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Winding Oak's Bookology Magazine

Untamed Companion Booktalks

To get you started on the Bookstorm™ Books …

Chimpanzees I Love  

The Chimpanzees I Love: Saving Their World and Ours

Jane Goodall
Scholastic Press, 2001 

  • Uses stories of individual chimpanzees to share information about chimpanzee behavior and their environment as well as the author’s own biography

  • Heavily illustrated with engaging photos

  • Wealth of information presented in narrative, sidebar commentary, picture captions, quotations, and back matter

The Elephant Scientist


The Elephant Scientist

Caitlin O’Connell and Donna M. Jackson
illustrated by Timothy Rodwell
Houghton Mifflin, 2011

  • Follows Caitlin O’Connell in her study of elephants in Africa in Etosha National Park and in engaging well-organized text shows a scientist at work

  • Elephant behavior is amazing!

  • Heavily photo-illustrated with informative captions



Friends: True Stories of Extraordinary Animal Friendships

Catherine Thimmesh
Houghton Mifflin, 2011

  • Rhyming text celebrates the true-life animal friendships that are depicted in very appealing, large color photos

  • Includes backstory of each friendship

  • Stories are from around the world: India, Indonesia, Europe, Japan, and North America

Gorilla Doctors  

Gorilla Doctors: Saving Endangered Great Apes

Pamela S. Turner
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2008

  • Book opens with an engaging bang: the true story of a single Gorilla, Mararo, who has been injured when caught in a poacher’s trap

  • In addition to the story of the doctors caring for these threatened animals, the book includes background information about gorillas and human intrusion into gorilla habitats

  • Primarily photo illustrated, but also includes several helpful maps

Hope for the Animals  

Hope for Animals and Their World: How Endangered Species Are Being Rescued from the Brink

Jane Goodall, Gail Hudson, and Thane Maynard
Grand Central Publishing, 2009

  • Survival stories about conservation efforts to bring back endangered species and to protect their habitats

  • Stories are from around the globe and focus on appealing animals (Abbott’s Booby in Australia, Pygmy Hog in India, American Crocodile in the U.S.)

  • Published for adults, but the stories are short (8-10) and photo illustrated (including many color plates) and will engage strong readers 10 and up

Life in the Ocean  

Life in the Ocean: the Story of Oceanographer Sylvia Earle

written and illustrated by Claire Nivola
Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2012

  • Biography of ocean scientist Earle, who lived on a farm as a child

  • Illustrations target ocean life and details of Earle’s story that will catch the eye and hold interest of young readers: aqua suits, submersibles, whales, and a multitude of fish and other sea creatures

  • Includes author’s note and bibliography

Magic Gourd  

The Magic Gourd

written and illustrated by Baba Wague Diakite
Scholastic Press, 2003

  • A folk tale from Mali involving many animal characters—great for read-alouds

  • Illustrated by Coretta Scott King Honoree (for A Hunterman and the Crocodile: A West African Folktale)

  • Back matter include glossary and notes on author’s native Mali

termites on a stick  

Termites on a Stick

written and illustrated by Michéle Colon
Star Bright Books, 2008

  • One of Dr. Goodall’s most important discoveries was the observation that chimpanzees contrive and use tools, which shattered the prevailing idea that only humans were toolmakers and users; this book transfers that important observation into a child-friendly story

  • Appealing illustrations and mother-child narrative will appeal to young readers and listeners

  • Back matter includes helpfully illustrated information about chimpanzees and termites

Tree Lady  

Tree Lady: the True Story of How One Tree-Loving Woman Changed a City Forever

H. Joseph Hopkins
illustrated by Jill McElmurry
Beach Lane Books/Simon & Schuster, 2013

  • Picture book bio of Kate Sessions, the first woman to graduate from the U of Californian in science and who transformed the bare desert in and around San Diego into a horticultural oasis

  • Lush, engaging illustrations

  • Author’s note includes additional biographical material for Sessions


Unlikely friendships  

Unlikely Friendships: 47 Remarkable Stories from the Animal Kingdom

Jennifer Holland
Workman, 2011

  • While short (3-5 pages), each story gives ample information for reports  

  • Stories are from around zoos and animal rehabilitation centers around the world

  • Photo illustrated

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