From School Library Journal
PreS—Photographs of surprising animal companions (a piglet and a dog, a deer and a rabbit, etc.) are paired with a text that touts the importance of friendship. The large, clear, well-lit photos were taken by Askani, who lives at a game park in Germany and has cared for numerous wild animals throughout her life. While these photographs are charming, the sentimental text is disappointing ("Even if you think I am…different. Something just tells me we are going to get along."). The anthropomorphism actually weakens the impact of the pictures by distracting readers from the reality of these unusual relationships. More successful is the end matter in which children learn about the author's work with animals and get a little background on each of the creatures depicted. These stories are the heart of the book, and a focus on this material could have created a powerful piece of nonfiction along the lines of Isabella and Craig Hatkoff and Paula Kahumbu's Owen & Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship
(Scholastic, 2006). Despite this missed opportunity, the pictures are sure to draw readers' interest.—Heidi Estrin, Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel, Boca Raton, FL
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About the Author
Tanja Askani has always had a special way with animals. She takes diligent care of her large adoptive family at home, and also regularly visits the wolf pack that she established at the nearby Lüneburger Heide Wildlife Preserve. She is the author of a book for adults, KINSHIP WITH THE WOLF. Tanja lives in Germany, near Hamburg, with her daughter.