Talking Tails: The Incredible Connection Between People and Their Pets

Talking Tails: The Incredible Connection Between People and Their Pets

by Ann Love, Bill Slavin, Jane Drake
     
 

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Pets and their owners appear together in a book as heartwarming as it is informative.

From our earliest beginnings, we have shared our lives with animals. Jane Drake and Ann Love explore the ties that humans and their pets have formed. With fun and fascinating facts, they address Dog People and Cat People. (Why does a cat wind around her owner's legs? She's

Overview

Pets and their owners appear together in a book as heartwarming as it is informative.

From our earliest beginnings, we have shared our lives with animals. Jane Drake and Ann Love explore the ties that humans and their pets have formed. With fun and fascinating facts, they address Dog People and Cat People. (Why does a cat wind around her owner's legs? She's rubbing her owner with glands on her face to say "you're mine.") They also introduce us to more unusual pets. There's Polly the parrot, who lived through the Klondike Gold Rush to be 126 years old by belting back whiskey, swearing, and biting gold miners. And, of course, there are fish and reptiles, rodents and horses, all of whom can be beloved pets. As useful as it is fun, Talking Tails is a must for children who have or want a pet.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
PRAISE FOR ALIEN INVADERS:
"This is a highly relevant topic.... A good choice for science enthusiasts and non-fiction readers, this succinct, lucid text makes global ecology palpable."
Toronto Star

PRAISE FOR SWEET!:
"... A yummy feast.... Sweet! is one tasty treat."
School Library Journal

Children's Literature - Phyllis Kennemer
Information about many types of pets is presented, although the majority of space is devoted to cats and dogs. The introduction discusses some of the psychological advantages of pet ownership. Historical accounts of animals as pets are interspersed with facts about specific animals and their care. Exotic animals, such as tigers and bears, are not recommended as pets. The advantages and disadvantages of living with birds, fish, reptiles, rodents, and horses are discussed, followed by an account of a foul-mouthed, alcoholic parrot that lived to be 126 years old. The section about cats begins with a diagram describing a "Cat Person." The discussion of the probable transition from wild to tame cats is followed by an explanation of cats' senses and forms of communication. Different species of cats are described, and suggestions for training cats are included. A six-page story about a lost cat who survives and finds his family is mostly speculation. The dog section follows the same format as the cat section. Its ending story is about an epileptic girl who receives a specially trained seizure dog. A timeline of humans' associations with pets beginning in 100,000 B.C. and continuing through 2009 A.D. appears across the bottoms of the pages throughout the book. Softly-colored, sometimes humorous illustrations help to offset the dense text. Reviewer: Phyllis Kennemer, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 3–6—Love and Drake explore the topic on 24 spreads such as "A Cat in the Family," "How to Love a Reptile," "Building a Rodent Relationship," and "Puppy Science: Dog Senses." Most spreads focus on pet-ownership requirements, domesticated and feral counterparts, animal behaviors, communication, breeds, and hybrids. Tails concludes with a moving vignette about a girl with epilepsy and her seizure-response canine. The pages are illustrated with mostly subdued, sometimes humorous pen-and-ink and watercolor cartoons. A running time line from 100,000 BC through AD 2009 appears across the bottom of the spreads, succinctly and effectively infusing facts about pet evolution, burial with their owners, aquarium invention, and breed evolution over time. While the text is informative and the topic popular, the artwork is merely adequate and won't appeal to readers old enough to appreciate the text, especially the time line data.—S. McClendon, Friends School of Atlanta, Decatur, GA
Kirkus Reviews
Amusing ink-and-watercolor illustrations from Slavin are integrated into the text of this entertaining look at the history of pet keeping. With information about keeping fish, birds, rodents, horses and ferrets, most of the space is dedicated to cats and dogs. There are several lengthy anecdotes about particular pets-for example, Jasper, a cat that was lost for a year, and Polly, a parrot taken north with the Klondike Gold Rush that survived until 1972. These tales present as fact information that can only be guessed at: e.g., Jasper's experiences while no one cared for him. Unfortunately, there are no source notes, bibliography or recommendations for further reading. There is a timeline along the bottoms of the pages, but it is not to scale: Sometimes a thousand years will pass in an inch; at other times the inch represents just a couple of years. Although picture-book-sized, this effort is text-intensive, making it an unlikely selection for the younger readers and listeners who are most likely to be attracted by its presentation. Lively fun but useful for light reading only. (Nonfiction. 9-12)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780887768842
Publisher:
Tundra
Publication date:
04/13/2010
Pages:
80
Product dimensions:
8.30(w) x 10.10(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

ANN LOVE and JANE DRAKE, sisters and coauthors, have written many award-winning books for young readers, including Cool Woods: A Trip around the World's Boreal Forest; Snow Amazing: Cool Facts and Warm Tales; Trash Action: A Fresh Look at Garbage; Sweet! The Delicious Story of Candy; and Alien Invaders: Species That Threaten Our World. They share a lifelong interest in the environment and the wild, travel extensively, and, through their books and presentations, inspire children to be more observant of the world around them. Ann Love and Jane Drake live in the Toronto area.

BILL SLAVIN has illustrated over seventy books for children, including The Big Book of Canada by Christopher Moore and It's a Snap: George Eastman's First Photograph in Monica Kulling's 'Great Idea Series', biographies for the very young. He has won the Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator's Award, the Blue Spruce Award, and the Zena Sutherland Award for Children's Literature, among many others. Bill Slavin lives in Millbrook, Ontario.

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