raised in Middlesbrough, England and started her illustration career as a small child drawing on the walls around her house. Her parents quickly provided a pad of paper to encourage her creativity and dissuade her from that medium. Katy later added paints and ink to her artistic repetoire, studied illustration and graphic communication, and received a BA with Honors from Bath Spa University. She has since illustrated greeting cards, wedding invitations, editorial pieces and children's books.

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