Animal Stories: Heartwarming True Tales from the Animal Kingdom

Jane Yolen and Heidi E.Y., Adam, and Jason Stemple, illus. by Jui Ishida. National Geographic Kids, $24.99 (160p) ISBN 978-1-4263-1725-5
Yolen and her children present 19 true stories about unusual animals. While anchored in reality, the vibrant storytelling and Ishida’s bold, posterlike acrylics occasionally invoke the feeling of folktales, as in the story of a flock of sacred geese that inadvertently aided besieged Roman soldiers in 390 B.C.E. Animals well-established in popular culture—Pale Male, Owen and Mzee, Seabiscuit, and Christian the lion, among them—join less familiar accounts, including one about an orphaned seal pup that learned to utter several phrases, including “How are ya?” and “Come over here,” in a thick Maine accent. Sidebars provide historical, scientific, and social context, and moments of humor, warmth, and surprise run throughout this collection. All ages. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/06/2014
Release date: 10/14/2014
Library Binding - 159 pages - 978-1-4263-1726-2
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