Call of the Wild: an American Classic

Hollywood often turns to literature for inspiration. In the past two months we’ve seen new versions of Little Women and Dr. Doolittle. The newest adaptation of Jack London’s Call of the Wild will be released in theaters on February 21st and looks very promising. Call of the Wild is a very short novel; it was first published in four installments in the Saturday Evening Post. That makes it a great book to read with your family before seeing the film!

Jack London had spent a year in the Yukon at the height of the gold rush, and he wrote Call of the Wild after returning to California. He sold the publishing rights in 1903 and the book has been in print ever since.

The book is obviously in the genre of animal fiction, but Call of the Wild by Jack Londoncan also be looked at as a hero story, and it follows the example of other American classics like Huckleberry Finn in its depiction of a hero returning to nature.

White Fang by Jack London

 

After reading Call of the Wild, you’ll want to also check out London’s other dog story, White Fang.

 

Nic Bishop Animal Books

If you are an animal lover, you need to take a look at these astounding books by biologist and wildlife photographer Nic Bishop! These library books are shelved in the juvenile non-fiction area, but are truly great for all ages; you’re guaranteed to learn something new. Nic Bishop’s web page is also fascinating, with information about his travels, his books, and techniques he uses to set up his photographs.

Snakes by Nic Bishop Marsupials by Nic Bishop Spiders by Nic Bishop

Butterflies and Moths by Nic Bishop Lizards by Nic Bishop Big Cats by Nic Bishop

In addition to this series of book written and illustrated by Bishop, his photographs have also been used to illustrate many of the books in the Scientists in the Field series. His work has taken him to some of the most remote regions of the world, and Bishop describes each photographic subject as a whole new adventure requiring new knowledge, new techniques, and lots and lots of patience.

Chasing Cheetahs by Sy Montgomery and Nic Bishop Kakapo Rescue by Sy Montgomery and Nic Bishop

Where Do the Animals Go?

The days are shorter, temperatures are colder, and a common question for children is “Where do the animals go when it’s cold?” Of course there are many answers to this: they dig under, they fly away, they hibernate, and they grow thicker coats, for example. If your child is curious, why not check out a book to read together? Here are some great choices from the library’s collection. So cuddle up, stay warm, and share the joys of reading and learning together!

When Winter Comes by Pearl Neuman   Secrets of Winter by Carron Brown

Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner  Animals in Winter by Bancroft and Gelder

Under the Snow by Melissa Stewart   Winter Bees and Other Poems of the Cold by Joyce Sidman

Indiana Author April Pulley Sayre

South Bend resident April Pulley Sayre has turned a lifetime fascination with biology into an amazing career researching and writing non-fiction for children. Her latest release, Warbler Wave, is available at both Library locations and features Sayre’s stunning photographs of a variety of warblers. Did you know that warblers migrate thousands of miles each year? I didn’t know that – until I read Warbler Wave! Sayre also shows off her photographic skill in Best in Snow and Full of Fall, as well as 3 food based books photographed at her local farmer’s market.

Full of Fall by April Pulley Sayre   Go, Go, Grapes by April Pulley Sayre

Rah, Rah, Radishes by April Pulley Sayre   Let's Go Nuts by April Pulley Sayre

Sayre is also well-known for her other “Chant” books: Trout, Trout, Trout, Bird, Bird, Bird, and Ant, Ant, Ant.

Trout, Trout, Trout by April Pulley Sayre   Bird, Bird, Bird by April Pulley Sayre

Books by Sayre have been illustrated by some amazing illustrators, including the award-winning Steve Jenkins who uses cut paper collage. I have been a huge fan of Steve Jenkins books for many years and I love the work he did in Eat like a Bear , Woodpecker, Wham!, and Vulture View.

Eat Like a Bear by April Pulley Sayre   Woodpecker Wham! by April Pulley Sayre

If your family is interested in learning more about animals or in studying how we relate to the world around us, you should definitely check out the Library’s books by April Pulley Sayre!

Splish, Splash, Animal Baths by April Pulley Sayre   Meet the Howlers by April Pulley Sayre

Here Come the Humpbacks by April Pulley Sayre   Dig Wait Listen: a Desert Toad's Tale by April Pulley Sayre

Trout Are Made of Trees by April Pulley Sayre   Turtle, Turtle, Watch Out! by April Pulley Sayre