Animal Books & Activity Round-Up

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of these books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own!

We are a family of animal lovers. Hazel from a young age was interested in animals and learning about them. She has always seemed to love books about them and today I'm sharing some fun books and an origami kit all themed about animals. These books range for kindergarten and up. Starting with books for the youngest we will start with Hummingbird by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Jane Ray. It is recommended for kindergarten through third grade.

This beautiful book shares about the life of a hummingbird. It looks at one year of spectators--a grandmother and her granddaughter. Like the hummingbird the granddaughter is returning north for the summer. The girl sees signs of hummingbirds in New York City and more is shared about hummingbirds throughout the story. Similar to the story of the monarch butterflies, the hummingbirds migrate 2000 miles each spring including crossing the Gulf of Mexico. At the end of the book there is more information about ruby-throated hummingbirds. The interior covers display illustrations of all sorts of different kinds of hummingbirds. 
I know we love when the hummingbirds visit our yard. Our neighbor has a trumpet bush growing along her fence and they are always stopping in for some nectar. A few weeks ago I caught this one taking a rest in the trumpet bush.
The illustrations in the book are beautiful and colorful. It shares so much of the different cultures and locations the hummingbird travels as well as the lives of hummingbirds. 

Our next book explores the life of a gecko. It is Gecko by Raymond Huber and illustrated by Brian Lovelock. It is recommended for kindergarten through grade four. This book is written similar to many of Candlewick Press's animal books. It is a story about one gecko but there are little asides with facts about a gecko. The story is great to read to the younger child while the facts help the older child learn more about the animal.

The illustrations in this book are fun and make it clear how a gecko lives. I love the story and always find these books so interesting. Our next book is in a similar format.

Our next book is Dingo by Claire Saxby and illustrated by Tannya Harricks. It is also recommended for kindergarten through grade four. It takes us back into our exploration of Australia. We have enjoyed many of these animal books about Australian animals. Dingo does not disappoint. The book has a story about one dingo and then has the asides with facts about dingos and their lives. The illustrations in this book are more of painting styles and not exact as the other books' illustrations.
Our next book is a bit different. It is written in verse. It is Predator and Prey and Susannah Buhrman-Deever and illustrated by Bert Kitchen. It is recommended for first through fourth grades.

Choose your predator--a spider, a firefly, an ant, a hawk, a snake and the list goes on. Each predator is paired with an animal of prey and a poem is written describing their interactions. There are also boxes with information about both animals. 
Some of the pages fold out for bigger pictures and poems and the illustrations are beautiful. It shows animals in their own environments and the true nature of our world. The information shared in verse is fun and then the facts that follow help learn about specific species of animals. 

Our next book is not just about animals, but about all things cute and animals definitely are in it.  The Book is This Book Is Cute! by Susan Wassner Flynn and is  published by National Geographic Kids so it is full of facts and photographs. And can we just say "aww!!" Yup the photos are just that cute. It covers babies, animals, cute around the world, cute in food, business of cute and more!! Yup this book is definitely one where you learn about cute, how companies market to cuteness and more.

Things I love about this book is the science and information put in about the various types of cute. There are facts about the animals and how the cuteness is actually used by the animal. There are fun facts and so much more as well as different cultures and science in this book. Plus I love the fact about the business of cute and sharing with kids how business use cuteness to market their products.
This cute book is recommended for grades three to seven. It is full of fun and of course cuteness!!

Our next book is also by National Geographic and it is recommended for ages ten and up or grades five and six. It is Running with the Wolves by Jim and Jamie Dutcher. 

In this book Jim and Jamie Dutcher share their own experience of socializing with the sawtooth wolf pack. They began to socialize when the wolves were just pups opening their eyes. This is a book that shares the lives of wolves with every reader. There are stories about their experiences but also the facts of how a wolf really lives. 
The story is truly remarkable and the animals are amazing. There are photos on some of the pages and the lessons learned from these animals is truly awe inspiring. This book will grab your hearts and teach you about the real life of a wolf pack. 

Our final product for today is an origami kit. I have made several of the animals in the Origami Endangered Animals Kit by Michael G. LaFosse and Richard L. Alexander and took photos of them but the photos have been lost in the transfer to my new computer, so I will share photos found on the Tuttle Publishing page
Inside the box there is an instruction book for twelve animals and 48 pages of double-sided papers that are printed to look like the skin, fur, etc. of the various animals. 

As with all origami books the instructions can be tricky but it does provide a free link to video tutorials to help. The animals are fun and with the provided paper look adorable. I love the leopard!!

I love that a portion of the proceeds benefits wildlife conservation with this kit and I find the animals so adorable. I also like that there is information about the animal with the instructions and there is information about how conservation efforts are helping these particular animals. 
This makes learning about endangered animals fun and informative. Some of the animals are harder origami projects though so be sure to practice before trying them with kids.

I hope you will check out all of these great animal books. There are so many fun ones out there but I am loving these.