Tag Archives: Animals


Litercurious Book Review

Does Your Dog Speak Hebrew by Ellen Bari
TitleDoes Your Dog Speak Hebrew: A Book of Animal sounds Series: Very First Board Books
AuthorEllen Bari
IllustratorHolly Clifton-Brown
PublisherKar-Ben Publishing ® (September 1, 2020)
FormatUnabridged Audiobook also available on Board
Book, Kindle
TimeOne minute and twenty-six minutes (Board book
& Kindle versions 14 Pages)
GenreChildren’s Animal book, Children’s Language Book
Language English and Hebrew
ISBN#10/131541560892 / 978-1541560895


Ellen Bari has created award-winning museum exhibits and programs for clients including The Children’s Museum of Manhattan, Sesame Workshop, PBS, Nickelodeon and the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. Ellen, a fluent Hebrew speaker, lived in Israel and enjoys writing about a variety of Jewish topics. She lives in New York.


Holly Clifton-Brown was born in London and attended Chelsea School of Art, Media, and Design and Bristol UWE Faculty of Art, Media and Design, where she attained a B.A. in Illustration. Her work has been exhibited at The London Transport Museum. She is the author and illustrator of Annie Hoot and the Knitting Extravaganza and has illustrated other picture books including Big Bouffant and Big Birthday.


Does Your Dog Speak Hebrew? Is the most recent offering from the acclaimed Children’s literature author Ellen Bari. This book is meant for parents of very young children who wish to ensure they begin learning Hebrew linguistically as soon as possible. Research supports the proposition that in order to increase the success of learning multiple languages is best started as early in a child’s life as possible. As you would anticipate from a book directed towards 1-4 years of age, pre-school and up, the content is purposefully short, simple and repetitive. This is no accident but is done purposefully in order to hold the child’s attention and through repetition improve their retention of the story and thus the nuances of the language.

The narration delivered by Holly Clifton-Brown provides a concise and clear delivered in an accurate manner and accent free.

I am reviewing the audiobook version and so I am unable to comment on the illustrations beyond stating that if the front page is anything to go by the images will be every bit as exciting and interesting as the narration and the dialogue.


Does Your Dog Speak Hebrew? Is fun for the child and the parent. What better gift to give your child than a better understanding of the world through the languages we speak. I enjoyed it and I am completely confident that you and your children will to.

Rating: 3 out of 5.


I would like to thank Ellen Bari, NetGalley and Kar-Ben Publishing ® & Lerner Audiobooks for affording me the opportunity to review: Does Your Dog Speak Hebrew?


Jenny loves to jump. But when jumping gets her in trouble, she decides to retire her pogo stick. Then her school decides to hold a fundraising fair, and she discovers that her skill can be used for a good cause.

The Tattered Prayer Book, winner of The Mom’s Choice Award, is a gentle introduction to the Holocaust for children ages 6-10. Ruthie discovers a secret about her father while looking through a box of mementos from “the old country.” As her father tells his surprising story, Ruthie learns a slice of Jewish history and the circumstances under which the family fled Nazi Germany. A burnt prayer book taken in secret from a destroyed synagogue after Kristallnacht offers solace to a young boy at the most difficult time in his life.



Litercurious Book Review

TitleA Curious Collection of Peculiar Creatures:
An Illustrated Encyclopedia
AuthorSami Bayly
PublisherThe Experiment (October 27, 2020)
FormatKindle, Hardcover
Page 128
GenreChildren’s Non-Fiction, Animals, Children’s Zoology


Sami Bayly is a natural history illustrator based in Newcastle. She loves all things, weird and wonderful. She finds the beauty and importance of all animals regardless of their appearance, and hopes to share her appreciation with others.

Sami’s first book, The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Ugly Animals, won the Children’s Indie Book of the Year Award. It was shortlisted for the CBCA Eve Pownall Award, the ABIA Book of the Year for Younger Children, and the Australian Book Design Awards. It was longlisted for the ABA Booksellers’ Choice 2020 Book of the Year Awards.


Weird and wonderfully strange creatures are presented on a double page spread per subject. Utilizing an infographic style, the page layout includes a one-page description and a page covering the particulars of each creature; such as: where they live, what they eat, their conservation status and fun facts.

The key illustrations are large, colorful and life-like. In addition, there are pen and ink sketches depicting the creature in focus from different perspectives. There are also infographics depicting an average sized man next to each creature to allow the viewer to establish scale. All of these descriptive annotations are displayed on a velum colored background.

There are 61 examples of curious creatures continued within the 128 pages. What follows are a few examples of the fascinating animals, fish, birds and invertebrates that you can find in Bayly’s enchanting work:

RETICULATED STARGAZER – Dactyloscopus Foraminosus Blanchardi

This diminutive fish is literally nightmare fuel. The Reticulated Stargazer projects a terrifying countenance enhanced by the full page color image. With large eyes protruding from the top if its head as it languishes half-buried in sand and a mouth full of sharp dirty teeth; the thought of an encounter with this mini monster is sobering. At only three inches long, it blends skillfully into the environment. This is quite alarming when you realize that this tiny terror can deliver a shock of 50 volts from between its eyes. If electrocution isn’t bad enough, it can inject you with venom from two spines on its back. If all this were not disgusting enough, the Reticulated Stargazer has the propensity to burp back the scales of it’s last meal.

Consider for a moment that these were the fun facts about this fish.

SARCASTIC FRINGEHEAD – Neoclinus Blanchardi

Looking like an off-world monster with a disarticulated hinged jaw, the Sarcastic Fringehead is a vision from a horror movie. So violent it attacks fishermen, who as a result avoid them like the plague. They enjoy the luxury of having few natural threats, and it is thought that this is partially the reason for their aggression. Fortunately, these omnivores are deep sea fish who consume squid, plankton, crustaceans, and small fish. Their habitat is off the Coast of California and Mexico, 195 feet down in the depths.

TARDIGRADE – Tardigrada

Tardigrade are better known as the Water Bear. They are invertebrates that live three months to two and a half years. However, if they become dormant, they can last as long aa thirty years in stasis. Some are hermaphroditic; also known as intersex, while others can clone themselves. Tardigrade’s can survive in temperature extremes as well as being capable of cryptobiosis. They are cannibalistic and can also use tubes to suck juices from moss, algae, and bacteria. They are survivors and have been around for over 500 million years.

These are just a few of the 61 animals depicted. You might find: The Aye-Aye, the Hairless Chinese Crested Dog, The Blob Fish, The Purple Pig-Nosed Frog or the Naked Mole Rat just as interesting. 


A Curious Collection of Peculiar Creatures is a fascinating, entertaining and fun journey through the world of strange, exotic and captivating animals. It is packed full of interesting knowledge about the private lives of the most bizarre wildlife. A perfect excursion for children wanting to discover the fringe world of fantastic and unique critters.

In my opinion children would enjoy this publication. It is containing scientifically based information set in easy digestible chunks for young, hungry minds. I feel assured that A Curious Collection of Peculiar Creatures would stimulate and entertain but more importantly that it will encourage further research. When learning is fun children are driven to want to learn more and this is the true strength of Bayly’s scintillating work. It is simply a joy to the eye and the mind equally.

Rating: 4 out of 5.


I would like to thank Sami Bayly, NetGalley and The Experiment for affording me the opportunity to review A Curious Collection of Peculiar Creatures.


Q: What do sea monsters eat?

A: Fish and ships.



Litercurious Book Review

TitleTigers: Stunning Photographs of the World’s
Biggest Cats (Animals) 
AuthorPaula Hammond
PublisherAmber Books Ltd (14 Mar. 2020)
ISBN# 10/131782749659 / 978-1782749653


Paula Hammond has worked as a publisher, copy-writer, ghost-writer, author, and journalist. She has written over 50 fiction and non-fiction books as well as sponsored resources, comics, poetry and scripts for DVDs and CD-ROMS. Clients include Harper Collins, Marshall Cavendish, Scholastic, World Book, Disney, Betty Crocker, and the BBC. She also contributes to a wide variety of news-stand magazines and journals. A selection of her publications can be viewed on Amazon and Pinterest (WriterPaula).


This work has broad appeal for all those who are interested by the wildest of wildlife.


Tigers is more of a photographic folio of the Tiger species than a scientific examination of that big cat. That said, it does not detract from the sheer beauty of this hardcover. It might be more accurate to call it a gallery book.

This monograph is an extravaganza of large, oversized, full color, high quality, photographs. Some of the plates are accompanied by tracts describing aspects of this most noble of the cat species. I was so taken with the subject that I found myself repeatedly flicking through the pages again and again.

The presentation was concise consisting of the following:


Tiger Species

Tiger Habitats

Hunting for Food

Tiger Cubs



Paula Hammond has produced a delightful work of photographic art. It is woven together with interesting tidbits of relevant and related information about the deadliest, most intelligent and magnificent animal that we share the planet with. “A thing of beauty is a joy forever,” describes Hammond’s book perfectly. If you love big cats, appreciate beautiful pictures or find the Tiger species interesting, then this is a must have book.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.


I would like to thank Paula Hammond, NetGalley, and Amber Books Ltd for affording me the opportunity to review Tigers: Stunning Photographs of the World’s Biggest Cats (Animals) .

The Falcon Thief – REVIEW

Litercurious Book Review

TitleThe Falcon Thief
AuthorJoshua Hammer
PublisherSimon and Schuster February 11, 2020
FormatPaperback, Kindle, Hardcover, Audiobook
ASIN # / ISBN #B07TGF9Y2 / 9781501191886


Joshua Hammer is the author of many other manuscripts, articles and has worked with organizations as notable as National Geographic Magazine as well as many other prestigious publications. He is an experienced professional writer and this book is a clear demonstration of his expertise. Click here to read more about the author and his other work.

Who is the target audience?

Those who find true crime compelling and those who share a love for all earth’s creatures will be the primary audience. This book will entice readers who enjoy the thrill of the chase or who have interest in learning new facts about the customs and cultures of faraway lands. It also holds a much broader appeal for those who identify as environmentally astute.


The narrative is well written in the style of a crime thriller and is interlaced with twists and turns worthy of that title. The eclectic mix of characters makes for a compelling story, all the more so as it is a true tale.

Hammer begins with the chance apprehension of Jeffery Lendrum, the raptor thief. Lendrum commits a rookie mistake and is apprehended, and just like that the chase is on to find his clients. He subsequently reveals the tragic context that leads to Falcons becoming an endangered species. The negligent use of chemical DDT leads to a massive reduction in bird populations thus placing them on the verge of extinction in a number of British Isles.

The ancient and noble sport of Falconry turns a previously innocent pastime into a thriving black market. Buyers and suppliers traverse the globe in pursuit of their chosen birds of prey.  The suppliers use any and all means to obtain the elusive birds without any consideration to the impact on the species.

The suspense builds as Andy McWilliam; the investigating detective uses all his acumen, resources, and cunning in the hunt for the buyers of illegal birds of prey. Hammer transports us from the gritty streets of Liverpool, in Great Britain to the opulent abodes in the desert heat of the Middle East, and then farther on into the Arctic in this epic pursuit.

Hammer weaves a compelling case for the plight of the falcons and highlights the very real and present danger that poachers such as Lendrum pose to wildlife populations. Lendrum’s antics in the pursuit of his prey verges at times on that of an anti-James Bond. He guides us through the interconnected panoply of Lendrum’s criminal enterprise, and does it in a gripping narrative.


This yarn has everything to satisfy those wanting to escape the drudgery of everyday existence: falcons that can out pace falling parachutists, a criminal who flouts International Law, Emirate Sheiks who will pay hundreds of thousands for a single Falcon egg, and a police detective who’s experience and dedication leads to a satisfying and acceptable conclusion. The characters discussed in this book don’t even begin to come close to the magnificence of the Falcon Family and their agility, speed, and unique ophthalmic.

I firmly believe that the reader will come away with a greater respect and understanding of the threats posed to our wildlife; particularly the threat to endangered species globally. Lendrum’s work is precise and without verbosity. The pages just fly by and all too soon the journey is over. I highly recommend this book to you. It is definitely a “buy it now” kind of book.    


My sincere thanks go out to NetGalley, Joshua Hammer, and publishers Simon and Schuster for affording me the opportunity to review The Falcon Thief.