Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Nonfiction Monday-- Pets

Middle school students love to read about cats and dogs. Either they have them, or they wish they had them. My Dorling-Kindersley and ASPCA god and cat care manuals are falling to pieces, so I was looking around for some other books about pets. And just so you know, I decided NOT to let my dog "write" the reviews. It may be January, but I'm not that many kinds of crazy. Yet.

Brownlee, Christen. Cute, Furry and Deadly: Diseases You Can Catch from Your Pet!
The Scholastic 24/7 books on war are very popular in my library, so I looked into the Science Behind the Scenes series. This volumn presents several real life cases where pets made their owners very sick-- prarie dogs with monkey pox, kittens with rabies, and baby chicks with salmonella. Medical terms are explained, all article are well-illustrated, and additional information is given about zoonotic diseases. Scientists who worked on the real life cases are also profiled. A glossary and resource pages are included at the end of the book.
Strengths: Rabid kitties-- what's not to like? The short chapters will appeal to nonfiction readers who like a little bit of text with their pictures.
Weaknesses: While this has really good information, I find the format hard to read. This will not be the book for my students wanting information about animal care, but will be great for the students who like grossology type books. I still like the Sheila Keenan Animals in the House for a good overview of the history of pets.

Klam, Julie. You Had Me At Woof: How Dogs Taught me the Secrets of Happiness.
This memoir is not really suitable for middle school students, but I treat myself to the occasional adult book on Friday evenings, because my life is just that exciting! Ms. Klam was trying to figure out her single life and her career when she decided that a dog was what she needed. Enter Otto, a Boston terrier, who so endeared himself to Ms. Klam that she got involved with a Boston terrier rescue group and started fostering dogs. She eventually got married and had a daughter, but continued to make the dogs a very big part of her life. I wouldn't say that this book, or the dogs, really taught me much about the secrets of happiness, but it was an amusing read, and it encouraged me to rub Sylvie's tummy while I read it. Warning: several dogs pass away in this book. Sad.

Lemke, Don. The Amazing Mini-Mutts.
Capstone Publishers, February 2012
E ARC from Netgalley.com
This is certainly fiction, and for grades 1-3, but it was so cute that I had to take a look, even though it is waaaay on the elementary side of the Pilkey side. The Mini-Mutts are tiny little fuzzy crime fighters who are going up against Brainicat, who is evil. The text is simple, the pictures bright, and my children would have loved these when they were emergent readers. This would also be a good book to, um, read to your dog!

Nonfiction Monday was created by Ms. Suen, and today's roundup is hosted at Shelf-Employed.


  1. I got a couple of those Super Pets for free from my Capstone rep and they are indeed a hit with my elementary students.

  2. Is the posting date on these books messed up? It just showed up in my reader, it's labeled Monday, and the date on top is Tuesday. Not that I'm stalking your blog or anything.

    The Woof book looks great for a friend of mine who likes dog books (adult friend). I think my younger son would like the deadly pets book, and maybe his dad would accept it as a nonfiction -- he's always nagging the boys to read "real" books.

  3. I've been trying to plan my posts ahead so they can be thematically related and more organized, but I'm still working out the bugs. Sometimes the date I set up the posting shows up, sometimes it doesn't. I'm working on it-- good eye!

  4. Cute, furry, and Deadly - that's certainly a title that'll turn kids' heads! Thanks for participating in Nonfiction Monday.

  5. Hi Miss Yingling! These are such great treats! Three books in one - and different genre at that. Many thanks as well for sharing the high and low points of each book as you see them. I'm particularly intrigued with You had me at Woof - I would also endeavor to read more 'adult' and more YA books this year. :) Last year was the year of picture book for me. :)

  6. Anonymous9:54 PM EST

    Mini Mutts sound like just the books for my grandson!