Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Animal Fun Trivia

Since my children's book, Animal Sound Mix-up, is about animals and the sounds they make getting mixed up, I thought it would be fun to see what kind of animal trivia I could discover and share with you. Here are a few I didn't know about, did you? The illustrations are by Kit Grady and can be found in Animal Sound Mix-up.
Illustration © Kit Grady
  • Cats have over one hundred vocal sounds, dogs only have about ten. 
  • Roosters can't crow unless they can fully extend their necks. 
  • A duck's quack doesn't echo.
  • A dolphin's hearing is so acute it can pick up underwater sounds from fifteen miles away.
  • Crickets hear through their knees.
  • Giraffes don't have vocal cords. (I'm glad to know that one since no one I've asked has been able to come up with the sound a giraffe makes!)
Illustration © Kit Grady 

  • The fingerprints of koala bears are almost indistinguishable from those of humans, enough that they could be confused at a crime scene.
  • The bottom of a horse's hoof is called a frog. 
  • A donkey's eyes are placed in its head so that it can see all four feet at all times.
 Illustration © Kit Grady

  • Camels have three eyelids for protection from blowing sand.
  • Kiwi birds are blind and hunt by smell. 
  • When opossums are playing opossum, they aren't "playing" but actually pass out from sheer terror.
  • An elephant can be pregnant for up to two years. Elephants walk on tip-toe because the back part of their feet is made up of all fat and has no bones.
 Illustration © Kit Grady

  • The giant squid has the largest eyes in the world. 
  • The bones of a pigeon weigh less than its feathers.
  • Camel hair brushes are made from squirrel hair.
  • Bees have to collect nectar from 2,000 flowers to make one tablespoonful of honey.
You can read these and many other bits of animal trivia on Animal Trivia and Useless Facts.

I don't think the animals in Animal Sound Mix-up know these facts either. They can't even get the sounds they make right! Do you know any other interesting animal facts?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Mr. Topper and Golden Daffodils

Today I'd like to share with you about two delightful new children's books by Liam Maher, published by Guardian Angel Publishing.

Mr. Topper is a pot-bellied pig who is looking for someone to give him a good home and take care of him. He meets several people, telling each one, "If you give me a good home, pet and pamper me, and feed me whenever I go Oink!Oink! you shall have lots of very good luck.” Now, this seems rather hard to believe, and not surprisingly, people don't believe Mr. Topper. Just when he is wondering if there are any kind people in the world, his luck begins to change. Can his promise of good luck come true? Vanda Lavar provides the fun, colorful illustrations on the cover and in the book.

Paddy, the gardener, grows some beautiful golden daffodils in his garden. He is wondering if they could win first prize in the Spring Garden Show. His friend, a little bird named Tupo Hoopoe, wants to help her dear friend win first prize for his daffodils. She spots a fairy as she drops a bag which spills some shimmering gold dust. Tupo gathers up the spilled fairy dust and sprinkles it on Paddy's daffodils. The flowers turn a beautiful golden shade that Tupo is sure will cause them to win the prize. But it's not that simple. The morning of the show the golden daffodils are gone, vanished! The adventures begin as Tupo tries to find them. Will Tupo be able to find the daffodils in time? Will Paddy win first prize? The cover art and illustrations are beautifully done by Marina Movshina.

Mr. Topper, the Potbellied Pig and Golden Daffodils are available from Guardian Angel Publishing and Amazon. They are recommended for ages 4-8.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Watching the Animals

     Do you like visiting the zoo? If you have children, I'm sure you do that when you can. I don't think we ever outgrow the pleasure of watching animals though. When we get to take our grandchildren to the zoo, it's fun to not only watch the animals, but also to watch the children enjoying the animals!

     Hope you enjoy my little poem. If you'd like to read more, please visit my children's website and the poetry for children's page of my inspirational website.

     Which are your favorite animals?

A monkey was playing in a tree,
Swinging from limb to limb.
The things he did were fun to see,
And I liked watching him.
 A mighty lion was lying around,
Resting out in the sun,
Then giving a roar, got off the ground
And suddenly started to run.
An elephant who was big and gray
Lifted her trunk up high,
Wanting others to keep away
Since her baby was sleeping nearby.
I like the animals, large and small,
And you can enjoy them too,
Together where you can see them all
Whenever you visit the zoo.
© Connie Arnold