About the Holiday
Today’s holiday probably needs no special promotion since sharing pictures of our singular pets with our friends, coworkers, and family is something all many of us pet owners do every day, whether it’s on social media or just scrolling through pics of our pet’s latest antics on our phone. Our pets are just so cute and funny and clever that it’s hard not to show everyone. To celebrate today, capture your pet doing something extraordinary—or ordinary, it doesn’t really matter—and share them for your family, friends, and the world to see!
Thanks to Sleeping Bear Press for sending me a copy of Tails from the Animal Shelter for review consideration. All opinions about the book are my own.
Tails from the Animal Shelter
Written by Stephanie Shaw | Illustrated by Liza Woodruff
Welcome to the Humane Society Animal Shelter! The animals are waiting to meet you, and the staff are happy to introduce you to the wonderful animals who are available for adoption. While most animals who arrive at shelters across the country are dogs or cats, there are lots of other pets looking for a new home. Why do some animals come to live in a shelter? The book reveals many reasons. Among them are that “some of the animals are strays; some are rescued from natural disasters” and “some have been given up for adoption because their owners can no longer care for them.”
Are you ready to find a new friend? If it’s a puppy you’re looking for, you’ll love Tinkle, who’s so excited to see you that he “cannot help but piddle.” But it’s okay. “Happy puppies always dribble….As time passes and pups grow, / This little guy won’t pee ‘hello.’” If you don’t know what type of dog is best for your family, the staff at the shelter can help match you to the perfect one.
Cats also make wonderful pets for many reasons. Whether you like long-haired or short-haired, large or small cats, you’ll find just the right fit for your family at the shelter. Not ready for a long-term commitment? You can look into fostering a newborn kitten to get them ready for adoption. What kinds of kittens will you find? All sorts, like Ariel, who says: “I’m an acrobat cat! / I can climb anywhere! / I’ll roll in a ball and then / leap to a chair!”
These dogs and puppies, cats and kittens are only a few of the animals that turn up needing a new home. Take Pooter, for example. Pooter is black and white and, despite the recognizable stripe down its back, does not stink. Skunks that make their way to shelters “have never lived in the wild” and have had surgery so they cannot make their “smelly spray.”
Veterinary advances have improved the lives of injured animals or animals with health problems. Animals with special needs can now be fitted with “rear-support leashes or wheelchairs” and “can live happily for many years.” If you can adopt “an animal with special needs [you] will bring a grateful and loyal pet into your family.” A popular pet that has some surprising talents, a rabbit can also be a top choice for people who live in a smaller home. Trained to use a litter box, rabbits “can live indoors just like cats do.”
If you live on a farm or have a lot of land in an area that allows for farm animals, you may be interested in Hamlet, who tells readers, “I am a sweet potbellied pig. / I started small but I grew BIG….I know some tricks. I’m neat and clean. / I’m many things. I’m just not… / lean.” Around the nation there are many “pigs, goats, sheep, and chickens [that] need new homes. There are over two hundred thousand horses alone rescued or surrendered to shelter care every year.”
Along with detailed descriptions of the birds, reptiles, and senior animals that also make loving pets, the book is packed with information about how and why certain animals come to shelters and programs that sponsor a variety of animals and help get them ready for adoption. Back matter reveals how animal shelters were established, gives extensive tips on and issues to consider when adopting a shelter animal, lists ways people can help shelter animals even if they can’t adopt, and provides online resources for learning more and finding shelters in your area.
In her fascinating and accessible text, Stephanie Shaw combines poetry with facts and interesting tidbits about each type of animal to discuss why they make excellent pets for the right person or living condition. Her humorous, whimsical verses that accompany each category and introduce a particular animal will charm kids with a snapshot of the animal’s personality. Kids will also enjoy talking about how each name fits the animal.
Liza Woodruff’s cheery illustrations will enchant animal lovers with adorable images of funny, loving, and endearing animals happy to find a forever home. The joy that pets bring to a family is evident as kids hug, play with, and react to their pets.
An excellent introduction to shelter animals and pet ownership, Tails from the Animal Shelter is highly recommended for any family thinking about adopting a pet as well as for young animal lovers and kids interested in veterinary medicine or volunteering to help animals. The book would also make a favorite addition to school and public library collections.
Ages 5 – 8
Sleeping Bear Press, 2020 | ISBN 978-1534110489
Discover more about Stephanie Shaw and her books on her website.
To learn more about Liza Woodruff, her books, and her art, visit her website.
All American Pet Photo Day Activity
Roly Poly Spool Potbellied Pig and Piglets
Get ready to have fun making this cute and easy craft! Ham it up with your own pig and piglets who can keep you company on your desk, near your bed or anywhere it’s fun to play!
- Printable Pigs Ears Template
- 2 ½-inch wooden spoon, available from craft stores
- 1-inch wooden spool, available from craft stores
- Pink yarn, I used a wide-strand yarn
- Pink fleece or felt
- Pink craft paint
- Pink 5/8-inch or 1-inch flat button with two holes
- Pink 3/8-inch flat button with two holes
- Paint brush
- Black marker
- Print Pigs Ears Template
- Trace the ears onto the fleece or felt and cut them out.
- Paint the spool with the pink paint
- Let spool dry
- When the spool is dry, glue the ears to the spool, letting the ears stick up over the rim of the spool.
- Wrap yarn in straight layers around spool until the body of the pig is a little bigger than the end of the spool, which will be the face
- Cut yarn off skein and glue the end to the body
- To make the nose, glue the button over the hole in the middle of the spool
- Mark the eyes and mouth with a marker
- To make the tail for the large pig, cut a 4-inch long piece of yarn. Tie a triple knot in the yarn (or a knot big enough to fill the hole in the spool). Then tie a single knot near the other end of the yarn. Insert the large knot into the spool’s hole at the back of the pig. Trim the yarn in front of the second knot as needed.
- To make the tail for the piglets, tie a single knot in the yarn and another single knot below the first. Insert one of the single knots into the hole. Trim yarn as needed.
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