SubTopic: Mammals

  Adelina's Whales

by Richard Sobol

HARDCOVER
Animals : Mammals
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

This is a beautiful photo-essay by Richard Sobol about a 10 year old girl living in the remote fishing village of La Laguna in Baja, Mexico near a lagoon that is a gray whale nursery. Every year Adelina Mayoral eagerly awaits the arrival of her special friends, the gray whales that travel from their northern feeding grounds, as far away as Alaska and Russia, across the Pacific to this protected lagoon to give birth and raise their calves until the spring when they once again head north. The text and stunning photography, that show the close encounters and rapport of humans and whales, also offer an insight into Adelina’s daily life and the world of these unique mammals. In the "Foreword" Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. describes his visit to Laguna San Ignacio and how Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) succeeded in 1997 in saving this pristine lagoon from industrial development and keeping this area as a gray whale nursery.

For more information, visit: www.savebiogems.org/baja/

      Grades: 2nd to 5th

  Among the Orangutans: The Birute Galdikas Story

by Evelyn Gallardo

PAPERBACK
Naturalists & Their Work
Animals  : Mammals

Tracing the life of Birute Galdikas from her childhood fascination with orangutans to her renown research of these primates in Indonesia, this photobiography provides insights into the fieldwork involved in primate studies as well as the unique contribution of Galdikas' research into orangutan behavior. Along with Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey, Galdikas was one of three researchers directed by Louis Leakey to undertake studies of the great apes. Descriptions of Galdikas' experiences in the remote tropical rain forests of Borneo, her observations of the social interactions and behavior of orangutans and her caring for orphaned orangutans are complemented by color photographs of Galdikas and her family as well as of orangutans in the wild. A personal note from Galdikas follows the text as well as information about organizations working to conserve the endangered orangutans.

Visit: www.orangutan.org

      Grades: 3rd to 6th

  Baby Beluga

by Raffi & Ashley Wolff (illustrator)

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Animals  : Mammals

The little white beluga whale of Raffi's song swims through the pages of this board book, in which puffins, dolphins, seals, bears and orcas abound in the sea and on icebergs around the mother and her calf. The illustrated Raffi song will delight young children as they follow the lively voyage of baby Beluga through "the deep, blue sea".

      Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Baby Whale's Journey

by Jonathan London

HARDCOVER
Animals : Mammals
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Poetic text and expansive illustrations capture the life of a baby sperm whale from its first breath as it is born off the Pacific coast of Mexico, then as it journeys at the side of its mother through the sea where they feed, communicate with other members of the pod and encounter orcas and giant squids. An afterword supplements information about this magnificent endangered species and the Reader's Guide provides parents and educators ideas for discussions and activities expanding the knowledge of these mammals.

      Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Bats: Swift Shadows in the Twilight (The Wonder Series)

by Ann C. Cooper

PAPERBACK
Animals : Mammals
Field Guides & Activity Books 

This story and activity book has been described by Dr. Merlin Tuttle of Bat Conservation International as one of the best books for children about bats. The text with black and white illustrations abounds with information about different bat species as well as the physical characteristics, habitats, flight patterns and behavior of these animals. Intriguing suggested activities -- building a backyard bat box, a pop-up bat cave and a "Wheel-o-Meal" that teaches the various diets of different species of bats -- serve to dispel common misconceptions about these mammals.

      Grades: 3rd to 6th

  Big Blue

by Shelley Gill

PAPERBACK
Experience of Nature
Animals  : Mammals

During a trip with marine biologists to Baja, Mexico, a young girl’s dream of swimming alongside a blue whale is finally realized. This picture book integrates scientific information with imagery and narrative from the perspective of the young girl in having her wish come true by her fascinating underwater encounter with the largest animal on our planet.

See also: Melissa Kim’s The Blue Whale, an informative book which explores the plight of blue whales as well as other endangered whale species that have been drastically overhunted to the point of near extinction.

        Grades: 1st to 3rd

  Caribou Journey

by Debbie S. Miller

HARDCOVER
Habitats & Ecosystems
Animals  : Mammals

Every spring caribou migrate North to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska where tens of thousands of calves are born. The author, who has lived in northern Alaska and has many times observed the migration of caribou, eloquently presents the life cycle of these magnificent animals who travel back and forth through Canada's Yukon Territory and northeast Alaska, almost three thousand miles each year in search of food. The story focuses on a mother caribou and her young, their searches for food through the snows of winter, the mother's protection of the young against wolves and eagles, and the yearly migration patterns of the herd. This engrossing story, resplendent with double-page illustrations, interweaves fascinating information about these mammals, their adaptations for life and travel in the rugged climate of the tundra, the bonding of mothers and their young, the autumnal encounter of males fighting for mates, and the crossing of rivers by the herd along their journey. The "Author's Note" provides information specifically about the Porcupine Herd of caribou, one of the largest migratory herds of North America that is described in this story, as well as mention of the importance of preserving the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge of Alaska.

        Grades: 1st to 4th

  The Chimpanzee Family Book

by Jane Goodall

PAPERBACK
Naturalists & Their Work
Animals  : Mammals

Following a mother and baby of a troop of chimpanzees for one day in the forest of Gombe National Park in Tanzania, where she has based her renown research of chimpanzees, Jane Goodall presents her observations, both personal and factual, of the behavior and social structure of these animals in the wild. Numerous large close-up photographs of the individual chimps and the forest habitat complement the text to show young children the family life, the intimacy, the varied expressions, playfulness and range of social interactions of these amazing mammals that are closely related to humans. Young readers are shown the patience and study required to understand animals in the wild and also the deep respect, interest and care that Goodall holds for the chimpanzees.

For more information, visit www.janegoodall.org

      Grades: Kindergarten to 3rd

  The Chimpanzees I Love: Saving their World and Ours

by Jane Goodall

HARDCOVER
Naturalists & Their Work
Animals  : Mammals

This inspiring account of Jane Goodall's scientific work with chimpanzees and her devoted efforts to promote conservation provides young readers a historical context for Goodall's research, narratives of the author's field work in Tanzania's Gombe National Park, as well as fascinating scientific observations of chimp behavior, communication and society. The text is accompanied by vintage photographs of Goodall's youth as well as dozens of color close-ups of the scientist and the chimpanzees in their habitat, documenting forty years of groundbreaking research at Gombe. All of the author's proceeds from the sale of this book is donated in support of Roots & Shoots, the global children's educational program of the Jane Goodall Institute.

For more information, visit www.janegoodall.org

      Grades: 3rd & up

  Chipmunk Song

by Joanne Ryder

PAPERBACK
Experience of Nature
Animals  : Mammals

"This book playfully carries the reader through the activities of a chipmunk during the autumn season. Wonderfully attentive illustrations introduce children to the natural world as it is seen through the eyes of a small furry creature gathering acorns to store below ground before the first snow." From Bringing the World Alive: A Bibliography of Nature Stories for Children, published by The Orion Society.

      Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Every Autumn Comes the Bear

by Jim Arnosky

PAPERBACK
Experience of Nature
Animals  : Mammals

A rugged, wooded landscape behind a farm is explored every autumn by a bear where it encounters woodland animals, claws at trees, drinks from a spring and walks on trails before finally settling in its den for the winter. Expansive landscapes watercolors and close-ups of animals portray the transformation from autumn to winter in a picture book that conveys to young children through its simple text the transition of seasons and the rhythms of the natural world through the explorations of a bear.

      Grades: Pre-School to 2nd

  The Eyes of Gray Wolf

by Jonathan London

HARDCOVER
Animals : Mammals
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Having lost his mate to a man's steel trap, Gray Wolf ventures through a snowy, moonlit landscape where scents, sights and sounds lead him to the trail of a snowshoe hare and eventually to a pack of wolves where he finds a new mate.

"The poetic prose written for lower elementary audience and magnificent drawings vividly depict the great beauty of the wolf. At the end of the book, the author lists many preservation groups and shows a map of the wolf's range in North America in the 1700's versus its range today." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (January/February 1999) published by CCEL.

        Grades: Kindergarten to 5th

  Grizzly Bear (First Wonder of Nature Board Books)

by Lynne Cherry

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Animals  : Mammals

Through simple, rhythmic text and beautiful illustrations toddlers and preschoolers can follow grizzly bear cubs from their awakening in the spring until their finding a new den in the fall. This board book will instill an appreciation of an endangered species and the natural world in young children.

      Grades: Preschool

  The Hunter

by Paul Geraghty

PAPERBACK
Animals : Mammals
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

"Discovering a young elephant by the side of its dead mother, Jamina sees something of the sorrow a hunter can cause. As she tries to help the baby elephant, we travel with her. From the details of a yellow and black dragonfly perched on a wet fern to the expanses of African plains silhouetted against orange sky, these dramatic illustrations focus on the small details as well as the great open spaces where large elephant herds once roamed. The Hunter helps us to see each elephant as an individual and, hence, better empathize with its plight." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (November/December 1994) published by CCEL.

        Grades: Kindergarten to 3rd

  Ice Bear and Little Fox

by Jonathan London

HARDCOVER
Habitats & Ecosystems
Animals  : Mammals

As Nanuq, the young polar bear, learns to live the first year on his own in the polar landscape, he is followed by the Arctic fox that forms a symbiotic relationship in which both help each other in the harsh landscape of the Northern region. Over the months the trailing fox feeds on leftovers of the bear and in turn vigilantly warns the bear of the presence of other predators -- each help the other to survive. The full-page watercolor illustrations of close-ups of the animals and of the panoramic landscapes as well as the entrancing, realistic text will captivate young children as they learn of the harshness of survival in the Arctic for these animals and also of the importance of the role of cooperation between them. The "Afterword" incorporates the Eskimo, or Inuit, background of these Arctic inhabitants.

For more information about polar bears, visit World Wildlife Fund's Polar Bear Tracker.

To help protect the polar ice caps, visit NRDC's BioGems Polar Bears on Thin Ice to find a Kid's Polar Action Guide.

See also: Carol Carrick's, Polar Bears Are Hungry,
Jonathan Grupper's Destination: Polar Regions,
Nicola Davie's, Ice Bear: In the Steps of the Polar Bear, and
Jane Yolen's, Welcome to the Ice House

      Grades: Kindergarten to 3rd

  Ice Bear: In the Steps of the Polar Bear

by Nicola Davies

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Animals  : Mammals

According to some scientists, when humans came to the Arctic region 40,000 years ago, they learned how to survive in the icy landscape by observing the skills of Nanuk, or polar bear. Recounted from the perspective of an Inuit observer, Ice Bear describes the unique physical adaptations of the polar bear to its frigid environment, its formidable skills in hunting seals as well as its role as a caring mother, a tireless swimmer or a gentle playmate. The stunning oil paintings by Gary Blythe evoke the ethereal beauty of the Northern landscape that is home to one of the largest of land mammals. An afterword briefly mentions the effects of global warming on the polar bears' habitat and simple steps to help preserve their Arctic home.

For more information about polar bears, visit World Wildlife Fund's Polar Bear Tracker.

To help protect the polar ice caps, visit NRDC's BioGems Polar Bears on Thin Ice to find a Kid's Polar Action Guide.

See also: Carol Carrick's, Polar Bears Are Hungry,
Jonathan Grupper's Destination: Polar Regions,
Jonathan London's, Ice Bear and Little Fox, and
Jane Yolen's, Welcome to the Ice House

        Grades: 1st to 4th

  In the Company of Whales

by Alexandra Morton

PAPERBACK
Habitats & Ecosystems
Animals  : Mammals

Presented as a year-long journal entry, In the Company of Whales is an intimate account by Alexandra Morton of her observations of orcas near her home off the Western Coast of British Columbia. She describes the fascinating interactions of orcas within their families as well as with related pods and other marine mammals. Children can learn about the fish feeding patterns of resident orcas that differ from the hunting of marine mammals by the transient orca pods. There are numerous sidebars for readers to learn in more detail about the unique physical traits and fascinating behaviors of orcas – echolocation, dialects, feeding patterns and “greetings” of sunrises and sunsets -- as well as information about several other inhabitants that share their ocean habitat.

See also:http://raincoastresearch.org/orca.htm

      Grades: 3rd to 7th

  Jaguar in the Rain Forest

by Joanne Ryder

HARDCOVER
Habitats & Ecosystems
Animals  : Mammals

The imaginative transformation of a boy into a jaguar invites the reader to explore the lifestyle and habitat of this animal -- climbing through the forest trees, observing the movements of other animals in the canopy, hunting stealthily on the forest floor at night and experiencing the vivid sounds and sights of the rain forest habitat. Close-up and expansive views of the jaguar's movements in the paintings, showing the dense foliage and inhabitants of the setting that was inspired by the tropical rain forests of French Guiana, enhance this fascinating excursion into the rain forest habitat.

      Grades: 1st to 3rd

  Light Shining Through the Mist

by Tom L. Matthews

HARDCOVER
Naturalists & Their Work
Animals  : Mammals

The inspiring life and work of Dian Fossey is presented in this fascinating photobiography that centers on her field studies of the mountain gorillas in the Virunga area of central Africa and her controversial conservation efforts to preserve these primates. Stunning photographs of Fossey in the field interacting with gorillas, close-ups of these primates in the wild, and images of Fossey at work in her camp complement the text that follows Fossey's early fascination with Africa, her association with Louis Leakey, her experiences in the war-torn Congo and then in Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park where she established the renown Karisoke Research Center. While caring for two orphaned infant gorillas, Fossey learned their vocalizations which she then used to interact more closely with gorillas in the field studying their behavior and social interactions. Her "active conservation" efforts against poachers and direct involvement in preserving the gorillas' habitat created much controversy and animosity against her work -- in 1985 she was found murdered in Karisoke. A bibliography listing her articles and books follows the text as well as weblinks to sites of information about primates and wildlife conservation efforts.

      Grades: All

  National Audubon Society First Field Guide: Mammals

by John Grassy & Chuck I. Keene

PAPERBACK
Animals : Mammals
Field Guides & Activity Books 

This excellent field guide of North American mammals, resplendent with beautiful, detailed photographs, provides information about their behavior, physical characteristics and habitats. Information about threatened and endangered species, as well as a waterproof field spotting card, are provided for the young naturalist.

        Grades: 3rd & Up

  Nutik, the Wolf Pup

by Jean Craighead George

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Animals  : Mammals

The bond of a boy and a wolf pup is evocatively described by Jean Craighead George in this picture book for youngsters that leads into the classic trilogy for older readers by this same author of The Epic Adventures of Julie and Her Wolves: Julie of the Wolves, Julie, Julie's Wolf Pack. Although Amaroq, a young Eskimo, is warned by his older sister Julie not to become too close to a sick wolf pup for which he is caring, a mutual bond develops between the two that is tested when the wolf pack returns for the pup. The Arctic landscape is lyrically portrayed in illustrations by Ted Rand who traveled to the tundra to experience the setting first-hand.

      Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Orangutan (First Wonder of Nature Board Books)

by Lynne Cherry

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Animals  : Mammals

This board book will captivate toddlers and preschoolers by its rhythmic verse about baby orangutans as they play and swing through the branches of a rain forest. Cherry's beautiful illustrations and text help young children discover and appreciate an endangered species.

      Grades: Preschool

  A Pika's Tail

by Sally Plumb

PAPERBACK
Animals : Mammals

The endearing story of the pika, Beejer, who continuously calls for the lost tails of pikas until his close encounter with Hunter, the weasel, will captivate children. Realistic illustrations complement vivid descriptions of mountain wildlife.

      Grades: Kindergarten to 5th

  A Polar Bear Journey

by Debbie S. Miller

PAPERBACK
Animals : Mammals
Habitats & Ecosystems 

This illustrated story follows a Beaufort Sea polar bear from when she gives birth in a den to two cubs through the time the cubs venture out into the frozen landscape to learn survival skills from their mother. Through the acrylic images and informative narrative, children can learn about the behavior, diet and adaptations of these mammals -- how the mother prepares her den and how the cubs are born and later learn to hunt for seals, swim in the icy waters and survive in the Arctic habitat. The cubs of this story were born on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, an important wildlife region that is a denning area for polar bears.

For more information about polar bears, visit World Wildlife Fund's Polar Bear Tracker.

To help protect the polar ice caps, visit NRDC's BioGems Polar Bears on Thin Ice to find a Kid's Polar Action Guide.

See also: Nicola Davie's, Ice Bear: In the Steps of the Polar Bear,
Jonathan London's, Ice Bear and Little Fox, and
Jane Yolen's, Welcome to the Ice House.

      Grades: 2nd to 5th

  The Polar Bears Are Hungry

by Carol Carrick

HARDCOVER
Animals : Mammals
Environmental Themes  : Global Warming

This is an endearing story of a mother polar bear struggling to care for her cubs in the Arctic. As temperatures rise, the task of finding food, primarily seals, to feed herself and her cubs becomes a difficult task. As a result, the mother bear and her two cubs end up scavenging in areas where humans live to find food. In the "Author's Note", Carrick examines the importance of hunting specifically on ice in order for polar bears to catch seals and mentions the affects of global warming in shortening the ice hunting season, thereby leaving mother polar bears in a weakened condition to feed their cubs.

For more information about polar bears, visit World Wildlife Fund's Polar Bear Tracker.

To help protect the polar ice caps, visit NRDC's BioGems Polar Bears on Thin Ice to find a Kid's Polar Action Guide.

See also: Nicola Davie's, Ice Bear: In the Steps of the Polar Bear,
Jonathan Grupper's Destination: Polar Regions,
Jonathan London's, Ice Bear and Little Fox, and
Jane Yolen's, Welcome to the Ice House.

      Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Red Wolf Country

by Jonathan London

HARDCOVER
Animals : Mammals
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

"She-Wolf has a secret. She and her mate are on the move, traveling through wetlands and snow covered forests. The earth stands still to listen to their song as they howl beneath the moonlit sky. They hunt together preying upon rabbits or swamp crabs. They are in search of a den. As they near a farmhouse a farmer shoots at them and they lunge into a cold icy river to escape. Struggling to survive, they search for higher and more distant lands far from humans. In spring their pups are born and we are left hoping that humans will allow them to live in their world.

Jonathan London magnificently captures the spirit of these great creatures while Daniel San Souci's illustrations reflect the true beauty of the endangered red wolf. In 1987, red wolves were released into wilderness areas. Now over one hundred inhabit the lands of 'Red Wolf Country': Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, Bull Island, Horn Island, St. Vincent Island and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Roland Smith, the former red wolf species coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service writes in an afterword an informative history about the red wolf." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (Winter 1999) published by CCEL.

        Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Sea Otter River Otter

by Sandra Chisholm Robinson

PAPERBACK
Animals : Mammals
Field Guides & Activity Books 

Published in cooperation with the Denver Museum of Natural History, this story and activity book, which the author describes as a "celebration of play", provides children with stories, projects and games to learn about sea and river otters. "Otter Hunt", an unfinished story about a boy who, while sailing on a boat hunting and trading otters pelts, becomes stranded on an island where he observes a herd of otters, is left for the young reader to complete. Working through mazes, creating origami animals and playing matching cards games, children can learn about the otters, their use of tools and the particular adaptations of sea and river otters to their differing habitats. "Guide to Otters of the World" provides a map to locate each otter species, a description of its diet, habitat and status which explains the causes of some otter species being classified as endangered, threatened or rare. This book with black-and-white illustrations also includes information about the reintroduction of river otters to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

      Grades: 1st to 6th

  Seal (First Wonder of Nature Board Books)

by Lynne Cherry

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Animals  : Mammals

Toddlers and preschoolers will be fascinated by the endangered baby harbor seals who swim in the sea of this beautifully illustrated board book of simple, rhythmic text. This captivating book creates a basis of appreciation of the natural world in the young child.

      Grades: Preschool

  Seal Journey

by Richard Sobol

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Animals  : Mammals

Every year during the spring thousands of harp seals are born on the ice floes in the Gulf of St. Lawrence in eastern Canada. This photo-essay recounts a fascinating journey to the birthing grounds of these seals, captured through the stunning photography of Richard Sobol who in 1993 traveled with his eight-year old son to view and photograph "the beginnings of life out on ice." Children can learn about the life cycle of these seals, the background of the hunting of "whitecoats" for their fur, and the personal encounter of a child with animals that have been a controversial symbol of wildlife conservation for decades.

To learn more about seals visit:
Seal Conservation Society

      Grades: 2nd to 5th

  Searching for Grizzlies

by Ron Hirschi

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Animals  : Mammals

Ron Hirschi and wildlife photographer Tom Mangelsen take readers into The Greater Yellowstone in search of the rare, endangered grizzly bear who once roamed freely throughout most of the American West. Dramatic color photographs of bears in the wilderness and vivid descriptions provide a fascinating glimpse into behavior, feeding habits, and natural habitat of this species, one of the largest of land carnivores. Readers can follow grizzlies from the time when they awaken in the early spring to the fall when they prepare for their winter hibernation. Insets from Hirschi’s journal entries of a camping and hiking trip record actual encounters with adult bears and cubs as well as other indigenous wildlife -- black bears, coyotes, wolves, moose, elk, owls and trout --that share the grizzlies’ habitat in The Greater Yellowstone.

For more information, visit: www.savebiogems.org/bears/

      Grades: 3rd to 6th

  Shadows of the Night

by Barbara Bash

PAPERBACK
Animals : Mammals

"One of the most common bats in North America is the Little Brown Bat. . . . Barbara Bash takes us through a year in the life of a little brown bat beginning with its birth in early spring. At first the bat clings to its mother who tucks it snugly beneath her wing and carries it with her. After a few days, the mother places the baby in a 'nursery', a cluster of hundreds of other baby bats. In about three weeks, the pups begin to fly, and by the time they're a month old, they can hunt with their mothers. Late in summer, they gather and mate. As the weather cools, they head for hibernation caves where they sleep all winter waking only once or twice until spring arrives." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (January/February 1995) published by CCEL.

The fascinating life cycle of the little brown bat will intrigue children, especially the depictions of the intimate relationship of the mother and pup and the first, confused attempts of the young bats to learn to fly. Besides the engrossing, lucid descriptions of this species' flight patterns and use of echolocation to hunt for insects, "More About Bats" at the end of the book provides supplementary facts about bats, the only mammals that fly, illustrations of several bat species found throughout the world and information for constructing a bat house.

See also:
Sandra Markle's Little Lost Bat

For further information, visit:
Bat Conservation international

      Grades: 1st to 5th

  Siwiti -- A Whale's Story

by Alexandra Morton

PAPERBACK
Habitats & Ecosystems
Animals  : Mammals

Siwiti – A Whale’s Story is the captivating insight into the first year in the life of an orca off the coast of British Columbia in western Canada. Basing Siwiti’s adventures on events witnessed over 11 years of observing orcas, marine researcher Alexandra Morton narrates the year-long adventures of a young killer whale from the moment when she is born and comes to the surface of the ocean to take her first breath. As Siwiti grows under the watchful care of her family, she interacts and plays with her group and other pods of orcas, learns to “see” through sound to chase down salmon, encounters seals, porpoises, deer and humans, explores the mysterious underwater kelp forest and narrowly escapes from aggressive stellar sea lions. Stunning photographs by Robin and Alexandra Morton capture close-up views of the orcas and the magnificent beauty of the ocean habitat in the Pacific Northwest that is home to Siwiti’s pod.

See also:http://raincoastresearch.org/orca.htm

      Grades: 3rd to 7th

  Snow Leopard (First Wonder of Nature Board Books)

by Lynne Cherry

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Animals  : Mammals

Cherry's beautifully illustrated board book introduces toddlers and preschoolers to the mountain world of an endangered baby snow leopard and instills a basic appreciation of the natural world in the young child.

      Grades: Preschool

  Snowy White World to Save

by Stephanie Lisa Tara

HARDCOVER
Environmental Themes : Global Warming
Animals  : Mammals

This large format picture book with beautiful watercolor illustrations offers young children a glimpse at the Arctic world of the polar bear and the impact of global warming. The short verses vividly depict how a mother bear with her two cubs thrive in this pristine, icy world and hunt for food; but as the ice floes melt, they are forced to seek food from piles of garbage. The book concludes with an upbeat note that kids can take action to save this "snowy white world" of the polar bear, listing a number of simple everyday actions to help stop global warming as well as websites to learn more about this important issue.

See also: Carol Carrick's, Polar Bears Are Hungry

To learn more about global warming and polar bears visit:
ClimateCrisis.net
Polar Bear SOS
NRDC's website on Global Warming
StopGlobalWarming.org
World Wildlife Fund's Polar Bear Tracker, and
BioGems website Polar Bears on Thin Ice to find a Kid's Polar Action Guide.

      Grades: Preschool to 2nd

  Stellaluna

by Janell Cannon

HARDCOVER
Animals : Mammals

"The baby fruit bat Stellaluna becomes separated from her mother and ends up among a family of birds. With nowhere to go and no way to get food, Stellaluna quickly adapts to the birds' way of life, eating bugs, sleeping in a nest, and never ever hanging by her feet. One day, while hanging by her arms, Stellaluna is discovered by her lost family of bats. After being reunited with Mother Bat, she learns bat behavior, and enthusiastically tries to share things such as eating mangoes and flying at night with her bird friends. Exquisite pencil and acrylic illustrations portray the creatures in a realistic, yet playful manner. Eventually, the birds and the bats learn, as all good friends must, that relationships are based on appreciating one another's differences." From Bringing the World Alive: A Bibliography of Nature Stories for Children, published by The Orion Society.

"Stellaluna is endearing and will go a long way to dispel misperceptions about bats." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (January/February 1995) published by CCEL.

        Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Stickeen: John Muir and the Brave Little Dog

by John Muir (retold by Donnell Rubay)

PAPERBACK
Experience of Nature
Animals  : Mammals

This classic, true story, as retold by Donnell Rubay, of the renown environmentalist and explorer John Muir and the dog Stickeen portrays the adventures of their crossing of the Taylor Glacier in Alaska during a snowstorm of 1880. Illustrated with dramatic, full-color paintings, showing close-ups and panoramic views of the two adventurers, the story recounts the intimate bond that grew out of the ordeals they faced together in crossing the crevasses of the great mountain of ice. Narrated in first person, Muir's observations of Stickeen, his descriptions of their travels, hopes and fears create an engrossing, imaginative journey for children.

        Grades: Preschool to 7th

  Stranger in the Woods

by Carl R. Sams II & Jean Stoick

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Animals  : Mammals

This "photographic fantasy" is an enchanting journey into a winter wonderland of a snow-covered forest where animals discover a stranger, a carrot-nosed snowman, created for them by two young, curious onlookers. The full-page color photographs, including numerous close-ups, provide a wealth of beautiful imagery, capturing the woodland inhabitants -- bluejays, owls, mourning doves, muskrats, squirrels, porcupine, rabbits, chickadees, mice, cardinals and deer -- as they investigate and "discuss" amongst themselves the presence of the mysterious snow creature. A "Recipe for a Snowman" that includes birdseed, corn and a carrot to provide food for wildlife is included.

      Grades: Kindergarten & Up

  Swift as the Wind: The Cheetah

by Barbara Juster Esbensen

HARDCOVER
Animals : Mammals
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

"Swift as the Wind offers children a glimpse of life on the African savannah and the family life of the cheetah and some reasons it is endangered today. . . . This beautifully illustrated book presents facts in a straight-forward way that children can understand. It describes the relationship between predator and prey and stresses the role of each in the survival of the species. The author offers her readers a role in the preservation of habitat and species on the African savannah. She explains how scientists can help 'these unique and spectacular animals outrun the shadows of extinction that may be closing in on them'." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (Fall 1998) published by CCEL.

      Grades: 1st to 4th

  Waiting for the Whales

by Sheryl McFarlane

PAPERBACK
Experience of Nature
Animals  : Mammals

"This book subtly shows one family's journey through the cycles of nature and the cycles of life. Grandfather gardens in summer, walks in the woods in autumn, and observes the eagles, herons, and seals all year long. But each year, the most remarkable thing is the migration of the orcas, who come one summer evening on their way up the coast. When grandfather dies, the granddaughter continues the tradition of waiting for the whales, knowing that her grandfather's spirit is likely roaming the seas with the orcas that he loved so dearly. Soft, evocative illustrations sensitively follow the story through each season." From Bringing the World Alive: A Bibliography of Nature Stories for Children, published by The Orion Society.

      Grades: Kindergarten to 3rd

  Whale Rescue

by Erich Hoyt

HARDCOVER
Animals : Mammals
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Whale Rescue explores the plight of many species of whales around the world that over nine centuries have been hunted to near extinction and provides an insight into the work of conservationists worldwide dedicated to protecting the remaining whales. The book includes numerous photos of close-ups of whales as well as historical images of commercial whaling. Besides the threats from commercial whaling, the remaining populations of these magnificent animals, some of which were 90% decimated through hunting, now also face declining numbers from pollution, overfishing and entanglements in fishing equipment. Author Erich Hoyt, who is a researcher with the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, also offers an insight into the traits and behaviors of different whale species – migrations, songs, social structures and reproduction -- besides describing the efforts of scientists, conservationists and several governments to save these spectacular mammals from an uncertain future.

        Grades: 4th to 8th

  Whales Passing

by Eve Bunting

PAPERBACK
Experience of Nature
Animals  : Mammals

Standing on the edge of a cliff overlooking the ocean, a young boy and father gaze out to watch a pod of orcas streaming through the waters below and imagine the underwater world of these magnificent creatures. Images of orcas glide across the pages of this beautiful picture book that introduces these fascinating ocean mammals to young readers.

      Grades: Preschool to 2nd

  The Whales' Song

by Dyan Sheldon

PAPERBACK
Experience of Nature
Animals  : Mammals

"A young child is struck by her grandmother's stories of how whales will sing to an attentive listener. In spite of her great-uncle's beliefs that whales are only good for the products they offer humans, the child offers a gift to the whales. In the middle of the night she does indeed hear them singing to her. The soft and sensitive oil paintings coupled with the text validate a child's sense of imagination and wonder -- whales really can sing if you know how to listen." From Bringing the World Alive: A Bibliography of Nature Stories for Children, published by The Orion Society.

"There are many good children's books about whales but Gary Blythe's paintings in Whale's Song are exquisite, ethereal and magical." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (September/October 1994) published by CCEL.

        Grades: Preschool to 2nd

  When the Wolves Return

by Ron Hirschi

HARDCOVER
Animals : Mammals
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

"Imagine a world where the wolves have returned. This book is a plea to the younger generation to help bring them back. It describes why the wolves disappeared and what the world would look like if their song once again filled the night. Now, because of a change in attitudes, the sound of the wolf is returning to the land." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (January/February 1999) published by CCEL.

Mangelsen's magnificent photographs complement the text which lucidly, yet poetically places in perspective the role of the wolf in maintaining the delicate balance of nature. Beautiful photographic images of bears, elk, moose, geese, owls, caribou, hares, fox and coyotes -- the hunters and the hunted -- show the creatures that share the wolf's wild habitat. Citing Iroquois and Pacific Northwest Coast Indian legends and attitudes toward their world, the author describes how the Native Americans lived in harmony with the earth, in particular with the wolves.

      Grades: 4th and up

  When the Wolves Returned: Restoring Nature's Balance in Yellowstone

by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent

HARDCOVER
Animals : Mammals
Habitats & Ecosystems 

Patent’s concise, informative and engaging text, describing how the reintroduction of wolves restored the balance in the Yellowstone ecosystem, is complemented by historical and recent full-color photography of the wolves and Yellowstone, its majestic geological wonders and native wildlife. Yellowstone was established in 1872 as a national park to preserve its geologic wonders of geysers, canyons, boiling hot pools, and mud pots "for the benefit and enjoyment of the people". To preserve the big game animals, hunters were paid to kill wolves and by 1926 not a single wolf was left in the lower 48 states. With the wolves gone, the elk and coyote populations in Yellowstone flourished. As time passed, however, the elk ate the young shoots and bark of trees that had provided food and nesting sites for songbirds as well as wood for beavers to build lodges and dams which had created ponds used by dragonflies, ducks and moose. Coyotes, now Yellowstone’s top predator, killed elk calves and newborn pronghorn fawns and ate animals that other smaller predators, such as foxes, hawks, owls and badgers, needed to survive. With the disappearance of wolves the balance of the complex ecosystem had been upset. Over time scientists began to realize the important, essential role played by wolves as a keystone species in an ecosystem where wolves had lived along with other animals for thousands of years. After an absence of almost seventy years, in 1995 several packs of wolves captured in Canada were introduced back into Yellowstone. Gradually nature’s balance in Yellowstone has been restored – "Returning the wolf is helping to make Yellowstone whole again. "

See also:
Jean Craighead George's The Wolves Are Back
Stephen Swinburne's Once A Wolf: How Wildlife Biologists Fought to Bring Back the Gray Wolf
Janni Howker's Walk with a Wolf /a>

To learn more about wolves, visit:
NRDC's
Save BioGems
Yellowstone National Park.com
Yellowstone Wolves.org

      Grades: 2nd & up

  Winter Whale

by Joanne Ryder

PAPERBACK
Habitats & Ecosystems
Animals  : Mammals

A boy imagining that he is transformed into a humpback whale explores the underwater home of this magnificent mammal where he comes across a pod of whales as well as other creatures of the ocean. This "first-hand experience" affords young readers a unique perspective of the movements and behavior of whales and their communication through song as well as vivid illustrations of their underwater habitat, inspired by the waters around the Hawaiian Islands. The "Author's Note" provides factual information about the physical characteristics, migratory patterns and behavior of humpback whales.

        Grades: Kindergarten to 3rd

  With Love

by Jane Goodall

HARDCOVER
Naturalists & Their Work
Animals  : Mammals

Ten stories of chimpanzees in the wild, recounted by Jane Goodall, whose pioneering work on chimpanzee behavior is world renown, present incidents showing the social interactions between chimpanzees as well as Goodall's intimate knowledge of and personal encounters with individual chimps. David Greybeard, Prof and Pax, Mel and Spindle, Gigi and Freud, Gremlin and Gimble, Flo and Flint become more than names to children as they learn of the personalities and personal experiences of these individual chimps in the wild. Based upon Goodall's experiences with chimpanzees in Gombe National Park in Tanzania over a period of almost forty years, these engrossing, moving and at times amusing stories with ink-and-watercolor illustrations of the individual chimps present the complexity of their emotions, the affectionate bonding, caring and struggles between and beyond family members and the level of understanding and communication shown by these fascinating primates. Goodall supplements the stories with information about the plight of chimpanzees throughout the world as well as organizations including Roots and Shoots which she founded for young people to improve their world.

For more information, visit www.janegoodall.org

        Grades: Kindergarten to 4th

  Wolf Island

by Celia Godkin

PAPERBACK
Habitats & Ecosystems
Animals  : Mammals

Based upon an actual event that occured in Northern Ontario, Canada, Wolf Island chronicles the changes in the balance of nature that take place when a family of wolves is relocated from an island. The chain reaction that filters down through the levels of the food chain gradually affects all forms of life, both vegetative and animal. Deer, squirrels, owls and mice soon face starvation when the top predators -- the wolves -- are removed from the island. Author and illustrator Celia Godkin’s picture book lucidly depicts the key role of wolves in maintaining the delicate balance of ecosystems.

        Grades: 1st to 4th

  The Wolves

by Brian J. Heinz

HARDCOVER
Animals : Mammals
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Dramatically illustrated with ephemeral paintings, this book realistically and powerfully portrays a clan of wolves as they search for food during the cold of winter. Although the wolves track and hunt down an elderly, sick elk, the portrayal is not graphically violent gore, but realistically direct in showing the struggle for survival and in providing a better understanding of pack behavior and the role of the alpha leader, Pahtoo, around whom this text centers. The preface by the author provides a brief historical perspective and explains the threat of extinction faced by these mammals.

      Grades: Kindergarten to 4th

  The Wonder of Wolves (The Wonder Series)

by Sandra Chisholm Robinson

PAPERBACK
Animals : Mammals
Field Guides & Activity Books 

This story and activity book includes the Native American story "The Mask of the Wolf" as well as engrossing activities and games designed for adults and children to explore together the physical attributes, habitats and behavior of wolves -- "Build a Wolf", "Origami Wolf Pack", "Moose Hunt", making a Native American (Nuu-chah-nulth tribe) wolf mask, "Watching Wolves" that includes a listing of zoos where wolves may be seen, and other activities to explore topics such as their endangered status. "New Homes for Wolves" and "Restoration Riddles" present the restoration of wolves into Yellowstone. This informative and captivating book with black-and-white illustrations is published in cooperation with the Denver Museum of Natural History.

      Grades: 3rd to 6th