This is the fascinating story of one bird. He is a rufa red knot and his name is B95. His name is the number on the band scientists put on his leg. B95 is about the size of a robin, a bird we see a lot here in Indiana. B95 and the other red knots are migratory. That means they move in the Spring and Fall in search of food and nesting grounds. Red knots are AMAZING because they migrate from the South Pole…to the North Pole, and back again. That’s a long way!
B95 was banded as a young bird in 1995 when he was thought to be at least three years old. Each year scientists try to capture and band red knots to study their habiits. Amazingly, B95 has been re-caught in 2001, 2003, 2007 & 2009. He is thought to be around 20 years old. Scientists think has has flown more than 325,000 miles in his life…the distance from the moon and almost halfway back. And he weights 4 ounces!
This book is a really fascinating look at the scientists who study the red knots and also B95 himself. Each year, the scientists hope, hope, hope to see B95 again. He is a superbird – a true survivor! Author: Phillip Hoose
When Stillwater the bear moves into the neighborhood, the stories he tells to three siblings teach them to look at the world in new ways. To Addie he tells a story about the value of material goods. To Michael he pushes the boundaries of good and bad. And to Karl he demonstrates what it means to hold on to frustration.
“When Michael, Addy and Karl meet Stillwater, a panda with his paws full of Zen wisdom, each are made trustees of an ancient tale….
Addy, kind and curious, brings Stillwater a cake, and in return, hears of the neighboring bear’s enlightened uncle Ry, who awakened one night to the rummaging of a robbing raccoon. The robber is startled, but Ry’s pity for the pilferer brings him to offer the thief his robe, which is all that fills the empty house; a peaceful demonstration of value. The next day, among the boughs of a tall tree, Michael is told the of “The Farmer’s Luck” and after, Karl, the youngest, is aided in his frustrations through the telling of “The Heavy Load”.
Written and illustrated by Jon Muth, Zen Shorts, a 2006 Caldecott Honor book, is gentle in its message and wonderfully enlivened by delicate watercolors on every page. Neatly shelved in the children’s section, an all-age treasure awaits, inviting passerby to share in a peaceful moment with three Zen shorts.”
Recommended by: Kevin Kirkpatrick, Garfield Park Branch Library
If you like Zen Shorts you might also like these three books also by Jon Muth. In The Three Questions a boy asks his animal friends three questions: “When is the best time to do things?” “Who is the most important?” and “What is the right thing to do?”. Zen Ghosts and Zen Ties again feature the wise Zen stories of Stillwater the bear:
When lonely, ten-year-old Hal learns that his wealthy but neglectful parents only rented Fleck, the dog he always wanted, he and new friend Pippa take Fleck and four other dogs from the rental agency on a trek from London to Scotland, where Hal’s grandparents live. Author: Eva Ibbotson
“Fleck and Hal know at first sight they are one dog and his boy. The adventure begins when parents, then criminals, and even tracker dogs named Darth and Terminator conspire to keep them apart. Four other dogs and an assortment of humans, including a circus, come to the aid of Fleck and Hal. There are miles and miles of surprising and funny adventures as Hal and Fleck go ‘on the run’ away from their pursuers and toward their happy ending and the happy endings of each of their protectors, human and canine.”
Sixty years ago, on October 15, 1952, E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web was published. It’s been a favorite ever since.
If you like Wilbur and Charlotte and the rest of the animals in Uncle Homer’s barn, you might like some of these stories that give animals voices and give YOU a peek into their world. I wonder every day what my dog might be thinking. I like these stories that imagine what an animal might think and if it could talk, what it would say to its friends. I especially like these stories when the animals become a character I can love. Who would have thought a spider could be as lovable as Charlotte? In these stories mice, a cricket, a cat, a rabbit & even a gorilla let us know what might be going on in their furry heads and in their beating hearts (which is what they have in common with US!)
“When’s the last time you got fed?” Beulah responded by clamping down on Mickey’s left foot and throwing a meaty coil around both his legs. “Easy, Princess,” he said. The Python wrapped upward with another coil, and then another. Mickey quickly locked both arms in front of his chest to protect his lungs from being crushed, but he was out of shape and Beulah was extremely powerful. “Wahoo!” he hollered. “Yo!” “What?” Called a voice from the house. “Get your butt out here!” (page 24)
Wahoo’s Dad Mickey is an animal wrangler. If there is an alligator, snake, lizard, bear or leopard in a movie, chances are Wahoo’s Dad was there during filming. The animals live on their property and Wahoo helps take care of them…when he remembers!
Times are kind of lean in the animal wrangling business and Wahoo’s family is having trouble making ends meet. When the reality television show “Expedition Survival” calls wanting to use some of the animals on an upcoming episode, Wahoo and his Dad can’t wait to get started…until they meet the show’s star – Derek Badger, “Mr. Show Business”. It’s going to take all of Mickey and Wahoo’s knowledge and patience to keep Derek alive, because they know what the animals are thinking, “All you stupid humans taste the same!” Author: Carl Hiassen