New Animal Stories

Alfie Is Not Afraid by Patricia Carlin

Reading Level: Ages 3 - 5

Alfie's boy is planning a backyard camping trip and it is a good thing he has such a brave dog to bring along with him; although Alfie would beg to differ.

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Olivia and the Fairy Princesses by Ian Falconer

Reading Level: Ages 2 - 6

Olivia has a crisis. She doesn't know what she should be since all the girls, and some of the boys, always choose to be pink princesses, and she is NOT the pink princess type. Besides, if EVERYONE is a princess, then princesses aren't special.

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The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

Grades 4+

Ivan (The Ape at Exit 8) is a downtrodden, has-been silverback gorilla living in a small, unkept domain within a shopping mall, occasionally accompanied by Bob, a stray dog who sneaks into Ivan's domain through a hole in the glass.

Stella, an aging elephant with a bad foot, dies from lack of treatment after Ruby, a baby elephant purchased from a defunct circus, arrives at the mall. The owner hopes Ruby will jumpstart visitor attendance again. Before Stella dies, she asks Ivan to promise that he will bring Ruby somewhere safe, knowing his devotion to protection of his friends is paramount.

Ivan's poetic narration is honest, painful, and heartbreaking; Applegate's insight into captive animal life is powerful. Don't miss this book, no matter how old you are.

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