Thursday, April 30, 2020

#road2reading Challenge - chapter books about animals that will touch your heart! 4.30.2020

All journeys have a starting place.
This is a weekly place to find books and tools
that you may use with readers 
at the start of their independent reading journey.
Join in the conversation at #road2reading.

I love a good book that touches my heart.  I know many readers love a good book that touches their animal-loving heart!  Here are some chapter books that will do just that!

Our Friend Hedgehog by Lauren Castillo
Our Friend Hedgehog: The Story of Us
by Lauren Castillo
I have been waiting for this book for so long - the hedgehog teasers Lauren has been giving us over social media!  We've seen small pieces of the book, the stamps that are used on the chapter intro pages - it's so fun to see it all put together!
This is the first book in what is to be a series, that introduces us to the animals and human who make up a group of friends.  In this first book, we follow the chain of events that leads up to their friendship.  First, we meet Hedgehog and her BFF, Mutty (a stuffed animal dog).  Hedgehog and Mutty live on a small island by themselves and are very happy, until....a terrible wind sweeps up Mutty and brings her across the river into the forest.  Hedgehog knows she must find her, which is the start of her adventure.  She braves the water and swims across the river to the forest, which is where she literally falls into Mole's tunnel, er, house.  And then it becomes a quest, as Mole and Hedgehog go off to enlist the help of Owl.  They continue on, meeting and gathering new friends on their quest to find Mutty.
It's absolutely charming and heartwarming.  Readers who are looking for an animal story that brings them on an adventure, but one that warms the heart, will fall in love with Hedgehog and friends.  
One of my favorite parts about this book was included in the advanced reader copy.  Lauren tells her readers that this book came to be when she was making a big move from a big city to a smaller city.  Many people will relate to the feeling of going from something comfortable to something unknown... the possibilities are exciting and daunting.  These big feelings are captured so well in this book for young readers.
Don't miss this chapter book when it publishes next Tuesday, May 5th!

The Dog Who Lost His Bark by Eoin Colfer
The Dog Who Lost His Bark
written by Eoin Colfer
illustrated by P.J. Lynch
If this book doesn't touch your heart, I'm assuming you don't have one!  
I'm not going to lie - this book has moments that are hard to read.  But the parts with the puppy are just some of the sweetest and touching moments.
When we first met the young puppy, he is just in the process of being adopted.  The human that owns the shelter is not the kindest, so even though he is separated from his mom, he's excited about going to a new place.  But right away, the young puppy knows he is not at a good place.  The abuse he suffers will hurt your heart.  But then he meets Patrick.  Patrick is loving and kind, and names the puppy Oz.  It's after his father who is in Australia on a musical tour.  The reader gets the feeling that there is something wrong between his mom and dad.  It's Patrick who is able to help Oz heal, and even find the power in using his voice - his bark - again.
This is a book, that comes off as a chapter book (only 134 pages and illustrations on most pages), but it packs a mature punch.  I think it's great to have a shorter book available for older readers.  Just make sure there are tissues available for them.

Happy chapter book reading!

* Looking to find one of the books in this post?  Click on the book title and you will be taken to an online link for Brain Lair Books.  The books will stay on the link for approx. three weeks before making room for new reads.  Please support independent bookstores.*

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