Entries Categorized as 'Non Fiction'

Shark Lady: True Adventures of Eugenie Clark

Our rating: ****

Ever since she was a child, Eugenie Clark wanted to swim with sharks. She spent hours in the aquarium watching the fish in fascination and dreaming of the day when she would be able to study them in the wild. And when she grew up, she got that chance.

This book chronicles Dr. Eugenie Clark’s life, albeit in a somewhat condensed form. Shark Lady was one of my favorite books when I was somewhere in the eight to ten years old range. It has lovely illustrations, and is told in an engaging manner without being too choppy or “watered down” for young kids.

C. S. Lewis’ Letters to Children

Here on Incredibooks, we generally review fiction, rate the books we’re reviewing, and give summaries. In a first for me, I’m doing none of those. I felt that this one deserved a review, even if it doesn’t fit into our self-proclaimed rules.

This book is a delightful collection of letters that C. S. Lewis wrote to children. It starts with one of his early letters to his goddaughter and ends with a letter he wrote the day before he died. Rounding out the book is a short biography of Lewis’ childhood, an introduction by Douglas Gresham, and a child’s bibliography of C. S. Lewis.

Full of insights into the Narnia series that you may have wondered about, answered from Lewis’ own pen. And other little tidbits C. S. Lewis tells us about himself are fun as well, giving a feel of the time period and his thoughts on the events of the day. As a bonus, for you aspiring writers out there, many of the letters include some tips. A must-read for all Lewis fans.

Champion Dog Prince Tom

Our rating: ****½

From the beginning, Prince Tom stood out from other dogs. He was a runt and the only blond puppy in a litter of black cocker spaniels. Thanks to his happy-go-lucky personality, Prince Tom was picked out as the perfect birthday gift for Tom Clute. From then on, Prince showed what he could do in the manner of tricks, obedience trials, and field trials.

Champion Dog Prince Tom is a must-read for dog lovers. It is the true story of a small cocker spaniel that set record after record, including the honor of being the first American cocker to win the national field trials and the only one to do so while holding obedience titles. The simple style of the book is perfect for younger readers, though older readers may still enjoy the story.


Our rating: ****½

Just another walk in the woods. A bag of cookies, his dog Wowser, and his good friend Oscar—what else could Sterling North want? Then Wowser finds a den-full of raccoon kits, and the boys decide to take them home. They can’t take them home without the mother, so they determine to catch the treed raccoon . . . with the aid of no more than a pocket knife and their jackets. The results are laughable. In the skirmish, the mother and three kits escape, but one of the kits isn’t quick enough. Sterling takes tiny Rascal home and obtains permission to keep him. Getting the permission isn’t hard, as his mother is dead, his older sisters are living away from the house, and his older brother is fighting in the war. His father lives in a world all his own, only occasionally taking time to be with his young son. He doesn’t mind the raccoon—or the canoe Sterling is building in the living room. Everything progresses wonderfully until Rascal develops a taste for sweet corn. The angry neighbors, robbed of their crops, demand that Rascal be kept in a cage. How can Sterling lock up a young, wild creature? Some tough decisions face him and he has to answer them.

I love this book. It is so interesting and enjoyable. Rascal is such a cute raccoon! Sterling North does a wonderful job of telling the story. There are so many adventures and characters. The memorable incidents with his older sister Theo’s missing engagement ring, the school bully, and the pie-eating contest. Very funny and memorable. Unfortunately, there are a few evolutionary references and, if I remember correctly, a mild bad word or two.

The Marsh Lions

Our rating: *****

A story of the Maasai Mara Reserve in Africa. The death of the pride’s biggest male sets in motion a long series of events that effect every part of the Reserve. Pride hierarchy changes, new males chase off the old, lionesses die, and cubs are born. Prides split or grow. The amount of available prey fluxuates. Everything from the hyenas and wild dogs, to the leopards and lions, live their lives in this world of change. Nefertari, the cheetah’s struggle to successfully raise a litter of cubs, the wild dogs of Aitong’s desperate fight against extinction, and the wildebeast migrations all play a part.

I feel that this book is a great example of how God made all nature to work together. It is out of print, unfortunately. It does not humanize the animals (thankfully) and when the writers don’t know a detail for sure, they tell you. It is a very true-to-life account, down to every detail, and you can learn a lot about African wildlife from it. I really enjoyed The Marsh Lions.