Monday, September 11, 2017

Cat tales by Aline Alexander Newman; 125 Pet Rescues

National Geographic children's books vary widely from popular factoid books to more in-depth research titles. Today I'm looking at two of the more factoid type books dealing with a popular subject - animals.

Cat Tales is a small, compact book filled with cute, funny, and interesting stories about cats. The stories are divided into sections like "Adventurous," "Caring," and "Curious." There are stories about cats like Dodger, who rode a bus in England every day, Bagel who has an eye condition that requires sunglasses and raises money for cats in need, and Monty who could detect when his owner had low blood sugar. Mixed in with the stories are photos of cats, facts about cats, historical information, and answers to cat questions from veterinarian Dr. Gary Weitzman. There is a forward by Mieshelle Nagelschneider, founder of a clinic for cat behavior, and a section at the end about taking photos of your cat. The final spread includes books, movies, and organizations to learn more about cats and help them.

The second animal book actually includes some of the same cat stories. 125 Pet Rescues tells stories of animals rescued, rehabilitated, adopted, or kept in sanctuaries. The book begins with a foreward by Gregory Castle, CEO of an animal shelter and an enconium for shelter staff and patrons. There are a handful of stories about various rescued animals then the stories are divided into roughly similar groups. Pit bulls, animals that are friends with other animals, animals involved in sports, friendly animals, animals from history and many more. Most of the stories are a few paragraphs long, paired with a photograph and occasionally some cute speech bubbles. The layout includes National Geographic's usual bright orange, yellow, and blue color scheme. The final pages include ways to get involved with helping animals, an interview with an educator who teaches about humane treatment of animals, and an index and photo credits. Generally, this book felt more like a lengthy magazine than a narrative.

Kids will love the sweet stories of animals and all the adorable photographs. I'm always a bit....doubtful about so many stories of animals with severe injuries or disabilities though. Somehow it just seems weird that people spend so much time, energy, and money on these animals and I'm a little skeptical about the quality of life they have. It's a sharp contrast to how humans with disabilities or special needs are often treated or viewed. I'm really not sentimental about animals though, so I know a lot of people feel differently. And kids really love animals so these books are sure to be hits.

Verdict: Not necessary purchases, but for reluctant readers and browsing these are a good addition to your animal sections. Sure to be popular with pet lovers and those who enjoy cute cat videos on the internet.

Cat Tales
ISBN: 9781426327346

125 Pet Rescues
ISBN: 9781426327360

Published 2017 by National Geographic Kids; Review copies provided by the publisher; Donated to the library

No comments: