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Exotic Felines In All Their Furry Glory

Back in March Debbie Glade reviewed ZooBorns! and now Ronna Mandel, who has just adopted two rescue kittens, checks out the latest in the series ZooBorns CATS!: The Newest, Cutest Kittens & Cubs From The World’s Zoos ($11.99, Simon & Schuster, ages 4 and up) by Andrew Bleiman and Chris Eastland. And, if you still cannot get enough of these adorable creatures, be sure to visit the ZooBorns website by clicking here.

Published earlier this month, the newest ZooBorns book will make you melt on even the coldest day in winter.  You might find yourself kissing the pages, but fear not! You are not alone in your ooohing and ahhhing.  I, too, have succumbed to the wide-eyed innocence of these kittens and cubs. Many of the animals pictured are endangered, near threatened or vulnerable, and are in need of worldwide conservation efforts. The authors’ commitment to this cause is evident not only by the loving portraits and backgrounds of the cats included, but a portion of all proceeds from ZooBorns book sales goes directly to the AZA’s (Association of Zoos and Aquariums) Conservation Endowment Fund. In other words, when you give this book as a gift, you are also helping these different species’ survival!

Whether you are interested in learning more about the Lynx, Cheetah, Clouded Leopard, Sumatran Tiger or the reclusive Rusty-spotted Cat, info about their name, birthday, habitat, population, and conservation efforts are all provided. I had no idea, for example, that Jaguars are “the only big cats native to the Americas and the third-largest cat species in the world.” Fascinating facts like that will keep you turning the pages, but the cuteness and vulnerability of the kittens will make you care.

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Can They Get Any Cuter?

So Many Animals!

It’s no wonder kids get so excited about reading books about animals. There are so many cute creatures to discover and an abundance of fascinating facts to learn. Today Debbie Glade reviews three adorable books…

9780375858864Orangutans are Ticklish: Fun Facts from an Animal Photographer ($16.99, Schwartz & Wade, ages 3-7), written by Jill Davis, is a uniquely wonderful book. The book starts with photographer, Steve Grubman explaining what it took to get all those amazing photos of the animals in this book, including his frightening experience having a tiger run after him. And the photos of the animals in the book are uncommon indeed, as Steve waited for the perfect moment to capture each of them in rare poses. The descriptions about each creature, along with the photos are a great read. Did you know that, unlike a crocodile, when an alligator’s mouth is closed, you can’t see his bottom teeth? Or that a zebra has black stripes on a white background, rather than having white stripes on a black background? Read this book and you’ll find out why. And yes, Orangutans are undoubtedly ticklish!

all_agesyoung_childrenThose who love baby animals will delight in two ZooBorns books (Beach Lane Books, ages 2 & up), written by Andrew Bleiman and photographed by Chris Eastland. ZooBorns: Zoo Babies from Around the World is written from the perspective of the animals. ZooBorns: The Newest, Cutest Animals from the World’s Zoos and Aquariums is a bit more sophisticated and includes animals’ birthdates and facts. The photos in both of these books will melt your heart, and your kids will want to look at them again and again! You’ll enjoy them too.

debbieglade24Debbie Glade, today’s guest reviewer, is the author, illustrator and voice talent of the award-winning children’s picture book The Travel Adventures of Lilly P Badilly: Costa Rica, published by Smart Poodle Publishing. She visits South Florida schools with her reading, writing and geography programs. For years, Debbie was a travel writer for luxury cruise lines. She writes parenting articles for various websites and is the Geography Awareness Editor for She blogs daily at

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You and Me: We’re Opposites

Today I’m looking at You and Me: We’re Opposites by Harriet Ziefert and illustrated by Ethan Long (Chronicle Books/Blue Apple Books, $12.99; ages 4-8). I love going to the zoo and so will your kids.  Opposites have never been more agreeable!



Hey kids, join the busy zookeeper doing his daily rounds,

And learn what opposites all the animals are talking about.

The flamingo says she’s nice, but thinks the gorilla is grouchy.

One wet seal is in the water, one dry seal is out.

An alligator is on a log and

A buzzing bee is off.

The giraffe tells the penguins

He’s tall while they’re short.

The crisp, colorful illustrations add a comical touch to this amusing introduction to opposites kids will enjoy again and again.

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There’s Always Lots of Heinies at The Zoo


A Raucous Rear End Read

You may think you have seen it all when it comes
to books, but(t) think again because now there’s
Always Lots of Heinies at The Zoo
. Thank you Disney-Hyperion for publishing this hysterical
picture book which is as much for adults as it is
for kids! Watch this fun video now to get you psyched
about reading this bodacious book of backsides.

Written in rhyme by Ayun Halliday with detailed, derrière oriented Disney-esque illustrations by Dan Santat, this cheeky insider’s educational tour of the zoo goes upfront, behind and very personal. Read on as a mom, dad and their young son visit the animals. There’s feathered booty, hairy haunches in the cages at the zoo, a mandrill’s fanny, a bunny’s bun, and a jellyfish whose bottom is see-through. And who is the one creature at the zoo not showing off his rear end? Why it’s me and you, but(t) of course. Bottoms up!


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