Knut: How One Little Polar Bear Captivated the World. By Juliana, Isabella, and Craig Hatkoff and Dr. Gerald R. Uhlich. Scholastic. $16.99.
There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat! By Lucille Colandro. Illustrated by Jared Lee. Cartwheel Books/Scholastic. $5.99.
What is the right way to treat animals that, left on their own in the wild, would surely die? The question raises serious issues of animal husbandry and of the interaction between people – who go to great
There is nothing real or realistic at all in There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat! – one of several recent books to produce variations on the nonsense song, “There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly.” The original song ends with the old lady swallowing a horse: “She’s dead, of course.” But that seems a bit too gruesome and final for Lucille Colandro, who has the old lady cough up everything she swallows – the bat, an owl, a cat, a ghost, a goblin, some bones and a wizard – at the end. Not surprisingly, it’s all a trick-or-treat tie-in, although the book will be fun, especially for small children, at any time of year. Jared Lee’s illustrations are right in the spirit of the story, with the ghost looking surprised while being swallowed and scared when the goblin is swallowed next, the old lady howling after swallowing the owl, and so on. The book is completely inconsequential, but it’s fun to read and fun to look at.