Tails from the Animal Shelter

Did you know that more than six million pets arrive annually at community animal shelters in the United States? Of that number over three million are dogs. But of course it's not just dogs and puppies that need homes. Shelters take in cats, kittens, birds, reptiles, and even domestic farm animals. And there are many reasons why these animals need to go to shelters. Some of the animals are strays and some are lost; some are rescued from natural disasters or from mistreatment. Some have been given up because their owners could no longer care for them. Using poetic back stories and informative text, Tails From the Animal Shelter shines a spotlight on the good work of community animal shelters. Ten different fictional animals, including a handicapped dog, a magician's former rabbit, and a pot-bellied pig, represent the millions of pets brought to shelters every day. Whether they're known as Humane Societies, rescue services, or other names, these organizations and their caring work remind us all of how a loving home can change the life of a vulnerable animal.

Format List Price Your Price Qty
$16.99 $16.99
$28.99 $28.99
Interest Level Kindergarten - Grade 3
Reading Level Grade 2
Dewey 636.08/32
ATOS Reading Level
Guided Reading Level
Language English
Publisher Sleeping Bear Press
Available Formats Hardcover (9781534110489), PDF (9781534167315), Hosted ebook (9781534167483)
Copyright 2020
Number of Pages 32
Dimensions 9 x 11
Graphics Full-color illustrations

School Library Journal - Tails from the Animal Shelter

This primer on the importance of rescuing animals begins by listing some of the reasons animals end up in shelters, including natural disasters, medical issues, and abuse. While these are sad facts, the book’s tone is positive. The text describes the many wonderful ways animal shelters connect pets with caring families. Shaw tackles a variety of pet species, from the conventional dogs and cats to the more unusual skunks and pigs. Each spread contains a thematic, kid-friendly poem on one side with informational content on the other side. The cute illustrations are paired with a jaunty font and show endearing close-ups of various pets with their loving two-legged companions. Back matter includes background on the history of the Association of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, things to consider before adopting an animal, other ways to help animals, and additional resources.

Booklist - Tails from the Animal Shleter

Children and families contemplating a pet, as well as those who enjoy learning about different kinds of pets and their care, are the audience for this lively look at shelter animals. An explanation of why shelters exist opens the book—usually, says Shaw, “people problems,” but she doesn’t get too specific about what that means. The main body then offers spreads describing owning a particular kind of pet on one page and the rhyming “backstory” of a fictional animal of that kind opposite. The entry on dogs, for example, says that older dogs make great pets and introduces Nana: “Silvery muzzle, heart of gold. / Young at heart, very old.” Pleasing spot art and larger images of creatures with their human companions add to the straightforward, informative introductions. Children will appreciate the advice on lobbying for a pet; they will also find websites for their families to find out more (out of eight websites, two are from the same organization, PETA). An enjoyable work that will be handy in libraries that serve young families.

Tails From the Animal Shelter

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Author: Stephanie Shaw

Stephanie Shaw is an Oregonian native, thrilled to have plenty of weather-related reasons to stay indoors reading and writing. A former teacher and school administrator, Stephanie lives in Petaluma, California.

Illustrator: Liza Woodruff

Liza Woodruff has illustrated many books for children, including Emerson Barks. Her most recent book is Once Upon a Winter Day, which she also wrote. Liza, her family, and their two dogs live in Charlotte, Vermont, where they are occasionally joined by foster rescue dogs. Liza also works as a bookseller.