Review: Simpson’s Sheep Won’t Go To Sleep by Bruce Arant

Simpson’s Sheep Won’t Go to Sleep by Bruce Arant is a fun and colorful picture book. Drawing on his personal experience as a parent and a sense of humor, Arant has created an imaginative fun twist on a familiar bedtime struggle of putting young ones to sleep. His pastel illustrations also help bring Simpson’s farm to life. “I need a drink.” “I want a snack.” “I have to go!” Every last one of these laments are excuses we’ve all heard one time or another. They’re also all complaints that Farmer Simpson is plagued with on a nightly basis. The difference … Continue reading Review: Simpson’s Sheep Won’t Go To Sleep by Bruce Arant

Review: Rabbit Hill by Robert Lawson

“This here hill is full of animals,” says Tim to Louie, two of the human characters in Rabbit Hill by Robert Lawson. This statement is true of the hill, which boasts rabbits, squirrels, mice, woodchucks, skunks, moles, and deer. The statement is also true of the book, which is about a rabbit family and their critter friends. If you like animals, especially those found in the country, you will treasure this tale. The book begins, as all good stories should, with the excitement of change: “On every side there arose a continual chattering and squeaking, whispering and whistling, as the … Continue reading Review: Rabbit Hill by Robert Lawson

Review: Two in The Cricket Series by George Seldon

One night I was coming home on the subway, and I did hear a cricket chirp in Times Square. The story formed in my mind within minutes. —George Seldon, Wikipedia Tucker Mouse. Harry Cat. Chester Cricket. These three creatures are George Selden’s most famous characters. I have loved all four books about them since my childhood. When my cat Lucy took sick back in December of 2013, I pulled the set from my shelves to read aloud during her convalescence. Although she never recovered, our family’s three current pets have been treated to hearing one chapter per day. The unique plot … Continue reading Review: Two in The Cricket Series by George Seldon

Review: Bird and Squirrel on the Run by James Burks

Today I’m reprinting the first in a series of animal book reviews selected from my former blog Allison’s Book Bag. The initial reviews will focus on backyard animals, just to add a little variety. I’ll start with one published in 2013, but seven years later remains enjoyable to read. Allison’s Book Bag ran from 2010 to 2018. During that time, I reviewed a lot of animal books, most of which I have yet to feature here. I also still occasionally receive books to review, and so at some point will post new reviews. As I noted in a recent article, … Continue reading Review: Bird and Squirrel on the Run by James Burks

NKC’s Manual to Setting up a Kitten Nursery

In this second interview of a three-part series, I interview Laura Baughman, the Executive Director of The National Kitten Coalition. She spoke on the topic of “Starting and Operating a Successful Kitten Nursery—Lessons Learned” this past June when the Community … Continue reading NKC’s Manual to Setting up a Kitten Nursery

Review: Two Books About Animal Rescuers

I enjoy reading books about animal rescue. Me, My Ferals, and I by Christine Booras is a heartfelt story about community cats, while Dogtripping by David Rosenfelt is a humorous story about shelter dogs. Both will resonate with anyone who cares about the plight of homeless pets. You might also pick practical tips on what to do, should you be inspired to become an animal welfare advocate. October 2008, Christine Booras saw a stealthy shadow moving, small and dark, and peering through the door of her Tai Chi studio. That glimpse, which turned out to be a confident cat, changed … Continue reading Review: Two Books About Animal Rescuers

Review: Cats on the Job

Before I started to blog, if you had asked me to name jobs that pets do, I could have named several … and all of them would have been related to dogs. Should I have even thought of cats, I might have pointed out their ability to catch rodent. Yet cats are much more clever and versatile that most of us give them credit. You just need to read Lisa Rogak’s Cats on the Job to discover not just one or ten but fifty ways that cats purr, mouse, and even sing for their supper. In her colorful and photo-rich … Continue reading Review: Cats on the Job

Review: Things Your Dog Doesn’t Want You to Know

Things Your Dog Doesn’t Want You to Know by Hy Conrad and Jeff Johnson is a cute and funny book designed to entertain. For the most part, the comedy works. And while you’re unlikely to turn to Things Your Dog Doesn’t Want You to Know for reference, it does make a great addition to a bathroom shelf or any place you might need some relaxed readings. Sometimes, you’ll even learn a few things about man’s best friend. Oh, and it’s mostly safely for the entire family to read. Cute and funny require a delicate balancing act. Lean too far left or … Continue reading Review: Things Your Dog Doesn’t Want You to Know

Review: Three Dog Cozy Mysteries

A while ago, I treated myself to three cat cozy mysteries. All three are titles my husband bought for me at a library book sale. The first is by an author (David Rosenfelt) whom I know about through the animal rescue world, while the others are by authors with four or five-star ratings at Cozy Mystery List. My interest in the Andy Carpenter mysteries by David Rosenfelt comes from my having read his funny account of the start of a dog rescue foundation. The series contains sixteen titles to date and features a reluctant attorney who is most likely to … Continue reading Review: Three Dog Cozy Mysteries

Review: Three Cat Cozy Mysteries

A while ago, I treated myself to three cat cozy mysteries. I picked random titles by two authors with whose names I have long heard of (Lillian Jackson Braun and Rite Mae Brown) and the first title in a series by an author (Sofie Kelly) whose books I discovered at a library book sale. My interest in The Cat Who mysteries by Lillian Jackson Braun books comes from my mother-in-law having a dozen of them on her shelves. The series contains thirty titles and features journalist James Qwilleran and his two Siamese cats Yum Yum and Koko. In The Cat … Continue reading Review: Three Cat Cozy Mysteries

Review: Jenny and the Cat Club

A cat acquaintance of mine recommended Jenny and the Cat Club by Esther Averill to me. She and her children find it their favorite book about cats. After realizing that Averill was the author of the I Can Read picture book The Fire Cat, I bought a copy of Jenny and the Cat Club for myself and another cat friend. Since then, I have come to adore this series of stories about a cute black kitty and hope you will too. Jenny Linsky is a shy cat. This is my number one reason for liking Averill’s stories. The literary world … Continue reading Review: Jenny and the Cat Club

Interview with Author H.S. Toshack

I now interrupt my series of reviews to bring you an interview with H.S. Toshack. If you love animal books, and especially if you enjoyed Watership Down by Richard Adams, seek out the Paka Mdogo stories. You will not be disappointed! ALLISON: What took you to the Caribbean, Africa, Thailand, the Middle East, and now Portugal? H.S. TOSHACK: Here’s a general answer to begin with: a desire to engage with worlds beyond the one I grew up in. Why those particular places, however? They all offered a combination of rich experiences and equally rich professional opportunities – in other words … Continue reading Interview with Author H.S. Toshack