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Close to You: How Animals Bond Hardcover – March 18, 2008


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Hardcover, March 18, 2008
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR); 1st edition (March 18, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805081232
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805081237
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 9.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,318,061 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 1—This tender title about the bonding between baby and adult animals gets some punch from additional facts appended at the end. The body of the book has a brief rhyming text, notable for its precise and engaging verbs: "Giraffes/pucker up, sniff, and lick./Dolphins/whistle, clack, and click." Two manatees "caress against wrinkly skin." Human children and their elders kiss, rub noses, hug, and give roses. Large, heartwarming stock photos of animal families clearly illustrate each verse. A close-up of a baby alligator resting peacefully between its mother's jaws neatly breaks up the flow of mammals. The end matter includes a more detailed description of the relationship between each of the critters and its parents, and an indication of whether the species is threatened or endangered. In some cases slight anthropomorphism attributes "liking" and "enjoying" to the animals' behaviors, but the information seems carefully selected to be understandable and interesting to young children. Discussion questions (e.g., "How do you show your parents that you care?") and a chart of relevant numerical data on each animal round out the added material. Sizable enough for group sharing and also a comforting lap read, this is a book that will encourage children's curiosity.—Ellen Heath, Easton Area Public Library, Easton, PA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"Kajikawa captures animals both wild and domestic asleep in their natural habitats. . . . Thoughtfully conveived, attractively executed . . . this book goes beyond standard bedtime fare."
--Publishers Weekly
 
 

More About the Author

Kimiko's true love of reading and writing began one day at her local library. Kimiko says, "My local librarian asked me if I had ever read Harriet the Spy. She said that it was a great book, and I immediately took it home. I read the entire book that day! I was so disappointed when it ended that I reread it immediately. I had to find a way to keep the spirit of Harriet the Spy alive with me, so I began to keep a journal. And spy on people. I did not follow anyone, but I would try to pick up what people were saying, and I would study their mannerisms. I think Harriet the Spy was the book that got me to write because I really started to look at the world and put down what I saw on paper."

By fifth grade, Kimiko won an essay contest sponsored by the Philadelphia Inquirer. Her essay was about Abraham Lincoln and her victory earned her $3. At that moment, Kimiko concluded that, "Writing was a great way to make a living."

Kimiko won another writing contest when she was twelve, and this time she got to spend a day at the Bucks County Courier Times writing her own column. "I loved it. They took me around and introduced me to all the people that put the newspaper together. I felt like somebody special until they ran my photo in the paper. I was horrified that everyone at school would see it. I looked so nerdy!"

In high school, Kimiko was published in Seventeen Magazine. She was also the assistant editor and columnist for her high school newspaper. "At that point," Kimiko says, "I told my parents that I wanted to become a writer. My parents were unhappy with my decision. They told me that I should become a businesswoman instead."

Kimiko's mom is Japanese and her dad is American. Her parents met after World War II. They didn't even speak the same language when they were married.

Her mom was born in Tokyo in 1929. In an essay that Kimiko wrote when she was in eighth grade, she wrote, "There are no pictures of my mother when she was a child because they were all burned during the war. My mother was eleven years old when World War II started. She sometimes only had toothpaste to eat." During the war, Kimiko's mother lost nine relatives in one day during the bombing of Hiroshima. Soon after the war, Kimiko's grandmother died of cancer. The very next day, her aunt fell from a train and died from head injuries. Kimiko says, "My mom's life is filled with tragic stories that she rarely tells."

"In fact, my family has been the inspiration for most of my books. I credit my son, Chris, for starting my career as an author. When he was little, he fell in love with trains. What Chris wanted most in the world was a book with photographs of steam trains for young children. Fortunately, for me, that book didn't exist. After two years of searching, I decided to write and photograph the book that Chris so desperately wanted to read."

According to Kimiko, "Working on my books has helped me make sense of my life and helped me deal with the pain of growing up Eurasian. There were children in my neighborhood who wouldn't play with me when I was a kid. Some of them threw rocks at me and called me, "slanty eyes." Having grown up wishing I looked like most everyone else, I understand how important it is to give children an awareness and appreciation of our external differences and a realization that, underneath it all, we are very much the same. I feel that through teaching children to respect others we give them something even more important: self-respect."

"For several years, I have truly enjoyed reading old Japanese folklore and adapting those stories for an American audience. This is very therapeutic work for me. When I was little, I would go to sleep and wish that I would wake up looking like all the other kids. Now, I take pride in my heritage. Writing books has helped me grow as a person. It's very empowering. After all these years of feeling oppressed and ashamed of my background, I now feel that I can make a positive difference. "

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 7 customer reviews
Perfect for snuggling up with at bed time.
Pam Krol
The pictures are absolutely charming and my 3-yr. old niece just loves them.
Sally Stang
The photos are beautiful and illustrate both familiar and unusual animals.
Alison T. Kelley

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sally Stang on January 11, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The pictures are absolutely charming and my 3-yr. old niece just loves them. I love to "act out" the various ways of hugging and rubbing noses and so forth, which makes her laugh a lot. She loves helping me read the text to her too - a very cute rhyming verse - and asks for me to read it all the time when I visit with her. Sooo, I am bonding with her while reading a book about bonding. Neat.
The author has done a great job of matching photos to text, plus there is that interesting list in the back of the book about animal gestation facts. Also, a list of questions to ask the child about who cares about them and how they show love to others.
As I said - it's a warm and fuzzy book. I highly recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. E. MIGGELS on January 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Kajikawa's use of poetic, descriptive language coupled with adorable photos will delight both children and their parents. Elementary educators may consider using the text to model the use of interesting verbs and adjectives. Open-ended questions at the end will prompt discussion of caring as a character education trait. Finally, a picture index explaining how baby animals bond with their parents makes this an excellent choice for school or home libraries.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By libraries rock! on January 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover
As a former children's librarian, I was always looking for books that were perfect for reading to toddlers and preschoolers, and this book has it all! The photography is entrancing - gorgeous colors and simple striking presentation; the text is fun but lyrical, and it even includes a list in the back of cool animal facts, like age of an animal's independence. This is lovely for a lap sit or group reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Alison T. Kelley on January 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Close to You: How Animals Bond

This lovely book is perfect for the young child's natural interest in animals. The photos are beautiful and illustrate both familiar and unusual animals. My grandchildren loved to see how the parent and baby animal relate, especially the alligator. It is a must-read for kids young and old.
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