Reach & Read: Bears, Whales and All the other Noisy Animals

Three book reviews lumped into one post – made for a fun day Sunday.


Want to Know. Whales by Barbara van Rheenen is a lovely book to introduce a young child to these amazing marine mammals and maybe inspire a future biologist? Geared towards older toddlers to early readers, the book is set up to be fun to read together or along. I think it presents the right amount of science to make it accurate but approachable and fun to read without being wildly inaccurate (granted I am not a whale know it all). Example – they describe marine mammals as having babies that come from mother’s belly vs fish eggs. If that bothers you, skip the page because the rest of the book is full of fun facts and relevant comparisons: blue whales can be as big as three school buses (kids get this!).  I certainly learned some new facts about whales despite the book not being too long or wordy. The illustrations really add to the reading experience as well. I hope to see more from this author and series as science rules just like reading.


The Bear by Renne (Renée Rahir) is a young reader non-fiction book, the first in what appears to a be a new series, Animals in the Wild. Using a question and answer format, paired with realistic but still friendly illustrations the author teaches young readers and listeners about the brown bear, from hibernation to what they eat or their social structure.  This book will definitely be accompanying us on our next zoo trip. There is also a fun spread about teddy bear and the role of bears in tales and myths. the last page is a vocabulary list, albeit the word are a bit of an odd assortment (congener, plantigrade, litter) it allows for more discovery and conversation, if not just a winning Scrabble play. I look forward to the next book in 2017, wolves!

51vhk6qhjll-_sy496_bo1204203200_What Noise do I Make? by Brian Mclaughlin is fun and funny, with something for the adult reader attempting to make animal noises that are outside the usual dog, cat, chicken circle. Did you know that hippos go HUH!! walruses-HOARF, and zebras emit a vocal quirp squirp. Apparently, you have to flip to the last page to learn that giraffes just really don’t make noise (but if they do, it must not be a good thing). This is a pretty open ended book with some entertaining illustrations and potential for more improv storytelling. While animals are cartoonish they do resemble a classic presentation of the animal for the most part, so that they are recognizable by the littles.

I received a electronic copy of this book to review but I was not financially compensated, nor required to say something positive, in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my experience and observations while reading this book. 


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s