I think I've mentioned before, but I'll say it again. We love books! We own way too many of them, yet we still go to the local libraries up to three times a week to check out more. The kids love to listen to a book together so I read hours and hours of books to them, but I also rely on audio books. This way, I get a break, they get to hear other readers (for us, an audio book can be a yea or nay, depending on the reader), I am able to do some housework while they are mesmerized by the story, and the kids can listen as they drift off to sleep with no lights on. We have so many books I intend to review, but Animal Rescue Team Gator on the Loose by Sue Stauffacher is this week's pick.
We have been in need of light and fun entertainment, lately. My grandfather passed away (more on this in a later post) and my husband was laid off so there has been quite a lot weighing on all our minds, especially the kids. They are super sensitive to our moods and to life changes. Our three are at very different developmental stages and with three distinct personalities, so they have different ways of dealing with grief and loss. This also makes it challenging, at times, to find a book which will be of interest to them all. The Animal Rescue Team series seems to fit the bill.
Of course, the animals is what originally caught my eye for this audio book. As vegans, I have always gone out of my way to pick books which portray animals as respected beings. A large portion of our children's books are nonfiction books about animals or fiction books about people respecting nature and all creatures. Unfortunately, even in the best books, there is often meat-eating as part of the story. The kids were quick to pick up on Charlotte's Web and the consumption of bacon. This in itself can lead to interesting reflections. Animal Rescue Team Gator on the Loose is no different, food plays a part, possibly a bigger part than one would expect. While there is certainly animal eating, I was pleasantly surprised to hear quite a lot of talk about jicama and other foods which don't often make it into children's books. One of my pet peeves is children's books which promote over-consumption of junk foods.