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Janell Cannon
Pinduli Pinduli's mama has always told her that she's the most beautiful hyena ever. But Dog, Lion, and Zebra don't think so. Why else would they make her feel so rotten about her big ears, her fuzzy mane, and her wiggly stripes? Poor Pinduli just wants to disappear--and she tries everything she can think of to make that happen. Yet nothing goes her way. Nothing, that is, until a case of mistaken identity lets her show the creatures of the African savanna how a few tiny words--bad or good--can create something enormous.

Janell Cannon, the creator of the bestselling Stellaluna, introduces yet another endearing character in this triumphant story about self-image, self-acceptance, and treating others with respect.

Includes notes about hyenas and other animals of the African savanna.
--Harcourt - 2004


Ages 4-8 (2000)


"Crickwing never set out to be a bully--all he wanted was to create his art in peace. But it's not easy being different. A cockroach with a cricked wing and a flair for sculpture is a ready target for the bigger creatures in the forest."

This beautifully illustrated adventure is perfect for dialogue on bullies, cooperation, anger, being yourself and art.

Ages 4-8 (1997)



Verdi, a very personable tiny spotted snake, is sent out into the jungle to grow up to be big and strong. He finds grown-up snakes so unpleasant, green, boring, and rude that he simply refuses to turn green. Verdi does grow up only to find that there are advantages to being green and he can be himself.

Ages 4-8

Hardcover with Puppet
BIG Paperback

Stellaluna is a baby bat who is separated from her mother and is raised by a family of birds. She happily supports the birds rules and eats what birds eat……even though it seems strange to her to be eating insects and sleeping right side up. Unlike the Ugly Duckling which is sometimes harsh, this books teaches acceptance rather than rejection and has some wonderful humor . When Stellaluna’s mother finds her and she is reunited with other bats, she understands why she enjoyed hanging upside down to sleep and why she enjoyed fruit rather than insects.
She also does not forget the kindness of the birds and continues a friendship.

"How can we be so different and feel so much alike"…….and how can we feel so different and be so much alike."……."I think that is quite a mystery…..but we’re friends and that’s a fact."

Teacher's Guide and Activities

[Make comparisons based on observations - Skills]

[Multicultural Thematic Unit For Stellaluna]

[Bat Quest - In search of Stellaluna] [Spanish]

[Teacher Resource - In Search of Stellaluna's Family]

Little Yau
Ages 5-8 (2002)
When Yau's best friend Trupp is in danger and seriously ill, there is one thing that will save him, and only Yau has seen where it is. Finding it means venturing into the dangerous world of humans!
Janell Cannon

Self-taught artist and writer Janell Cannon has always admired animals, especially creatures that have been misunderstood or neglected. Her love of bats, spiders, Komodo dragons, and snakes inspired her work at a public library, where she developed award-winning summer reading programs about these unusual animals. While conducting research for a program about bats, Ms. Cannon found only two picture books on the subject, both of which were out of print. She decided it was time to make her own story about these wonderful creatures.

Ms. Cannon created Stellaluna (1993) in hopes that she would transform young people's fear of bats into informed affection. "Fruit bats don't drink blood and won't get caught in your hair. I hope to show them in a positive light so they might be given more respect," she says.

With Stellaluna, she also wanted to touch readers by exploring a friendship between two different kinds of creatures, a bat and baby birds. Ms. Cannon likens the book to "a mirror, so that anyone who looks into it will see their own way." She never suspected the book would become a runaway bestseller.

Ms. Cannon writes and illustrates picture books full-time. Born and raised in Minnesota, she now lives in Southern California.