injured animal

Animals Overcoming Odds: A Sampling of Picture Books for Kids

This month marks the 4th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which not only devastated the lives of millions of people and wreaked havoc on the natural areas of Louisiana and other parts of the southern U.S. coast, but also affected millions of animals. In honor of those who have courageously endured and thrived despite such difficult circumstances, here is a small sampling of picture books for kids about animals overcoming odds.

Lemon the Duck by Laura Backman. 2008. (32 pgs) Gr. K-3.
A duck hatched for a class project is disabled, so the class works to help Lemon become the best duck that she can.

The Late Loon by Dean Bennett. 2006. (32 pgs) Gr. K-3.
A loon born too late to fly south for the winter must learn, with a little help from a beagle named Jasper, how to survive on his own.

A Home for Dakota by Jan Grover and Nancy Lane. 2008. (24 pgs) Gr. 2-5.
Dog #241 lives in a dark crate on a puppy mill, until she is rescued and learns to trust humans again. When the puppy (now named Dakota) meets a young girl who has been as traumatized as she, healing begins for both of them.

Owen and Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship by Isabella Hatkoff. 2006. (40 pgs) Gr. 2-5.
When a baby hippo is orphaned during a tsunami in Indonesia, he finds comfort and safety with a 130 year-old giant tortoise.

Molly the Pony by Pam Kaster. 2008. (32 pgs) Gr. K-3.
Molly survives Hurricane Katrina, but when a dog injures her leg, it must be amputated. With a prosthetic leg, Molly learns to walk again and finds a new life of friendship.

Jubela by Cristina Kessler. 2001. (32 pgs) Gr. K-2.
When a baby rhino’s mother is killed by a poacher, little Jubela struggles to survive on his own.

Two Bobbies by Kirby Larson & Mary Nethery. 2008. (32 pgs) Gr. K-3.
A dog and a blind cat abandoned during the Hurricane Katrina evacuations manage to stick together and survive until they are rescued and find a new home.

Note: If you’d like an inspiring book for older kids, share with them Pawprints of Katrina: Pets Saved and Lessons Learned by Cathy Scott (2008), which documents the efforts of Best Friends Animal Society to rescue animals lost or abandoned during Hurricane Katrina and reunite them with their families.

~ Marsha

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