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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