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BEDTIME ANIMAL STORIES Flipbook PDF

BEDTIME ANIMAL STORIES


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G randma’s

ANIMAL STORIES by Daniela De Luca

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Contents 4

Introduction

7

Mattie the Polar Bear

37

Ben the Beaver

67

Harry the Wolf

97

Celia the Tiger

127

Josh the Anteater

157

Lizzie the Elephant

187

Buster the Kangaroo

217

Bob the Penguin

246

Quiz

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Introduction

ARCTIC

arctic region

THE EIGHT STORIES in this book cover a whole world of animals. In each story we follow a typical animal from one region and meet many other animals that share the same environment. The main characters are based on real animals, but the stories are imaginary. As you read their adventures, you will find information boxes and fun facts telling you all about real animals’ lives.

Mattie the Polar Bear AFRICA

IN THE STORIES you will meet a polar bear from the Arctic region, a beaver from North America, a wolf from Europe, a tiger from the Asian country of India, an anteater from South America, an elephant from Africa, a kangaroo from the Australian bush, and a penguin from frozen Antarctica. The maps show where these continents are in the world.

Lizzie the Elephant 4

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NORTH AMERICA

SOUTH AMERICA

ASIA

Ben the Beaver

Josh the Anteater

Celia the Tiger

EUROPE

AUSTRALIA

A N TA R C T I C A

antarctica

Harry the Wolf

Buster the Kangaroo 5

Bob the Penguin

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RUSSIA

chukchi sea

ARCTIC REGION

C A N A DA NORTH POLE

s da

a tr

it

s vi

S VA L B A R D

GREENLAND

greenland sea

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SIA

Mattie

the Polar Bear

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DO POLAR BEARS SLEEP ALL WINTER? Adult females sleep in winter when they are expecting babies. They dig a den in a snowdrift, sleep there most of the time, and then give birth to their cubs. The cosy den is a safe and warm home for the tiny bears. Male polar bears are active all year round.

MOTHER POLAR BEAR WAKES UP with a start. She has had a very long sleep and wonders what day or even month it is. “Well, it’s certainly gone 9 o’clock, and little Mattie will want her breakfast,” she thinks. But her cub is still fast asleep. “I’d better check if we’ve got any food left. I haven’t been out all winter,” Mother growls to herself.

8

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9

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WHILE THE BEARS WERE ASLEEP in their den, spring has come to Arctic Island. Mrs. Ermine is taking her children for a walk in the snow. “Don’t play around the polar bear’s den,” she warns them. But cheeky Ernie shows off his new sledging skills when his mother’s not looking.

ARE ALL POLAR BEAR DENS THE SAME? They vary in shape and size, and they even change as wind blows fresh snow over the top. In very windy places, there may be a mound of snow over the entrance to the den.

10

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WHERE IN THE WORLD DO POLAR BEARS LIVE? Polar bears live in the Arctic region. This is the area of frozen sea around the North Pole. The bears live mainly at the edge of the pack ice.

11

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OH DEAR, there’s nothing in the den to eat, only a few old fish bones. “That won’t be enough to feed a growing cub,” says Mother Bear. Just then Mattie wakes up. “I’m starving,” she yawns. “What’s for breakfast?”

Eggs

Bird

Ringed seals

WHAT DO POLAR BEARS EAT? Tiny cubs feed off their mother’s milk. When they are older, polar bears’ main food is ringed seal. They also hunt lemmings, voles, and small birds, as well as walrus pups.

Kelp

Walrus pup

Vole Lemming

12

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ARE POLAR BEAR CUBS REALLY TINY? Yes, they are much smaller than other animals when compared to the size of their mother. Cubs are born blind and deaf, and they have very thin fur. Their mother keeps them warm.

MOTHER BEAR TELLS MATTIE that they have to go to Wally Walrus’s store to buy food. “We’d better wrap up warm,” she says, zipping up the cub’s jacket.

DO POLAR BEAR MOTHERS HAVE TWINS? Yes, in fact about three quarters of births are of twins. Some mothers have a single cub, and occasionally they have triplets.

14

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BEFORE THEY SET OFF, Mother has a quick look in the mirror. She’s pleased with her new green coat. When they make their way across the ice, it creaks under their paws.

WHY DON’T POLAR BEARS SLIP ON THE ICE? Because their big paws act like snowshoes. They have short, sharp claws with fur padding, which give them a good grip on ice and snow.

15

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WALLY WALRUS IS BUSY TODAY. He’s in a very good mood, handing out candy and telling everyone proudly that he has just become a father. “Could we see the little pup?” Mother Bear asks politely. “Of course!” Wally says.

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THEY ARE NOT the only visitors. Mrs. Seal has come with her daughter Sissy to show her own new pup.

Mother Bear congratulates the other mothers, and then they catch up on the island gossip. Mattie and Sissy soon get bored. “Let’s have a play in the snow,” Mattie whispers, and the two youngsters quietly sneak out of the room. 17

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ARE POLAR BEARS GOOD SWIMMERS? Yes, adults are very strong swimmers and can cover long distances without resting. Their small head and long neck give them a streamlined shape. They can also swim underwater for up to two minutes.

OUT ON THE ICE, Mattie tells Sissy that she is learning ballet. “I’ll show you,” she says, taking off her jacket. To Sissy’s surprise Mattie is all dressed up, ready to dance. In her pink leotard she looks like a real ballerina.

HOW DO POLAR BEARS GET DRY? After swimming, they shake themselves and their thick fur throws the water off.

18

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MATTIE DOES A ROLY-POLY arabesque, a pretty pirouette, and some jeté jumps. She glides along on tiptoe, when suddenly there is a loud cracking noise. A block of ice breaks away and takes Mattie with it. “Oh, no!” Sissy squeals.

19

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WHAT IS AN ICEBERG? Icebergs are huge chunks of ice that break off from glaciers and ice shelves. They float away, and only the top part shows above the water. Most of the iceberg is under the surface.

20

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MATTIE FLOATS AWAY on the ice and is soon out of sight. Her mother is horrified when she sees what has happened. “Oh dear, I don’t know who can save her now,” says Grandma Arctic Hare. “Oh dear, neither do I,” says Grandpa Hare.

21

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THE HOODED SEALS try to help, but all they can save is Mattie’s teddy bear. Mattie grabs it and floats on. “Too much dancing,” says Mr. Arctic Wolf. “Too near the edge,” says Mrs. Arctic Fox. “What drama!” screech the terns as they fly overhead.

22

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23

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WHAT ARE THE DANGERS FOR CUBS? A fall on the ice might injure a polar bear cub. If it breaks a bone, it might not be able to keep up with its mother. It needs to stay close, because adult male bears sometimes kill cubs.

24

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THE PUFFINS CAN SEE that Mattie is now in real danger. A gigantic, growling polar bear rears up on his hind legs and lifts a powerful paw. He looks ready to swallow Mattie and her teddy in a single mouthful.

25

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LUCKILY THE STRONG OCEAN CURRENT floats Mattie out of reach of the huge growling bear. But before she knows it, she crashes into a big gray mountain rising up out of the sea. “Maybe it’s a new Arctic island,” Mattie thinks.

DO POLAR BEARS REALLY TRAVEL ON ICE FLOES? Yes, in the summer adult polar bears follow the shifting pack ice as it melts into floes, or sheets of floating ice. Sometimes blocks of ice break away, so females keep an eye on their cubs and keep them close.

26

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“THIS ISLAND IS VERY SOFT,” Mattie thinks, “and very slippery too!” She just manages to cling on to the moving island. 27

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BUT IT’S NOT AN ISLAND AT ALL! Lucky Mattie sees that she has been rescued by an old friend of her mother’s. She’s a helpful whale and she knows these waters well. “You can call me Auntie Wendy,” she tells Mattie. “Now, let’s get you home.”

28

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29

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MOTHER BEAR AND HER FRIENDS are so pleased to see Mattie safe and well. Sissy Seal claps her flippers, as Mattie takes a bow. Mother can’t wait to give her little cub a great big furry cuddle. HOW LONG DO CUBS STAY WITH THEIR MOTHER? Cubs stay close to their mother at all times until they are about two years old. By then they have learned to hunt, and they may go off on their own.

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LATER, BACK IN THEIR DEN, Mother Bear reads her cub a bedtime story. Mattie is so happy in her mother’s arms that she falls asleep long before the story’s happy ending.

31

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DID YOU KNOW? There are various species, or kinds, of bear. They live in many different parts of the world, from the Arctic region to areas of North and South America, Europe, and Asia.

Polar bear

Polar bear cub

American black bear

Brown bears

32

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Grizzly bear

Honey bear

Sun bear

Asian black bear

Spectacled bear

33

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Here is Mattie with some of her friends. They all live in the Arctic region, at the top of the world near the North Pole. Can you see Mattie? Do you recognize all her friends?

Arctic whale

Narwhal

Polar bear Puffin

Snowy owl

Hooded seal Arctic wolf

Eider duck

34

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Arctic tern

MATTIE (and teddy)

Walrus Musk ox

Ribbon seal

Beluga (white) whale

Stoat

Arctic fox

Arctic hare

Lemming

35

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ARCTIC REGION

G R E E N LA

b e au f o r t s e a

N D

CANADA ALASKA la b ra do r se a

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

pa c i f i c o c e a n

at l a n t i c o c e a n

MEXICO CE

NT

RA

L AM

ER

ICA

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Ben

the Beaver

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IN THE BEAVERS’ LODGE, Mother Beaver is making a fernleaf pie. Her youngest kits are all helping, except for Ben. He begs his father to take him on the willow expedition. “Sorry, Ben, you’re just too young,” Father explains. Ben’s older brothers and sisters chatter eagerly as they get ready to leave. 38

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DO BEAVERS REALLY LIVE IN FAMILIES?

.

Yes, beavers stay in family groups made up of an adult pair and kits, or young beavers, from several previous years.

WHAT DO BEAVERS EAT? They eat tender tree bark, tree roots, buds, ferns, grasses, and algae. Beavers are especially fond of poplars and willows.

Tree roots

Bark

Grass Fern leaf Willow leaves Tender leaves

39

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IT IS A BEAUTIFUL FALL EVENING, as the beavers inside their lodge get ready to set out on their expedition.

40

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DO BEAVERS REALLY LIVE IN LODGES? Yes, they live in lodges in the middle of ponds. They even make the pond themselves by building a dam out of tree trunks and branches. Then they build their lodge in the middle, where they are safe from predators.

41

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FATHER BEAVER HUGS HIS WIFE and says goodbye. “Just raise the red flag if you need anything while I’m away,” he tells her. Then he and the four kits leave through the underwater door of the lodge.

42

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BEN TRIES TO FOLLOW by sneaking around the side of the lodge, but he gets caught up in the sticks.

43

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WHEN BEN UNTANGLES HIMSELF, he sets off after his father and older brothers and sisters. The moon shines down on the lake as Ben swims toward the faint sound of his family’s voices. Soon, heavy rain starts to fall.

44

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IN THE WOODS, Father Beaver and the kits are surrounded by eyes peeping out of the leafy darkness. Suddenly, an owl hoots and the kits jump. “Don’t worry,” Father tells them. “They are all our friends.”

45

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BEN REACHES THE SHORE and makes his way through the dark forest. He feels a bit scared until he comes to a well-lit space. Looking around, he’s pleased to see that he is surrounded by friends of the forest.

Aashir, Banu, and Falah Squirrel

Mr. Badger

Giovanni Mouse

46

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Kitty Barn Owl and her chicks

Sam and Clicker Moth

Henry Otter

Carlo Raccoon

Mrs. Fox and Deirdre

er Mr. Wolf BEN

Ted Cricket

Wally Skunk

46

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Jane Possum with baby Tim The entire Hare family

Bandhura Pine Marten

Crispin Bear and Snoozer

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Wilhelm Woodpecker

Joaquin Flying Squirrel

Aaron Porcupine The GoodbyBrown Bird family

49

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DO BEAVERS REALLY FELL TREES? Yes, they gnaw around the base of the trunk until the tree topples over. Then they use the wood to build dams as well as for food.

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DO BEAVERS’ TEETH EVER STOP GROWING? No, their teeth are always growing. So to keep them healthy, beavers have to keep gnawing all the time. This files their teeth down into perfect tools for felling trees and eating.

AFTER SOME TIME Ben catches up with his father and the kits. They are busy collecting willow wood. It starts to rain even harder as Ben climbs a rock and sees their lodge in the distance. “Dad! The red flag!” he yells. “Mom must need help!” Ben feels terrible. If only he had stayed behind with his mother, he could be helping her now. Ben follows close behind as his father and the others race back to the dam. 51

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MOTHER BEAVER AND HER BABIES are huddled together on top of the lodge. They clutch their favorite belongings, but many things have been swept away. “Don’t worry, little ones,” Mother says to comfort them. “Help will come soon.”

52

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SURE ENOUGH, FATHER BEAVER and the kits come floating across the stormy pond on a big log. They are on their way to rescue Mother Beaver and the little ones.

CAN BABY BEAVERS REALLY SWIM? Yes, kits are able to swim just a few hours after they are born. But they are so small and fluffy at first that it is hard for them to go under water. It takes a while before they can swim down the underwater passage and leave the lodge.

HOW LONG DO KITS STAY IN THE LODGE? Mother beavers nurse their babies for about six weeks. All members of the family, especially the males, bring food back to the lodge for the kits to eat. Soon the babies start leaving the lodge to swim in the lake, but they come back every morning and sleep through the day. They leave the family lodge when they are about two years old, and it’s not long before they start their own families.

53

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BEFORE LONG the rain stops and a beautiful rainbow appears. The kits help Father push the big log into the dam, and water stops flooding into the pond. All the beavers give a loud cheer.

.

HOW BIG IS A BEAVER’S DAM?

DO BEAVERS REALLY REPAIR THEIR DAMS?

A beaver’s dam can be anything between 15 and 300 feet (5 and 90 m) long, and it can be up to 10 feet (3 m) tall.

Yes, beavers repair their dams year after year. Some are thought to be hundreds of years old. Most dam-building is done at times of high water in spring and fall.

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ALL THE BEAVERS’ FRIENDS gather sticks and branches and carry them across the lake. Some of the beavers’ faraway cousins also come to help. Together they quickly rebuild the lodge.

56

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THE BABY BEAVERS are too little to help, but they soon find ways to have fun. Ben and his cousin Natalie play a game of ping-pong with a big lump of weed as a ball. They use their tails as bats!

DO BEAVER FAMILIES WORK TOGETHER TO BUILD THEIR DAMS AND LODGES? Yes. Adult females are the busiest builders. Kits don’t help with construction work until they are at least a year old.

greenland

europe

north america

atlantic ocean

WHERE IN THE WORLD DO BEAVERS LIVE? As the map shows, beavers live in North America, Scandinavia, western and eastern Europe, central Asia, and northwest China. They were nearly wiped out by hunters in North America, but were reintroduced.

asia

africa

pacific ocean

south america

indian ocean

southern ocean

57

australia

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WHEN THE LODGE IS FINISHED, the beavers decide to have a party. But Ben stays outside and gazes up at the stars in the night sky. It is nearly winter and a light dusting of snow covers everything in sparkling white powder. “Ben, come inside where it’s warm,” Father says gently. “The stars will be there again tomorrow.”

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INSIDE THE LODGE there is a big party going on, with delicious food to eat and cheerful music to dance to. Everyone is happy to be safely at home again.

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DID YOU KNOW?

Dormouse

Like all beavers, Ben is a rodent. Rodents are a very successful group of animals and there are about 2,000 species of them living in the world today. They live in a wide range of habitats in every part of the world. Many rodents, such as rats and mice, live near humans and are often thought of as pests.

Squirrel

Chinchilla

Nutria

Urson

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Mouse

Water rat

BEN

Hamster Gerbil

Marmot

Porcupine

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Canada goose

Here is Ben with some of his friends. All these animals live in North America. Can you find Ben? Do you recognize all his friends?

Grizzly bear

Springhorn

Crane

Rocky Mountain goat

Spoonbill

Prairie dog

Manatee

Black bear Turtle

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Golden eagle

Buffalo

Moose

Mountain lion

Coyote Raccoon

BEN

Sage grouse

Skunk

Mole Alligator

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