Believe it or not, a bear served in the British Army during WWll. In 1942 five Polish soldiers adopted a bear cub from a boy in the mountains of Iran. They named him Voytek, which means “Smiling Warrior” in Polish. Voytek loved army life and the soldiers loved Voytek. He slept in the tent with them. He drank beer and smoked cigarettes. He took showers. He even caught a spy!
In order to travel with his company to Italy, he was officially enlisted as Private Voytek. During the battle of Monte Cassino he joined the soldiers passing ammunition to the front and never dropped a shell. The officers were so impressed they made a picture of Voytek with a bomb in his paws as the emblem of the Transport Company of the 2nd Polish Corps.
Read about Private Voytek’s amazing adventures in this book based on the true story of Voytek, the bear that went to war. Soldier Bear won the 2012 Batchelder Award for most outstanding book translated to English.
When his owner’s parents let him go in Central Park, a young guinea pig learns to survive in the natural world with the help of a “park-wise” squirrel while trying to find his way back home.
Peewee’s Tale is a great book about a guinea pig named Peewee that gets given to a little boy for his birthday by his uncle, which his parents dislike greatly. When the boy goes on a sleepover at his friend’s house, his parents let the guinea pig run away. Read Peewee’s Tale to find out if Peewee finds his owner or if he’s on his own.
:If you like Pee-Wee’s adventures trying to survive in a human world, try these:
Even though this is a book for kids younger than me, I still liked it. The characters are interesting and seem just like people. Charlotte is one of the best characters I’ve ever read about!
I love Charlotte too, but I think my favorite character is Templeton the rat. It’s Templeton, afterall, that finds words for Charlotte to use in the web. He’s self absorbed, obsesses about food and only helps out when it’s in his best intersets to do so…but he’s also funny, which I always like in a character. What do you think?
In A Dog’s Life: the Autobiograpy of a Stray, Ann Martin wrote about Squirrel, a stray dog. It’s a really emotional look into the life of a dog as it struggles to find the right home. If you liked that one, you will surely like Everything for a Dog. It is the story of Squirrel’s brother, Bone.
Bone’s story is also the story of two boys: Charlie and Henry. The chapters alternate between the three as Bone and the two boys tell their stories. Charlie is having a tough time because his older brother RJ died and his parents are all but falling apart. His only consolation is RJ’s dog Sunny, who has attached herself Charlie. Henry is a boy without a dog, and he wants one more than anything. Bone just needs a home. As the stories of the three unfold they don’t really seem related, except that they are about the attachments that occur between people and their pets.
Toward the end of the book the stories of Charlie, Henry & Bone come together in a really surprising way that fits just right. I love it when a story does that and it’s even better when I don’t see it coming. If you have ever wanted or loved a dog this story will speak to you. Author: Ann M. Martin
Nic Bishop is on a roll cranking out animal books with stunning pictures and interesting information. Spiders, Frogs, Butterflies and now, Marsupials. Nic’s motto seems to be, “have camera, will travel.” This time he heads to Australia where the world’s largest concentration of marsupials live.
Mammals are warm-blooded animals that have fur and raise their babies on milk. Mammals are dogs, cats, cows, bears, etc. Marsupials are a special kind of mammal whose mothers raise their babies inside a furry pouch. The most well-known marsupials are probably kangaroos. But there are lots of marsupials – opossums, koalas, wombats…and bettons, bilbies, potoroos & dibblers. I’ve never even heard of those, have you? This book will give you an up close look at these furry little pouched creatures. Some of them look made up – like someone took parts of different animals and stuck them together.
One of the marsupials is a tasmanian devil – like Taz on Looney Toons. The real tasmanian devils don’t really look like Taz, they look like cute mini black bears. Their behavior, though, is more like Taz. They get really excited when they eat and like to fight over food, their favorite being animals that have been dead for so long they smell bad. Yuck! They also have really, really strong jaws that can crunch through bones. When I think about those habits, then I can picture crazy, slobbery Taz and see where he got his name.