We love this book.
I bought if for my son last year as a Christmas present and it has been one of those books that both my kids have kept coming back to over the year. And often while we are talking about something one of them will randomly insert a “Mom did you know that story about x animal that did …………… and saved so many lives?”
The book (Heroes: Incredible true stories of courageous animals) is a compilation of 33 different stories about courageous animals who saved lives (most of them are during World War I and World War II). Most of the stories are 4 to 6 pages long. Which means they make a nice quick read, perfect if one kiddo is waiting for the other to finish something.
We love these stories and think they are amazing but I must stress they are stories about animals doing incredible things during war time so they do talk about things like prisoner of war camps, finding people trapped, bombings, injuries even death, which some kids might find a bit difficult (but there is nothing gruesome). I saw the recommended age range was 9+ and I think that is probably the reason why.
That being said we thought these stories were amazing to read and they really do show how incredible animals are. And I have also noticed how the kids have picked up lots of other information about war time life just by reading these stories. Small bits of information but bits that make wartime life seem so real, like what it must have been like living through the Blitz, or the conditions in a prisoner of war camp – eating rotting food drinking filthy water, getting sick a lot and still having to work hard.
I think the fact that these stories are about animals and how they helped during times of war does actually make reading the hard bits a bit easier for the kids. The story about being in the prisoner of war camp was easier for my son because the prisoners have their dog with them. So it actually ends up being a gentler way of the kids learning about some of the elements of what happened during war time.
Both my kids and I think this is a brilliant book and we have loved reading about these truly incredible animals. We highly recommend this book.
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