Review By ROBYN MOORE
In Give Us a Chance, author Jane Mann introduces us to those creatures “we love to hate or may not yet appreciate.” It’s a short book of 26 rhyming poems intended to provide some understanding of the animals who often get a bad rap—such as pigeons, magpies, spiders, toads, ants, and rats. Let’s face it: You probably haven’t seen an ant on anyone’s list of favorite animals, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t worthy of respect, as the author stresses.
The author gives us fun facts throughout and reminds us that these overlooked and often villainized animals have a life and purpose of their own and are not here for humans to use and abuse. For example, just because snakes have patterns rich with hues doesn’t mean that we should take their skins to make boots and bags, and just because rats have a high IQ doesn’t mean we should use them for testing in laboratories.
The rhymes alone make this book a smart educational choice for kids. It also has an important message for kids—that all of us are unique and interesting in our own right, and just because you are not what society considers “beautiful” or “popular,” doesn’t mean that you don’t deserve to be treated kindly.
Teaching kids to respect animals, no matter their species, size, color, or shape, is an important lesson—and this book makes it easy for parents to help relay that message to their kids.
Books about cuddly puppies and silly monkeys abound, so it’s nice to see a kid’s book focused on the not so “cute” animals. After reading this, you’ll definitely have a new appreciation for these disregarded creatures—I know I did!