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The Burgess Animal Book for Children

Thornton W. Burgess

Book Overview: 

Peter Rabbit goes to school, with Mother Nature as his teacher. In this zoology book for children, Thornton W. Burgess describes the mammals of North America in the form of an entertaining story, including plenty of detail but omitting long scientific names. There is an emphasis on conservation.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Chuck might make a nest on the ground the way Mrs. Peter and Mrs. Jumper do," replied Jumper meekly.

"No, siree!" replied Johnny. "Our babies are born in that little underground bedroom, and they stay down in the ground until they are big enough to hunt for food for themselves."

"How many do you usually have?" inquired Chatterer the Red Squirrel.

"Six or eight," replied Johnny Chuck. "Mrs. Chuck and I believe in large families."

"Do you eat nuts like the rest of our family?" inquired
Striped Chipmunk.

"No," replied Johnny Chuck. "Give me green food every time. There is nothing so good as tender sweet clover and young grass, unless it be some of those fine vegetables Farmer Brown grows in his garden"

Peter Rabbit nodded his head very emphatically as if he quite agreed.

"I suppose you are what is called a veg. . . Read More

Community Reviews

I am reading this with my 5-year-old animal loving son. We are having so much fun reading it. He begs me to read more & more. We have both learned so much from it & can't wait to read more of Burgess' books. After each chapter we rush to the computer to look up pictures & more info on...more

Great book of knowledge

Contains a fair amount of negative reference to hunters, which I chose to omit while reading aloud to my children. Still the book is full of wonderful information about all the mammals that live in North America.

First read by my mother before I was able to read.

Charlie loved this book.

Fantastic book of nature lore pertaining to North American animals. Accessible and well written. I dare say I liked it even better than his Bird Book. (AmblesideOnline year 2 book)

Great for young children, we listened to it over breakfast and lunch as an audio-book!

4.5 stars. Seems like Burgess books have to grow on me. At first I am always a little put off by the whole "lessons-through-talking-animals" thing. But by the end I really enjoyed this one and my kids (ages 10 and 8) loved it.

I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of reading this to my boys for almost a year now. It's packed with great sources of information on each mammal of North America. I'll always treasure the memory of this book.

Although I've posted this review on the readily accessible Dover reprint of this children’s literature classic, that’s not actually the version The Eight-Year-Old is reading.

I generally love the Dover reprints. Most of our Burgess books are from the Dover collection. But in the case of The Burge...more

I grant that this is a living book, but I just didn't enjoy it very much. The Burgess books cover a LOT of ground, almost too much to really retain much. It was usually one of my daughter's favorite school books at any given time, but she had trouble narrating it. I will try something different f...more

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