Friday, August 25, 2006

All because of my missing hamster

Was given two hamsters recently. Within a week of their arrival, one of the hamsters went missing!! It was such an unexpected event that the whole family was all excited and worried. Worried that the little hammy will die of hunger, thirst or accidents. Accidents such as eaten by neighbours' dogs, stray cats or stepped on by any of us at night. Don't laugh, was told that someone actually killed her pet hamster accidentally because she slept on it!! Of course her pet was a free roaming, house-trained hamster.

Well, why am I telling you all these? Yes, I was thinking of writing this whole incident from the perspective of my hamster (by the way, his name is Snuggle) when I realised it is pretty difficult to know how a hamster feels. I've not observed him long enough - is he happy to have escaped? Was he afraid when he was out in the open? Was he trying to find his way back to his cage when he was tired and hungry? I really do not know.

Thus I went to the library and found this book - A Dog's Life: The Autobiography of a Stray by Ann M Martin. This book is not just for animal lovers. This is a well-written story through the eyes of a dog. Squirrel, the dog went through many trials and hardships as she wandered from place to place, slowly growing from a pup into an old dog. Throughout her adventures she met a variety of humans - some caring while others irresponsible. This is a remarkable novel that will touch the hearts of all. In the end, it brings about hope that maybe, someday, all animals will live in peace, and none will be left "unwanted."

This book is available in NLB (J MAR).

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Picture Books to look out for

Noah's Mittens
by Lise Lunge-Larsen
This is a playful pourquoi tale. How the leopard got its spots. Why do chameleons change colour. These are examples of such tales. Pourquoi [por-kwa] means "why" in French. Pourquoi tales are old legends told to explain why certain events happened. These tales often start in the past and end when the explanation is complete.

A Very Full Morning
by Eva Montanari
A not so typical story about first day of school. First day is a frightening day for many. However, the kids will be reassured and sigh with relief when the story comes to an end.

by Chris Van Allsburg
If you are a fan of Chris Van Allsburg, you will not want to miss this. Once again, he had managed to marry his characteristic twist in the story and stunning illustration in this spell-binding tale.

These are Houghton Mifflin Fall 2006 publications (to be published in US around Sep/Oct).