Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Real Animal Stories

A few months ago, I was contacted by Randy at The Benefactory and asked if I would review her company's books. We're a family of avid readers (OK, so I don't read as much as I used to, but I have a 2 year old excuse.), so I jumped on the chance to try out some new books for Cordy.

Randy sent us three books: Chessie, The Travelin' Man, Ruffle, Coo, and Hoo Doo, and Norman to the Rescue. Each softcover book is the true story of a real animal. Chessie is about a manatee who likes to roam up and down the eastern seaboard, Ruffle, Coo, and Hoo Doo are two green parrots and a great horned owl who co-exist in the same tree in Bridgeport, CT, and Norman is a blind shelter dog who saves a little girl from drowning.

I think what impressed me the most was the beautiful artwork. Each page is filled with bright colors and beautiful renditions of these animals. While the stories are aimed at somewhat older children, Cordy still enjoyed looking at the pictures and talking about what she saw. (Yes, I got to hear, "Itza kiiiiii!" each time I turned a page when reading Norman to the Rescue. Someday Cordy will learn what a dog is.) Many times I barely had time to read everything on the page, but I know that as she grows older she will be more willing to listen to the story.

Best of all, I've read these to Cordy several times now, and I still enjoy reading them. The stories are interesting, and the authors dig into the emotions of the events. I actually learned things from them as well - I had no idea that a manatee would swim in the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean, much less go as far as New England! I also love that there is a photo in the back of each book featuring the real animal the story is based on.

The Benefactory has books on lots of other animals, also, including condors, wolves, bears, loggerhead turtles, and more shelter kitties and dogs. Each story stresses the importance of animal protection.

So, if you like animal stories, I'd suggest giving The Benefactory a try. They get two thumbs up from me and a sticky high five from Cordy. (She can't do thumbs up yet. But high fives are high praise.)

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