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Fur and Feathers Hardcover – August 10, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 1–Sophia dreams that a howling wind comes in and whisks away all the fur and feathers on the animals in the book she was reading. She tries to help them by sharing her clothes, but none of them suit the animals' needs. Then she decides to make new coats for them: scales for Snake, gray feathers for Duck, pins and needles for Porcupine, etc. The major problem with this book is that it hammers children over the head with its message of various animal coverings, and youngsters who are learning about the topic may be bored by this simplistic story. The book is wordy and tedious, and the illustrations and text do not flow together. The art is pleasant enough and does a good job of capturing the animals realistically, but there is nothing truly outstanding here. This volume doesn't seem to know if it's fiction or nonfiction, and it does not succeed as either one. Additional facts appear at the end, including information on scientific classification of animals.–Lora Van Marel, Orland Park Public Library, ILα(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


"This is an incredible story! I LOVE it and know that it's found a home in my 'Animals, Animals, Everywhere' theme. . . .I'm very much looking forward to sharing it with my preschoolers!" --Katie's Literature Lounge

"Fur and Feathers is a wonderful story of creativity, learning and the magic of animals. Any child who loves animals will thrill in this book. . . .I can't recommend Fur and Feathers enough." --Cafe of Dreams

Fur and Feathers. . . .helps children believe in their dreams and imaginations, all while teaching children about the different animal coverings and why each animal needs to have their very own kind of covering." --Story Time Under the Stars

"Highly recommended as a read aloud for the younger set, and a read aloud science-based picture book through mid-elementary." --She's Too Fond of Books

"My little girl just loved this tory. . . .this was a great book to teach her why the animals had different type of skin to keep them warm. . . .and what a fun way for her to learn about it." --Chrissy's World of Books --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 and up
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten and up
  • Lexile Measure: 750L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: SylvanDellPublishing (August 10, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1607180758
  • ISBN-13: 978-1607180753
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 8.7 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,761,127 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Janet Halfmann ( is an award-winning children's author who strives to make her books come alive for young readers and listeners. Many of her picture books are about animals and nature. She also writes picture book biographies about little-known people of achievement.

Recent titles by Janet include Animal Teachers; A Rainbow of Birds; Eggs 1, 2, 3: Who Will the Babies Be?; Home in the Cave; Star of the Sea: A Day in the Life of a Starfish; Good Night, Little Sea Otter; Fur and Feathers; Little Skink's Tail; and Seven Miles to Freedom: The Robert Smalls Story. Janet has written forty fiction and nonfiction books for children.

Before becoming a children's author, Janet was a daily newspaper reporter, children's magazine editor, and a creator of coloring and activity books for Golden Books. She is the mother of four and the grandmother of four. When Janet isn't writing, she enjoys gardening, exploring nature, visiting living history museums, and spending time with her family. She grew up on a farm in Michigan and now lives in South Milwaukee, WI.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By D. Blankenship HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on August 20, 2010
Format: Hardcover
What a great read and learning experience for the little ones this work is! Fur and Feathers is targeted for the 4-8 age groups which is just about right. It is quite satisfying to find a children's book that will truly entertain while at the same time teach. This is one of those books.

There is a howling windstorm outside and little Sophia is being read to by her mother. The book is about animals; all kinds of animals from bears to ducks to snakes. As most children will, Sophia falls asleep while being read to. And the dream begins!

The wind swirls and blows, round and round and as it goes faster all of the animals are caught up in the whipping storm. Alas! As the wind blows off go their coats. Fur, shells, feathers, scales and such go flying away leaving the poor animals quite unclothed. Sophia of course wants to help and goes to her closet and finds every piece of clothing she owns and dresses the animals. But this will not do at all! A pig in a jogging outfit, a seal in a suit, a penguin in a tutu! No, it will not do at all.

Our little Sophia is a creative little thing though and pulls out grandma's huge sewing basket. It is full of furs, feathers, sequins and such. Sophia goes to work. Measuring, cutting, stitching and sewing she works throughout the night. Of course by morning the creative little girl has all of the animals "dressed" as they should be dressed; in their natural cover!

Of course the first thing this book teaches is the art of being creative. The author and artist have taken the brick-a-brack found in the sewing boxes of all grandmothers and shown just what can be done with a bit if imagination and ingenuity. (Hey, remember that this is a dream).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Penelope Anne Cole on November 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I loved Fur and Feathers by Janet Halfmann with artwork by Laurie Allen Klein. It's an imaginative story full of silly fun and solid scientific information for young inquiring minds. Listening to the audio reading of the book was most enjoyable. I picture children sitting in a circle captivated and transfixed by this story. The text is also available in Spanish. As a parent, teacher, and author, I really appreciate a book as enchanting and stimulating as this one is. There are additional teaching resources and activities online.

This is a charming story about a little girl named Sophia who dreams of a wild wind that whips the coats off of animals and various other creatures. The poor animals then need her help to make new coats and coverings for them. It is a delight to see Sophia try and then find just the right "clothing" for all her animal friends. She sews, snips, tucks, paints, and "slimes" through the night until all her critter friends are suitably clothed again. The story ending with a visit to the zoo is especially dear.

Laurie Allen Klein's illustrations are amazing, rich with detail and whimsy. There is so much going on in each panel that parents and teachers will have plenty of "what do you see in this picture?" questions to ask their children and students. This is a story that will be enjoyed, requested, and beloved by many, many children. Although I wish it were available to me when my daughter was young, I'm thrilled it is available now.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By VS Grenier Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on March 20, 2011
Format: Paperback
Reviewed By Irene S. Roth

Synopsis: This is a cute children's book about Sophia who awakens from her sleep because of a bad storm. After her Mom soothes her for a while, she falls asleep and dreams that the winds whisk the fur, feathers, shells, and scales off all the animals in her area. Since the animals in her dream were shivering in their bare skin, she decides to make a coat for each of them. So, she takes out her sewing kit and materials, and sets to work. In the process, she learns a lot about the various animals and how to help them out. In addition, there's a sidebar for creative readers.

Overall Thoughts: This is a great book to encourage kids not to be afraid of things that they cannot control but to do things that will enrich their lives and those of others. There are many other lessons for kids in the book as well, such as being kind and creative and that we could turn any situation into something positive and productive. These are all great messages for kids.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on September 20, 2010
Format: Paperback
"Fur and Feathers" is a creative picture book with a hands-on educational approach to the scientific classification of animals. Sophia is counting animals with her mother to help her go to sleep while the wind is blowing loudly. In her dreams she meets many wonderful animals shivering in their bare skin and decides to try to make coats for each of them, using her Grandmother's sewing basket and supplies. Each animal receives the special type of coat it needs with a little extra imaginative touch, like the little red heart behind the polar bear's ear. Sophia even manages to find a jar of green slime for the frog and prickly pins and needles for the porcupine! At the end Sophia wakes up and gets a surprise visit to the zoo with her Grandmother where she sees her polar bear in the coat with the special red heart she made for him! The story of "Fur and Feathers" is perfectly enhanced by the gently comical painting and illustrations which are guaranteed to tickle kids' fancies. "Fur and Feathers" is part of an educational series that uses multi-sensory stimulating ideas for crafts and related activities to teach basic concepts introduced in the story. At the end of "Fur and Feathers" are additional pages on scientific classification, types of animals and categories, plus descriptions of skin coverings and examples of animal classification found in the story. Additional teaching activities that supplement the story are available on the Sylvan Dell website free, plus a Spanish and English version of the "For Creative Minds" section in the book. Additional titles available in this exciting, creative series are "Astro the Stellar Sea Lion," "Champ's Story: Dogs Get Cancer Too!," "A Day On the Mountain," and "Ready, Set... WAIT!" "Fur and Feathers" is suitable for children ages 4-9, with a Lexile count of 750.
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