Friends Indeed: Pets and Working Animals | Series Made Simple Spring 2011

SMS_LogoWeb.3(Original Import) Read Series Made Simple, School Library Journal's guide to the latest series nonfiction

Few topics are as universally and consistently appealing as pets, and children are fascinated by working animals. Whether kids are looking to learn more about their own (or potential) pets, or just want to browse through pictures of cute or interesting animals, many librarians no doubt find themselves constantly handing out books on furry companions. Luckily, there is no shortage of books on the topic this season. While cat breeds dominate, the titles also cover dogs and horses, as well as a selection of unusual pets.

Preschool—Grade 4

ilovemypug(Original Import)BEAL, Abigail. I Love My Beagle. ISBN 978-1-4488-2540-0; ISBN 978-1-4488-2833-3. LC 2010026240. ————. I Love My Dachshund. ISBN 978-1-4488-2537-0; ISBN 978-1-4488-2830-2. LC 2010025264. ————. I Love My German Shepherd. ISBN 978-1-4488-2535-6; ISBN 978-1-4488-2828-9. LC 2010020811. ————. I Love My Golden Retriever. ISBN 978-1-4488-2536-3; ISBN 978-1-4488-2829-6. LC 2010022369. ————. I Love My Pug. ISBN 978-1-4488-2539-4; ISBN 978-1-4488-2832-6. LC 2010025766. ————. I Love My Yorkshire Terrier. ISBN 978-1-4488-2538-7; ISBN 978-1-4488-2831-9. LC 2010025262. ea vol: 24p. (Top Dogs Series). photos. glossary. index. Web sites. CIP. Rosen/PowerKids Pr. 2011. PLB $21.25; ebook $21.25. Gr 1-4—Solid, vividly designed overviews. In chapter spreads such as “Size and Color” and “Why Pick a…,” short, informative texts appear opposite photographs and reproductions of dogs posed or in action. While the narratives are somewhat generic, they are straightforward and clear, and lengthy captions offer more detailed information. For example, the text accompanying a hunting picture in Beagles explains the Old-English origin of the breed’s name. Back matter includes a link to PowerKids’s web material, which includes some helpful sites among personal and ad-ridden selections. For established collections, this series adds no breeds beyond those frequently covered, but it is a great choice for libraries just building a collection. SMS1104w_hoffman_pets(Original Import)HOFFMAN, Mary Ann. Guard Dogs. ISBN 978-1-4339-4647-9; ISBN 978-1-4339-4650-9. LC 2010035241. ————. Helping Dogs. ISBN 978-1-4339-4651-6; ISBN 978-1-4339-4654-7. LC 2010035242. ————. Herding Dogs. ISBN 978-1-4339-4655-4; ISBN 978-1-4339-4658-5. LC 2010035243. ————. Police Dogs. ISBN 978-1-4339-4659-2; ISBN 978-1-4339-4662-2. LC 2010035244. RAJCZAK, Kristen. Pulling Dogs. ISBN 978-1-4339-4663-9; ISBN 978-1-4339-4666-0. LC 2010037168. ————. Rescue Dogs. ISBN 978-1-4339-4667-7; ISBN 978-1-4339-4670-7. LC 2010037169. ea vol: 24p. (Working Dogs Series). chart. photos. further reading. glossary. index. Web sites. CIP. Gareth Stevens. 2011. PLB $22.60; ebook $22.60. Gr 2-4—This series covers several types of working dogs and the training they receive. The short chapters, complemented by numerous color photographs, provide examples of particular breeds that do each job and show how their characteristics are suited for the tasks. The charts provided are especially helpful, covering commands and more specific tasks. There is enough information to make the texts feel fresh, and different further-reading resources are suggested in each book. Though some links are broken, many offer good information. A solid choice for readers looking for more than cute pictures. SMS1104w_landau_pets(Original Import)LANDAU, Elaine. American Shorthairs Are the Best! ISBN 978-0-7613-6430-6; ISBN 978-0-7613-7240-0. LC 2010024223. ————. Egyptian Maus Are the Best! reprods. ISBN 978-0-7613-6431-3; ISBN 978-0-7613-7241-7. LC 2010025509. ————. Maine Coons Are the Best! reprods. ISBN 978-0-7613-6426-9; ISBN 978-0-7613-7242-4. LC 2010008080. ————. Manx Are the Best! reprods. ISBN 978-0-7613-6432-0; ISBN 978-0-7613-7243-1. LC 2010024224. ————. Persians Are the Best! reprods. ISBN 978-0-7613-6425-2; ISBN 978-0-7613-7244-8. LC 2010025282. ————. Ragdolls Are the Best! reprods. ISBN 978-0-7613-6428-3; ISBN 978-0-7613-7245-5. LC 2010016848. ————. Siamese Are the Best! reprods. ISBN 978-0-7613-6427-6; ISBN 978-0-7613-7246-2. LC 2010027979. ————. Sphynx Are the Best! ISBN 978-0-7613-6429-0; ISBN 978-0-7613-7247-9. LC 2010028472. ea vol: 32p. (The Best Cats Ever Series). photos. further reading. glossary. index. Web sites. CIP. Lerner. 2011. PLB $25.26; ebook $18.95. Gr 1-3—Pithy blurbs provide an overview of each breed, complementing without overwhelming the highlight of the books: adorable photographs of cats. While the overuse of “best” and “cutest” make the books read like advertisements, there is some real information here, too. Emphasis is on making wise decisions when adopting, and though advice can be repetitive across titles, kids will come to understand, for example, that Persians need heavy grooming. While the print and online further- reading lists are helpful, the enhancements provided at the confusing Lerner-e-Source site have little value. The lack of detailed information prevents these titles from being stand-out breed books for the older end of the grade range, but they are excellent browsing choices. SMS1104w_linde_pets(Original Import)LINDE, Barbara M. Famous Horses. chart. reprods. ISBN 978-1-4339-4623-3; ISBN 978-1-4339-4626-4. LC 2010025938. ————. Horses in History. reprods. ISBN 978-1-4339-4627-1; ISBN 978-1-4339-4630-1. LC 2010030119. ————. Miniature Horses. chart. ISBN 978-1-4339-4631-8; ISBN 978-1-4339-4634-9. LC 2010029689. LORIA, Laura. Show Horses. chart. ISBN 978-1-4339-4639-4; ISBN 978-1-4339-4642-4. LC 2010030120. NAGLE, Jeanne. Working Horses. chart. ISBN 978-1-4339-4643-1; ISBN 978-1-4339-4646-2. LC 2010031273. SHEA, Therese. Racing Horses. chart. ISBN 978-1-4339-4635-6; ISBN 978-1-4339-4638-7. LC 2010031419. ea vol: 24p. (Horsing Around Series). photos. glossary. index. Web sites. CIP. Gareth Stevens. 2011. PLB $22.60; ebook $22.60. Gr 2-5—Horse lovers will delight in these information-packed volumes. Short chapters are paired with photographs of horses; reproductions of historical paintings or carvings; or, as in Horses in History, photos of scientists working with fossils. The writing is clear and easy to follow, and topic-specific charts provide additional information, such as on the races of the Triple Crown. While the suggestions for further reading are mainly informative, the annotated website listing offers resources that are often games or fun sites. Essential for libraries with horse fans; a solid purchase for others. SMS1104w_white_pets(Original Import)MARKOVICS, Joyce. Persians: Long-Haired Friends. ISBN 978-1-61772-141-0; ISBN 978-1-61772-190-8. LC 2010035155. OLDFIELD, Dawn Bluemel. Abyssinians: Egyptian Royalty? ISBN 978-1-61772-145-8; ISBN 978-1-61772-187-8. LC 2010038751. RUDOLPH, Jessica. American Shorthairs: Pioneers. ISBN 978-1-61772-143-4; ISBN 978-1-61772-188-5. LC 2010037155. ————. Ragdolls: Alien Cats. ISBN 978-1-61772-146-5; ISBN 978-1-61772-191-5. LC 2010035158. WHITE, Nancy. Maine Coons: Super Big. ISBN 978-1-61772-142-7; ISBN 978-1-61772-189-2. LC 2010041167. ————. Siamese: Talk to Me! ISBN 978-1-61772-144-1; ISBN 978-1-61772-192-2. LC 2010034475. ea vol: 24p. (Cat-ographies Series). chart. map. photos. bibliog. further reading. glossary. index. CIP. Bearport. 2011. PLB $22.61; ebook $16.96. Gr 1-4—Readers will find these informative and engaging books especially useful, as they include specific breed health concerns as well as standard information about history and care. Also provided is a link to the publisher’s website for the series, where readers can find sites for each book. The extra step may annoy some, but the site is easy to use and offers downloadable crosswords, a feature not usually found on websites of this type. While the books’ design is a little busy, the content is detailed, appealing, and clear. These titles will work well in libraries looking to begin cat-breed collections or as additions to existing pet collections. SMS1104w_mattern_pets(Original Import)MATTERN, Joanne. American Shorthair Cats. ISBN 978-1-4296-6628-2. LC 2010035021. ————. Birman Cats. ISBN 978-1-4296-6629-9. LC 2010037114. ————. Exotic Cats. ISBN 978-1-4296-6630-5. LC 2010037844. ————. Maine Coon Cats. ISBN 978-1-4296-6631-2. LC 2010032443. ————. Manx Cats. ISBN 978-1-4296-6632-9. LC 2010042247. ————. Ocicats. ISBN 978-1-4296-6633-6. LC 2010039956. ————. Persian Cats. ISBN 978-1-4296-6634-3. LC 2010039955. ————. Siamese Cats. ISBN 978-1-4296-6635-0. LC 2010033720. ————. Sphynx Cats. ISBN 978-1-4296-6636-7. LC 2010041478. ea vol: 32p. (Edge Books: All about Cats Series). photos. further reading. glossary. index. Web sites. CIP. Capstone. 2011. PLB $26.65. Gr 2-4—These dry, wordy volumes cover the history, unique characteristics, and care of a wide range of breeds. While readers in the younger part of the grade range are likely to be attracted to the books’ design, which features large photographs and bright, bold colors, the dense texts will be easier for older readers to navigate. Also, there is a heavy emphasis on breeding and registries that goes beyond the needs of most readers. For further information, readers are instructed to visit the Facthound website and enter a code (the book’s ISBN), an extra step that yields disappointing results. These are strictly for libraries requiring specific information on breeding cats or on a wider range of cat breeds than most series offer. SMS1104w_silverstein_pets(Original Import)SILVERSTEIN, Alvin, Virginia Silverstein, & Laura Silverstein Nunn. Ferrets: Cool Pets! ISBN 978-0-7660-3683-3. LC 2010011899. ————. Hairless Cats: Cool Pets! ISBN 978-0-7660-3688-8. LC 2009043925. ————. Hermit Crabs: Cool Pets! ISBN 978-0-7660-3684-0. LC 2009043924. ————. Hissing Cockroaches: Cool Pets! ISBN 978-0-7660-3685-7. LC 2010020884. ————. Iguanas: Cool Pets! ISBN 978-0-7660-3686-4. LC 2010006292. ————. Potbellied Pigs: Cool Pets! ISBN 978-0-7660-3687-1. LC 2010001118. ea vol: 48p. (Far-Out and Unusual Pets Series). illus. photos. further reading. glossary. index. Web sites. CIP. Enslow. 2011. PLB $23.93. Gr 2-5—This series offers detailed information on pets ranging from uncommon to truly exotic. Although the tone of the writing can be condescending (“Let’s learn what you need to do…”), a wealth of information is provided on caring for these creatures. Readers looking for details on history or life in the wild, however, will be largely disappointed. Long blocks of text are broken up by photographs and cartoons or sidebars, sometimes in awkward places. A sometimes-annotated list of websites includes general interest links specific to the pet, though some are personal sites or bad links. While these books are not ideal, they will do the trick for libraries requiring a larger variety of pet books. While books on animals could be successful with no more than adorable pictures, the addition of informative and engaging content results in titles essential to library collections. Gareth Stevens’s “Working Dogs” and “Horsing Around” are exemplary. Power Kids Press’s “Top Dogs”is a fair choice for libraries requiring material on the most popular canine breeds. Where cat breeds are concerned, Bearport’s “Cat-ographies” has the best blend of appeal and information, and is a first choice for collections needing only one series on cats. If further resources are available, Lerner’s “The Best Cats Ever”is great for browsing, and Capstone’s “Edge Books: All About Cats” covers a wide variety of breeds, as well as breeding and registries. Enslow’s “Far-Out and Unusual Pets” has some problems, as mentioned above, but might be useful for libraries needing more books on this subject. Read Series Made Simple, School Library Journal's guide to the latest series nonfiction

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