July 9, 2015

If I Had a Raptor by George O’Connor

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 1:28 am by suebe2

raptorIf I Had a Raptor
by George O’Connor
Candlewick Press

In this first person story, the narrator explains what it would be like to have a raptor as a pet.  Of course, you would have to get a raptor when it was still quite young and tiny.  Because your shy, skittish raptor would be prone to hiding in the apartment, it would be necessary to bell it. As your raptor grows, she will be easier to find but that bell is still a good idea for altogether different reasons.   Cat people won’t even have to ask why.

In fact, the raptor in this book is portrayed as quite cat-like.  She has to be taught not to claw the furniture, claws need to be trimmed and she even gets stepped on in the dark.

But like any good cat owner, the narrator doesn’t see these as bad things or her raptor as a bad pet.  As any pet owner knows, having a pet you love is the best thing ever.

O’Connor’s pencil and watercolor artwork is fun and cartoony and keeps it from being altogether creepy when the raptor is stalking the narrator through the house.  Although O’Connor’s raptor is capable of some purely predatory facial expressions, she looks so much like an enormous, fluffy blue road runner that she is hard to truly fear.  Yes, in some shots she looks positively feline but something about the tail is too birdlike to make that perception stick.

This book is a quick read and sure to set of discussions about what animals make good pets and which should be left in the wild.  No, the raptor in the story was not a wild capture.  She was adopted from a cardboard box of raptor kittens?  Babies?  Young?

Share this book to kick off discussions on pets and pet care and be ready for your young readers to be stalking you and each other through the halls.

–SueBE

 

 

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May 13, 2009

Dogfish by Gillian Shields

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , at 9:41 pm by suebe2

dogfishDogfish ( AR 2 . 7 )

by Gillian Shields

illustrated by Dan Taylor

Atheneum

When the narrator wishes for a dog, Mom resists his hypnotic eyes and reminds him that he has a perfectly good goldfish.   Next he points out a list of things that fish cannot do, but Mom holds firm.   Fortunately this particular goldfish has hypnotic eyes and he uses them to convince his young owner that he is more than an ordinary goldfish.

This book may not be the best for bedtime because the funny parts will make you laugh out loud when someone should be quieting down.  The hypnotic eyes are especially hilarious although in our home they are known as Bambi eyes.

Dan Taylor’s colorful illustrations are simple but manage to convey the range of emotions that children feel when forced to ask their parents for things that they really want but almost certainly will not get.

This book is straightforward enough for the preschool crowd but the illustrations take it to a level that even older elementary students can appreciate. 

Another excellent jumping off point for discussions on simplicity, loving what you have, and not taking things for granted. 

–SueBE

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