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Tails and Tales

I’m excited for our Summer Reading Program (SRP) this year! Not only because we’re able to meet in person again this summer, but also just because it’s going to be awesome! SRP starts on July 14 and be held on the subsequent Wednesdays through August 18, from 10:00 am – 11:30 am.

What is Tales and Tails? Well, it’s two of my very favorite things – animals and stories! Most animals have tails (not all of them, but lots of them do) – and ALL animals have a tale or two to tell! I’m sure my dog would love to sit down and regale anyone who would listen about how neglected he is because we don’t give him a treat any time he looks at us with those big brown puppy eyes… Oh, wait just a second, I need to go give the dog his 5:14pm milk bone.

Have you ever thought about how many books have been written about animals? There’s a reason for it – it’s because 99% of everyone in the world thinks animals are awesome (and the other 1% just haven’t realized it yet). I just did a quick search and find a few that I thought sounded interesting and that I’ve already added to my summer reading list:

“Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are” by Frans de Waal. Written in 2016, this book explores the scope and depth of animal intelligence, showing the reader that octopuses (I always thought it was octopi?) use coconut shells as tools; how elephants can classify humans by age, gender, and language (!), or how crows recognize individual faces.

“Unlikely Friendships: 47 Remarkable Stories from the Animal Kingdom” written by National Geographic magazine writer Jennifer S. Holland. This book documents heartwarming tales abut animals who, with nothing else in common, bond in the most unexpected ways: a cat and a bird; a mare and a fawn; an elephant and a sheep; and a snake and a hamster!

“Sad Animal Facts” by Brooke Barker. I wasn’t sure about this one when I saw the title – I don’t want to read anything SAD about an animal – but this promises to be a “delightful and quirky compendium of the animal kingdom’s more unfortunate truths – like what does a mayfly think of its one-day lifespan? Or how does a jellyfish feel about not having a heart? (#sorrybuttheyarenotsorry)

What are YOUR favorite animal books? Did any of the three I listed spark an interest?

And now, back to Summer Reading at the library! Our first SRP is going to be a carnival, with carnival snacks and carnival games, and of course, carnival books! RiverJack Z is coming back this year to help us all write a song – he’s always so much fun! Other activities will be painting your own picture, the Utica Zoo Mobile, a scavenger hunt, and an amazing end of the summer program full of surprises!

We would love it if you pre-registered – you can do it online at or in person at the library!

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