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Animal-human relationships

Castaldo, Nancy F.  Beastly Brains: Exploring How Animals Think, Talk, and Feel
Middle school, high school     152 pp.     Houghton

Castaldo explores the scientific evidence for animal intelligence, emotions, and communication—from early observational studies to contemporary experiments that show the cognitive capabilities of monkeys, dogs, dolphins, and crows. The ethics of animal-human interactions are also considered. The well-chosen photographs include close-ups that capture emotive facial expressions and action shots of behaviors that reveal thought processes. Reading list, websites. Bib., glos., ind.
Subjects: Natural History; Animal behavior; Animals; Animal communication

Dutcher, Jim and Dutcher, Jamie  Living with Wolves!: True Stories of Adventures with Animals
Gr. K–3     111 pp.     National Geographic

National Geographic Kids Chapters series. The filmmaker authors present three wolf-centered stories from their world travels. Each section is broken into three chapters with age-appropriate vocabulary and plenty of excitement. As expected with National Geographic, this book offers clear, vibrant photographs and interesting scientific information; “Did You Know?” sidebars include additional facts. Websites. Ind.
Subjects: Mammals; Animals—Wolves; Chapter books

Frydenborg, Kay  A Dog in the Cave: The Wolves Who Made Us Human
Gr. 4–6, middle school     246 pp.     Houghton

“Humankind’s best friend” has been relatively understudied in scientific circles, but recent developments have led to increased dog research across a variety of fields and disciplines. Discoveries help us understand how dogs evolved from wolves and how those dogs also helped us evolve into humans (a.k.a. coevolution). The author’s passion and curiosity is evident throughout. Full-color photographs and sidebars are interspersed. Websites. Bib., glos., ind.
Subjects: Domestic Animals; Animals—Dogs; Animals—Wolves; Evolution

Kirk, Daniel  Rhino in the House: The True Story of Saving Samia
Gr. K–3     40 pp.     Abrams

Anna Merz, a conservationist working to save wildlife in Kenya, raised abandoned baby rhino Samia at her home. Samia behaved rather pet-like, but Anna also taught her skills for living in the wild when fully grown. Earth-toned pencil and Photoshop illustrations accentuate Samia’s affection for Anna and effectively depict the setting of this warm story. An author’s note explains more about the unlikely pair. Bib.
Subjects: Mammals; Merz, Anna; Kenya; Animals—Rhinoceroses; Environment—Conservation—Wildlife; Wildlife reintroduction; Wildlife rescue; Women—Conservationists

Newman, Aline Alexander  Cat Tales: True Stories of Kindness and Companionship with Kitties
Gr. 4–6     159 pp.     National Geographic

Five attribute-themed chapters (“Awesome,” “Caring,” “Adventurous,” “Hardworking,” and “Curious”) each profile four to five extraordinary cats. The stories of the cats and their relationships with humans are entertainingly told and accompanied by copious heartwarming, high-quality photos. Sidebars and interstitial spreads on cat physiology/behavior and cat-lover culture offer additional information and enliven the layout. Recommended videos and charitable organizations appended.
Subjects: Domestic Animals; Animals—Cats; Pets

From the January 2018 issue of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book.

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