Award -Winning New Picture Book: Animal Teachers

Author Janet Halfmann, long a favorite here at Wrapped in Foil,  has a lovely new nonfiction picture book out:  Animal Teachers, illustrated by Katy Hudson.

Have you ever wondered how nonhuman animals learn things like what to eat, how to drink, and how to stay dry? Are they born knowing or does someone teach them?

This fabulous picture book describes several examples of  parents teaching their offspring. Some of the examples in the book will probably surprise you. Did you know that baby elephants need to be taught to drink or that baby otters might need lessons in swimming?

The book is written in what could be described as a “reverse Q & A,” because in each two-page spread Janet tells about what a baby animal learns from its parents and then asks a few questions of the child reader relating to that topic. The conversational tone is a wonderful way to engage the reader and leads to much deeper discussions of the topics.

At the end are two pages of additional bullet point facts about the animals featured in the text. These are just the kind of facts that young readers absorb like sponges and then “teach” to their classmates.

Katy Hudson’s delightful illustrations are filled with color and action. You can feel the cheetah running across the plains and the mother bear getting splashed with cold water as it scoops up a fish. You want to reach out and touch the soft little chicks. Even the end papers are filled with colorful nature scenes.

You will definitely want to share this fascinating and sweet book with the animal lovers in your family. It would also be a fantastic resource for the classroom, allowing students to discover new things about animals and learning. It is likely to generate some lively discussions.

Animal Teachers has been nominated in the 2014 Cybils elementary/middle grade nonfiction category and has already won the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio 2014 Gold Best award.

Cybils-Logo-2014-Round-Sm1See Growing With Science for related information and activity suggestions.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Grade Level: Preschool – 3
Hardcover: 36 pages
Publisher: Blue Apple Books (September 2, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1609053915
ISBN-13: 978-1609053918

Disclosures: These book were provided by the author for review purposes. Also, I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at not extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.


Come visit the STEM Friday blog each week to find more great Science, Technology, Engineering and Math books.


Looking for more children’s nonfiction books? Try the Nonfiction Monday blog.


5 Replies to “Award -Winning New Picture Book: Animal Teachers”

  1. I like the idea of the reverse Q & A. I appreciate the twist. Thanks for sharing this book!

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