From School Library Journal
Grade 3–5—The brief accounts in this whimsical collection of animal anecdotes introduce symbolic leaders such as goat mayors, dog-kings, and a rhinoceros who won a seat on the São Paulo city council in a write-in campaign. The stories, which are arranged by continent of origin, hail from legends and oral histories, though some are more recent and better documented. Yayo's acrylic-on-canvas paintings capture the topsy-turvy spirit of the tales and add playful details: a dog-king proudly leads a procession carrying a bone scepter; an elegant cat, appointed a lady-in-waiting in Imperial Japan, wears a kimono adorned with koi fish. Animal lovers will find this a fascinating diversion, even as it slyly plants ideas about government and leaders. For example, residents of a Colorado town observed that their cat mayor was "a politician who really listened, although she did not return phone calls." For a more comprehensive look at the history of humans and pets, see Sheila Keenan's enjoyable Animals in the House
(Scholastic, 2007).—Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA
About the Author
Charlotte Foltz Jones is known for her informative nonfiction for children, including "Mistakes That Worked: 40 Familiar Inventions and How They Came to Be;" "Accidents May Happen;" "Fifty Inventions Discovered by Mistake;" and "Eat Your Words: A Fascinating Look at the Language of Food." She is also the author of "Yukon Gold: The Story of the Klondike Gold Rush," which School Library Journal called "a fascinating look at the Alaskan Gold Rush." While doing research for this book she traveled extensively throughout the western states to small museums, libraries, and parks. She lived in the American West, in Boulder, Colorado. Charlotte passed away in 2007.