Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978
More Articles Browse All Articles >>


Play
Learn
Play
You are in:  Learning | It's A Jungle Out There

It's A Jungle Out There

Woof, Meow, Baah, Moo, Ribbut, Whinny -- Says Who? Browse our animal products below, and for more animal fun don't miss Lions, & Tigers, & Whales, Oh My! and Books to Read to Your Dog.


A Good Day
Ages: Infant - 5 yrs.
Author: Kevin Henkes   Illustrator: Kevin Henkes  
HarperCollins Children's Books/ Greenwillow Books, $16.99 (Hard Cover)   

In a spare, almost poetic text using barely more than 100 words, Henkes exuberantly depicts a series of four minor mishaps to bird, dog, fox, and squirrel. But then ... in reverse order, squirrel, fox, dog and bird each experience a sweetly satisfying reversal of fortune. And just when you think it's over, there's more... a joyous little girl and a final page in which each happy animal appears.

Animal Playground Animal Playground
Ages: All Ages
Sugar Mountain PR, Putumayo World Music, $14.98 (CD)   

Putumayo's latest release spotlights animal-based songs from thirteen different artists, and showcases many different musical styles. From the opening silliness of the appropriately named Wee Hairy Beasties from Chicago and their rendition of "Animal Crackers (in my Soup)," to the album's beautiful closer where the South African vocal group Lady Smith Black Mambazo croon a lovely rendition of "Mbube," the original version of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" listeners are in for some animal magnetism.

Baby Talk - My Safari Friends Baby Talk - My Safari Friends
Ages: 2 - 4 yrs.
Aurora World Inc., $19.99

This soft jeep holds four safari animals: an elephant, giraffe, tiger and hippo. Each animal makes a true-to-nature animal sound when squeezed. An opening on the top of the jeep allows children to put the animals in and take them out. The handle on the top of the jeep makes it easy for children to tote the animals around.

Go Diego Go! Go Diego Go! "Safari Rescue"
Ages: 2 - 5 yrs.
Nickelodeon, $16.99 (DVD)   

The double-length "Safari Rescue," headlines the three-episode Diego compilation disc from Nick Jr. Diego, his sister Alicia, and Baby Jaguar travel to the Serengeti in Africa to meet Juma, an African animal rescuer. With the play-along features like make your hands into binoculars, play you knees like a drum, and stomp your feet to scare off the lions. The other two episodes are "Panchita the Prairie Dog" and "Jorge The Little Hawk Learns to Migrate," about a lost hawk needing Diego's help to go south for the winter.

Click, Clack, Moo Cows That Type...and More Fun on the Farm Click, Clack, Moo Cows That Type...and More Fun on the Farm
Ages: 2 - 8 yrs.
Scholastic Entertainment (1), $14.95 (DVD)   

Hilarious story frames added to Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin’s Click, Click, Moo Cows That Type make the headlining story a reason to pick up this disc. Young viewers will delight in the tall tale of The Day Jimmy’s Boa Ate the Wash and the imaginative The Pigs’ Wedding. Among the bonus materials are two other animated adaptations.

It's a Big Big World: THE BIG BIG SLEEP It's a Big Big World: THE BIG BIG SLEEP
Ages: 2 - 8 yrs.
Jane Ayer Public Relations, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, $14.94 (DVD)   

These are rain forest animals, including a mellow sloth, a lively pair of twin marmosets, a nervous tree frog, and a good-hearted anteater. The setting and cast aside, what distinguishes this gentle series is the genuine science content (what causes thunder, why do we need water, etc.) that accompanies each episode's fairly typical life lesson (be yourself, help others, etc.). Animal habits, weather, nutrition, sound, and ecology are all touched on in the course of this DVD. The values here are timeless: respect yourself and others, care for the environment and the creatures we share it with.

Ape Ape
Ages: 3 - 7 yrs.
Author: Martin Jenkins   Illustrator: Vicki White  
Candlewick Press, $16.99 (Hard Cover)   

With compelling illustrations and a conservationist slant, this look at four rare great apes - and one very familiar one - is a book to go ape over.Swing with a hairy orangutan and her baby as they lunge for a smelly, spiky durian fruit. Roam and play with a gang of chimps, then poke out some tasty termites with a blade of grass. Chatter and feast on figs with a bonobo, or chomp on bamboo with a gorilla as he readies for sleep. Book Description

African Safari
Ages: 3 - 8 yrs.
Imagiplay, Inc., $27.99

Young explorers can journey to one of the most fascinating region on our planet from the comfort of their own rolling puzzle jeep. Set comes complete with 7 hand-painted animals, baobob tree, 2 figures and rolling puzzle jeep. Hand crafted in Sri Lanka out of rubberwood, an environmentally friendly hardwood.

Diary of a Worm...and 4 More Great Animal Tales
Ages: 3 - 8 yrs.
Foundry Communications, New Video, $14.95 (DVD)   

Includes: Diary of a Worm (by Doreen Cronin, illustrated by Harry Bliss), Anatole (by Eve Titus, illustrated by Paul Galdone), Frog Goes to Dinner (by Mercer Mayer), I Lost My Bear (by Jules Feiffer) and a bonus story: The Three-Legged Cat (by Margaret Mahy).

anamalz anamalz
Ages: 3 & Up
Hape International Inc., $6.95

Natural wooden animals that have life-like characteristics in an artistic and moveable form. Each animal will provide hours of role play, story telling, companionship and life long memories. Made from organic maple, each piece is individually branded by the natural grains of the wood and the touch of the craftsman. All Animalz are made from non-toxic European materials and quality is never compromised.

Animal Habitats!
Ages: 3 & Up
Author: Judy Press   Illustrator: Betsy Day  
Ideals Publications/Williamson Books, $12.95 (Paperback)

Children will learn that habitat is another word for "home" and why living things appear in some geographical regions, but not in others. Fun ecological and environmental activities help children understand their individual role and responsibility in caring for the habitats they encounter, while additional games and activities reinforce science concepts to further support learning. Do-it-yourself crafts follow each topic introduced.

Noah's Ark Noah's Ark
Ages: 3 & Up
Plan Creations Co., Ltd., $50.00

This versatile wooden play-set comes with an ark, twelve pairs of brightly colored animals and figures of Noah and his wife. The ark's roof can be removed to access the cabin and the gangway opens to the roomy cargo-hold. Three portholes allow children to peek at the animals inside.

Pretend & Play Animal Hospital Pretend & Play Animal Hospital
Ages: 3 & Up
Learning Resources, $34.95

Tender loving pet care goes anywhere with this portable animal hospital. A fun way to encourage responsible pet care, this playset comes complete with a lovable puppy and 34 pieces to ensure a thorough check-up. Special write-and-wipe components let children play again again. Tri-fold board with pockets stores all components neatly.

Animal Genius
Ages: 5 - 7 yrs.
Scholastic Inc., $24.99

In each of the five games, Scratch & See, Matchomatic, Feature Finder, Maze Munch, and Animal Expert, users become familiar with animal habits and environments. Children choose the animal (there are 25 in all) they want to learn about, then play a game that helps them earn points so they can successfully put each creature in its proper habitat (which can range from Oceans to Grasslands). Kids will be exercising skills that include comparing and contrasting, interpreting, classifying, and using vocabulary.

Zoobooks Zoobooks
Ages: 5 - 12 yrs.
Wildlife Education, Ltd.,

Published by Wildlife Education , Ltd. each monthly issue is devoted to one species or topic. From whales to endangered species, full color photographs as well as illustrations add to the impact of the information. Designed and written in an age appropriate style, the fact filled pages of this ad-free magazine delivers subscribers lessons about anatomy, habits and habitat. Simple art projects and stories reinforce the content sure to please young animal enthusiasts.

Galapagos Tortoise Puppet Galapagos Tortoise Puppet
Ages: 5 & Up
Folkmanis, Inc., $40.00

For young explorers, a trip to the Galapagos Islands can begin with this puppet. Play scenarios included marine biology, conservation and climate change.

Little Labs: Animals Little Labs: Animals
Ages: 5 & Up
Thames & Kosmos, $15.95

Learn about animals in your backyard and parks by investigating their natural habitats and tracks. The simple pictorial instructions included has just enough text to reinforce vocabulary and aid in language learning, and also to advise parents and adult supervisors. Includes: knowledge wheel, specimen bags, plaster, tweezers, measuring cups, bug viewer, stickers, and 16 page full-color guidebook.

Sounds of the Wild: Ocean Sounds of the Wild: Ocean
Ages: 5 & Up
Author: Maurice Pledger   Illustrator: Maurice Pledger  
Advantage Publisher's Group/Silver Dolphin Books, $16.95 (Hard Cover)   

Sounds of the Wild: Ocean cannot fail to impress. Each of the main pages features a detailed panorama of an ocean scene, accompanied by a high-quality sound effect appropriate to the setting. The illustrative pages are each followed by a pair of pages that identify all of the significant elements of the scene and describe in great detail the animals, their interactions, and their environment. A pre-reader can study the beautiful images, identify favorite animals, and ask questions about the rest of the scene; older readers can delve deeper into the details of ocean life.

Wolves: Stories Featuring Our Best Friend's Wild Cousin
Ages: 6 - 12 yrs.
Eastern Coyote Recordings, $15.00 (CD)   

Hungry Wolf's Lucky Day trails an old wolf that is outsmarted (by a cow, pigs, a donkey, a chicken, and a ram) each time he tries to find and devour his "dream" breakfast. Just as he is ready to give up, Mother Nature comes to his aid and satisfies his hunger. Two additional stories also offer entertaining and informative narratives that deal with the consequences of how we treat each other.

Wild Cards Wild Cards
Ages: 6 & Up
Birdcage Press, $9.95

In true-to-form Birdcage Press style, three classic card games (Memory, Old Maid, and Go Fish) are given new life and adventure with handsome wild mammals cards. From polar bears to river otters, each card has fun facts about the 47 different North American animals and what family they belong to. Bonus cards teach players to identify animal tracks.

Zooboogie
Ages: 6 & Up
Cool Beans Music, Inc., $15.99 (CD)   

Steve Pullara and his Cool Beans Band provide a fun-filled, animal-focused musical extravaganza on his fifth and latest album. Energetic, dance-inducing tunes include "Dance Like a Duck," "Doctor Mindy (The Vet)," "Migration Sensation," and the swinging "All Creatures Were Babies." Other musical highlights include the snortin' Cajun romp "A Big Fat Pig," and the Celtic-inspired "Penguin Rescue.

Pet Vet 3D Wild Animal Hospital Pet Vet 3D Wild Animal Hospital
Ages: 7 & Up
Viva Media, $29.99

Players take on the role of veterinarians treating wild animals brought in from the African bush and jungle-a range of species that include elephants, zebras, aardvarks, leopards, and lions. First step is to examine the sick or injured beast, second is to diagnose the problem, third is to treat it. In all levels of game play, players must use observational skills, logic and reasoning to choose which exam instruments to use, what diagnosis from a list of likely problems (more than 100 of them in the game), and ultimately the correct treatment. For an additional educational resource, players can read animal-fact books at the hospital between cases to bone up on the creatures they're treating.

Ranger Rick Ranger Rick
Ages: 7 & Up
National Wildlife Federation,

Written for children 7 and up, each issue is packed with facts, stunning photos and outdoor adventures that help kids sharpen reading skills and develop a deeper appreciation for nature.

Animal Poems Animal Poems
Ages: 8 & Up
Author: Valerie Worth   Illustrator: Steve Jenkins  
Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $17.00 (Hard Cover)   

Animal themes have been a children's poetry staple since the beginning of the genre, but this particular collection by Valerie Worth is a standout for one simple reason: it's anything but simple. These poems, about creatures as diverse as hummingbirds and whales, are startling in their complexity of thought. For younger readers, this is perhaps best shared aloud with an adult.

Extreme Animals: The Toughest Creatures on Earth Extreme Animals: The Toughest Creatures on Earth
Ages: 8 & Up
Author: Nicola Davies   Illustrator: Neal Layton  
Candlewick Press, $12.99 (Hard Cover)   

Just what exactly are the toughest creatures on Planet Earth? What animals come with their own biological antifreeze, enabling them to survive in 110 degree weather? How do camels keep their heads cool? And which Saharan residents can cope with body temperatures of 128 degrees? The answers to these questions and other amazing facts are collected in this fascinating little book of animal adaptations. This book will entertain and enlighten young nature lovers, making it a good choice for classrooms, libraries and home reading.

The Field Guide to Rain Forest Animals The Field Guide to Rain Forest Animals
Ages: 8 & Up
Author: Nancy Honovich   Illustrator: Marc Dando   Illustrator: Ryan Hobson  
Advantage Publisher's Group/Silver Dolphin Books, $15.95 (Hard Cover)   

The Field Guide to Rain Forest Animals is a study in page turning. The sturdy pages are water colored with a handwritten font to look like an explorer's journal. The descriptions tell a story; they flow from one to the next, incorporating photos with detailed artwork, factoid notes with meticulous observations. Each animal is given four pages of attention. On the second page of each animal's section is a pouch containing pieces to make a three-dimensional model of the animal. The models are constructed of durable layered paperboard, (they hold up well but collapse and store flat in the pouches) and are rendered with the same realistic watercolor art as much of the book. This book is a pleasure to read and ideal for imaginative play in and about the Rainforest.

Also try: The Field Guide to Safari Animals

Uncover A Dolphin Uncover A Dolphin
Ages: 8 & Up
Author: David Gordon  
Silver Dolphin Books, $18.95 (Hard Cover)   

This book's center literally is a 3D model of a dolphin that, as you turn each page, reveals another layer of the inner structure of a dolphin's anatomy. The book is an informative guide filled with such factual creature briefs as "Wiggle Signals, "Unfishlike Fins," "Fat-Rich Liquid Diet" and "Safety in Numbers." Broken up by anatomical systems that are revealed in model, from skeletal and cardiopulmonary to muscular and epidermis, the info is broken down into clippy, short blocks of reading so kids don't face any type-filled gray pages. This is a fascinating, tactile, hands-in volume.

Also look for Uncover a Tiger and Uncover a Dog.

Pet Pals: Animal Doctor
Ages: 10 & Up
Legacy Interactive, $19.95

In this charming educational game players role-play as veterinarians. Players diagnose and treat sickly cats, turtles, exotic birds, fish, rabbits, dogs - 35 different species in all. Players choose from a variety of possible treatments which they narrow based on symptoms, tests (stool tests, temperature, blood tests, heart rate, etc.) and diagnosis. The program provides three levels of difficulty and cases range from grooming to urgent emergency care and even surgery. Mini-games full of information about animals and the veterinary profession add to the learning. Animal lovers and wanna-be vets will love the challenge.

Zoo Vet: Endangered Animals Zoo Vet: Endangered Animals
Ages: 10 & Up
Michael Meyers Public Relations, Legacy Interactive, $19.95

Have you ever wondered what it's like to be a real-life veterinarian? Here's your chance! You're responsible for treating endangered animals, including elephants, lions, zebras, crocodiles, polar bears and many more! You need a steady hand as you use realistic medical tools to treat broken bones, cuts, diseases and even perform surgeries! 30 medical cases; 3 levels of difficulty; puzzle, word search, memory and other learning games too.


Share This

Keeping Kids Safe on the Internet

Award-Winning Products for Learning

Article Archive

Reference Tools & Homework Helpers

Mailbox
Sign Up
Our news & features delivered to your inbox.