Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Felina's New Home by Loran Wlodarski

Felina, a Florida panther, is noticing all the changes in her home. What was once a lush forest has now become littered, noisy and tiny. As she goes through the forest noting the differences, other animals agree with her and see the same issues. One day, while hunting for food, Felina is shot with a tranquilizer gun and ends up in a cage. What will become of her?

This book deals pretty nicely with environmental issues for children. Instead of jumping headlong into a discussion about how people harm the environment and animals, it takes the point of view of the animals and shows how they feel about different thoughtless actions we have.

The illustrations in this book are realistic and bright. I did notice that Felina has a frightening look in most of the pictures. Somehow the illustrator was able to keep the untamed portion of the animal depicted in the eyes. As an adult, I admire this ability but wonder how young children will see it.

Each page is set up with several sentences, making this a good book for ages 5-8. Younger readers will love the pictures of the different animals while older readers will enjoy the story. It’s easily adaptable as a bedtime story book.

At the end of this book is a section on animal information. It covers the gopher tortoise, Florida panther, red-cockaded woodpecker, manatee, wood stork and American crocodile. This is a useful tool for parents wanting to help further their child’s education with animals, or simply for a child interested in learning more animal facts. Along with each animal’s information, there are facts regarding how our impact, as people, has affected each.

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