Author: Elizabeth Verdick, Illustrated by Marieka Heinlen

24 to 35 Months Nonfiction

Tails Are Not For Pulling explores the importance of being kind to animals. In a sweet and simple way, the author discusses acceptable ways to handle and care for pets, as well as safe ways to approach animals.

Before, During and After Reading

Oral Language

Make connections to your child’s life. Connect this to your child’s life by talking about your pet or the pets of family and friends. Have a stuffed animal (or a real pet!) nearby as you read. Talk about the ways in which animals show us that they are happy and comfortable.

Act out the story. Help your child act out some parts of the story with the stuffed animal or real pet. This is a great way to practice gentle touches.

Explain new vocabulary words. Some of these words may include nuzzling, warn, squeezing and teasing. You may want to explain that teasing an animal might mean offering a treat and then taking it away, or putting something (like a blanket) over a pet’s head.

Be sure to read the valuable tips at the end of the book!

Oral Language

Role play with your child. Using a stuffed animal or real pet, help your child practice the lessons from the book. You can assist your child with role playing situations, such as approaching an animal. Talk with your child about other things you do to care for animals. These can include feeding, walking, brushing, playing, bathing, cleaning up after and (of course) loving!

Help out at an animal shelter. Contact your local animal shelter to ask about items they need. You and your child may be able to help animals by donating items like towels, treats, toys and shampoo. This is a great opportunity for your child to learn about helping animals in the community.

Next, try reading Wet Pet, Dry Pet, Your Pet, My Petor explore easy reading activities for two-year-olds.