I received the Awesome Animals series books below in exchange for an honest review and feature in my summer reading series. All opinions are my own.

Summer reading is supposed to be fun, right? What could be more fun than a series of books featuring Awesome Animals going on wacky adventures?

Summer Reading: Awesome Animals

The Awesome Animals Series from Barron’s is an outrageously fun and exciting series that will enthrall elementary school kids. These books are especially perfect for kids who are just launching into the wonderful world of chapter books, as each chapter is short and features wacky illustrations to break up the text. Amusing alliterative titles like Panda Panic, Raccoon Rampage, Meerkat Madness and Penguin Pandemonium set the tone for the zany tale featured behind the cute covers!

Check out the Awesome Animals series!

Penguin Pandemonium by Jeanne Willis

Amazing Animals: Penguin Pandemonium

I have to say, this is my favorite title because “pandemonium” just happens to be my all-time favorite word! It’s just such a beautiful and fun word to say. Come on, say it out loud. Feel it roll off your tongue. Pandemonium. Pandemonium. Right? Awesome, isn’t it? In Penguin Pandemonium, the penguins are in a bit of a tizzy because their zoo just isn’t bringing in the crowd that it used to. If things don’t change fast, it’ll shut down! In an effort to bring more visitors, the zookeeper installs a camera in the penguin exhibit. Thankfully, the little guys get what that means, and they liven up their act to try to draw a crowd. Thanks to the efforts of Rory, the penguins are able to organize an awesome talent show that has visitors as enthralled as children will be by the story.

Panda Panic by Jamie Rix

Summer Reading Books: Panda Panic

In Panda Panic, poor little Ping is terribly bored. While his twin sister and mom are content to waste the day away chomping on bamboo, Ping yearns for adventure. When he finds out that one lucky panda will have a chance to travel the world on display, he does everything he can to become that panda. In the end, though, he discovers that sometimes you don’t have to leave home to have the adventure of a lifetime.

Meerkat Madness by Ian Whybrow

Awesome Animals: Meerkat Madness

Mimi, Skeema and Little Dream love hearing all about their Uncle’s exciting days as a young Meerkat. They eagerly listen to his stories of the Blah-Blahs (I’m pretty sure that’s us humans) and the Click-Clicks (nature photographers). Uncle has some crazy battle wounds to back up his tales, but the kids still aren’t quite sure he’s on the level. Then, they discover a mysterious object that sets them off on their own desert adventure!

Raccoon Rampage by Andrew Cope

Awesome Animals: Racoon Rampage

If there’s one thing raccoons know how to do, it’s breaking and entering! I mean, look a them! They are born wearing little bandit masks! The Hole-in-the-Tree Gang are among the most daring raccoons around. Nothing scares them! Well, almost nothing. After they pull off the biggest heist of their lives, they’re forced o the run with an angry Max hot on their trails. In the end, though, Max may be grateful that the little masked hoodlums chose his store to burglarize!

Why we love Awesome Animals

Jacob is making his way through the series right now, and so far he’s really enjoying them. I love that the books feature a cast of intriguing characters that, in the end, teach very valuable lessons without ever lecturing children. Ultimately, while the story is funny, the lessons are about team work, perseverance and the importance of sticking together as a family. I also love how, even though the animals take on some human characteristics, the authors are true to the different species and manage to work in educational details about each one.

The Awesome Animals series is sure to be a hit with kids! They’re easy enough for a second grader to read, yet fun enough to excite kids all the way through the elementary years and even into the middle grades. If you have younger children, the books are entertaining for parents to read aloud.

Connect with Awesome Animals

One really cool feature of the series is the Awesome Animals Wildlife Reader Club. This fun complementary site features printable activities, games and book excerpts, so kids can continue enjoying the series after they’ve finished reading the books. Kids can even enter fun contests and find out about upcoming titles. This summer, Barron’s will be releasing four more books in the series, with two featuring those zany Meerkats! Purchase the books on Barron’s and you’ll save 10% off every title.