Wednesday, January 27, 2021

"Leave A Message in the Sand" & "The Bear and the Duck" from Eerdmans Books for Young Readers [Reviw & Giveaway]

The Bear and the Duck by May Angeli

My thoughts: 
This is a delightfully sweet read. Simple but full of warmth and friendship. 

An awakening bear stumbles across a sassy duck stuck and hurt; Bear then helps free duck from the mess he's in. That begins a sweet friendship where they go about their days together until duck feels better and heeds the call of the migration and joins the other ducks.

Bear goes to sleep again but only after reconciling himself to the loss of his friendship.

The ending of the book is sweet and shows the continuity of friendship.

Well written in text that flows with a gentle, warm feel. A good read aloud book for little ones.

About the book: One late winter day, a strange noise startles Bear out of his slumber. Grumpily searching for the source, he finds Duck, trapped in the thicket—but not for long. Bear frees Duck with a few scoops of his big paws, and their friendship begins. The more time the two spend swimming, exploring, and telling stories, the less Bear wants to go back to his lonely old life.  As spring turns to summer, and summer turns to fall, what else will change? 

Stunning woodcut engravings illustrate this gentle story about kindness, the four seasons, and the joy of an unexpected friend.

Leave a Message in the Sand: Poems about Giraffes, Bongos, and Other Creatures with Hooves by Bibi Dumon Tak & illustrated by Annemarie van Haeringen 


My thoughts: 
This is quite an unusual children's book. So let's start by saying it is for older children. It would be good for reading together, parent and child, and discussing as you read along. 

Unusual in that a variety of story-telling or writing methods is used. Not really poetic in the sense of rhyme and cadence or even rhythm. More a free verse. Even then, the styles and presentation differ. For example, the wild boar and domesticated pig have a conversation. In another the featured animal presents "attempt 1" at telling the story of the animal and "attempt 2" which is more successful.

Also unusual, is that it involves only hoofed animals and some of these are rarely seen as subjects in a children's book. So the child gets to gain knowledge of hooved animals, rare or scarcely known animals, different styles of "poetry" and story presentation.

At the back of the book the author has provided concise information titled, "More about These Unusual Ungulates."

I found this to be an interesting book that was fun to read, a bit scientific, and a bit tongue-in-cheek. I recommend.

About the book: What would a boar text to a pig, a camel post on a dating site, or a goat shout from the mountaintops? In this unforgettable poetry collection, even-toed ungulates take the spotlight. Ever asked a giraffe about the clouds, read an okapi’s letter to the editor, or debated which gnu would win the race across the Serengeti? Playful poems and whimsical illustrations feature hoofed creatures from all around the world, from Siberian musk deer to African dik-diks to South American vicuñas. 

Weaving together humor, scientific detail, and a poignant concern for conservation, Leave a Message in the Sand introduces readers to wild creatures with even wilder things to say. 

1 copy of  Leave A Message in the Sand
Begins February 2
Ends February 25 at 12:01 a.m. EST
Open to USA addresses only 
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE: I received complimentary copies of these books to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Winner's prize is provided by Eerdmans Publishing or its publicist. 


  1. I'm a teacher and my favorite animal is okapi!! How cool to see one featured on a book cover! I would love to win a copy to read and perhaps share with young readers :)


  3. (1) What young readers book would you like to have? Dreams Daughters.

    (2) What Young Readers book would you like to see reviewed here on Chat With Vera? Dreams Daughters.


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