I read something on Twitter recently that suggested we shouldn’t rush our kids to stop reading picture books. I couldn’t agree more. There are some truly beautiful picture books out there, including these four that star animals as their main characters.


How Do You Feel? By Rebecca Bender (Pajama Press, $16.95) is a cute book – both in text and illustrations – about feelings. Little Hedgehog asks various animals how they feel, and they respond by describing their feelings in comparison to something in nature. Snake, for example, feels “smooth, like a stone polished by the sea.” We particularly liked that description as we have some of those stones found on the beaches of New Brunswick last summer.


Calling Things To Do by Elaine Magliara (Chronicle Kids, $24.99) a book about animals might have been a bit of a stretch. Creatures such as a bird, a honeybee, a snail, an orb-spider and a cricket are in it, but so are scissors, boots, dawn and the moon. Magliara starts each double-page spread with Things to do if you are a honeybee, for example, and then tells us you would “flit among the flowers, sip nectar for hours, be yellow and fuzzy. Stay busy. Be buzzy.” Each page offers a beautiful look at what you would do if you were one of those items both in words and pictures. An absolutely beautiful book, and one I hope to read again soon.


Tony by Ed Galing (Roaring Brook Press, $23.99) is a beautifully illustrated book, but I don’t care that much about horses, or poetry. A horse-loving person would probably get more out of the book that describes Tony’s day as he helps deliver milk, butter and eggs. My son said the book was OK.


Wolf In The Snow by Matthew Cardell (Feiwel and Friends, $24.99) is a beautiful book with very few words. The adult wolves in the story were rather scary looking, but I was pleased to see the story didn’t show them as fierce pack hunters, but rather as a family looking out for each other and the a child who helped them.

Copies of these books were provided by Raincoast Books and Pajama Press for honest review.