Kids’ Book Corner: Be Kind to Animals Week

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JoPerry75BY JO PERRY

May 2-10 is Be Kind to Animals Week, a time to appreciate the animals that enrich our lives and an opportunity to renew our commitment to animals in need.

Two new picture books present endearing animal characters and celebrate their collaboration with human friends: Pantaloon by Kathryn Jackson, deliciously re-illustrated by Steven Salerno, is the classic Golden Book story of a bicycle-riding standard poodle hooked on pastries who longs to work in the local bake shop.

Erroll by Hannah Shaw tells the story of a boy who discovers a talking squirrel in a package of nuts. Nutty and wonderful illustrations enhance the simple story of camaraderie and adventure.

The White Giraffe by Lauren St. John tells the story of a lonely girl and a rare white giraffe that becomes her friend. On the night before her eleventh birthday, a fire takes the lives of Martine’s parents and destroys her home. More shocks come when Martine learns that she must leave England and live on a South African game reserve with a grandmother she’s never met. The Sawubona reserve is home to wild and rescued ostriches, wildebeest, kudus, leopards, warthogs, baboons and waterbucks.

By day elephants and zebras graze beneath Martine’s bedroom window; at night she hears lions’ roars. But Martine’s remote grandmother tries to keep her away from the animals, and the caretaker insists that rumors she’s heard about a rare white giraffe are only stories. Then one gusty night the white giraffe appears outside Marine’s window and she braves the storm to join the solitary creature. The two enjoy a secret and joyous friendship until Martine makes a careless mistake and the giraffe disappears.

Be Kind to Animals:

The Humane Society (HumaneSociety.org) offers two contests for animal-loving kids — a Kindest Kid and A Lemonade for Shelter Aid Contest. The organization suggests six ways to be kind to animals this week and throughout the year:

Adopt a pet from a shelter or breed-specific rescue — you could save a life, in addition to finding a loving companion!

Report animal abuse — doing the right thing could mean stopping someone who abuses not only pets, but also people.

Spay or neuter your pets — in a world where millions of pets are euthanized due to overpopulation, it’s critical to do your part.

Live humanely with wildlife — it’s important to peacefully coexist with deer, bats, skunks, squirrels, raccoons and all living creatures.

Get active in local animal welfare policies and legislation — sign up to receive action alerts about issues affecting animals.

Teach humane values to kids — If you’re an educator at a school, shelter or library, download our Be Kind to Animals Week activities for students K-12.

Jo Perry has a Ph.D. in English, taught literature and writing, and worked as a college administrator and as a television writer and producer. She is a reviewer for BookBrowse.com and is an ongoing contributor to kidsLA Magazine for which she writes about the city, children’s books, and conducts interviews. For two years she wrote the Kids’ Book Club column for the L.A. Times’ Kids’ Reading Room page.

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About Karen Young

Karen Young is the founder of My Daily Find.

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