Book looks

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

* Dogs Don't Brush Their Teeth (Orchard, 32 pages, $14.99, ages 4 to 8) -- From the beguiling (photo-enhanced) cover image of a pooch brushing its teeth with White Fang toothpaste, this picture book has fun showing dogs doing what comes naturally (doing the dog paddle, burying bones, taking care of business) -- and what doesn't (paddling a canoe, digging with a shovel, sitting on the commode). Authors Diane deGroat and Shelley Rotner pull off their silly concept.

* Christian the Lion (Henry Holt, 32 pages, $16.99, ages 5 to 9) -- The true story of a young lion, purchased by two young men from a London department store where he was living in a cage, has been told before but until now, not in a children's picture book. The scrapbook-style volume by Anthony "Ace" Bourke and John Rendall is full of photos and first-person remembrances of the playful lion that was trained to live in the wild and released in Kenya. Astonishingly, a year later, Bourke and Rendall found Christian, who remembered his human friends. A version of the book geared to 9- to 12-year-olds (Delacorte, 128 pages, $14.99) also is available.

* Tarra & Bella: The Elephant and Dog Who Became Best Friends (Putnam, 32 pages, $16.99, ages 4 to 8, to be released Sept. 8) -- If you caught a recent segment on CBS' Sunday Morning, you saw the charming, if unlikely, relationship between Tarra, the first resident of Tennessee's Elephant Sanctuary for retired circus elephants, and Bella, a white mutt who became devoted to the pachyderm. Carol Buckley, co-founder of the sanctuary, created the sweet book and its remarkable photographs.

* Saving the Ghost of the Mountain: An Expedition Among Snow Leopards in Mongolia (Houghton Mifflin, 74 pages, $18, ages 7 to 12, to be released Sept. 7) -- The elusive cats that slink through the Mongolian mountains were the objects of a quest for scientist Tom McCarthy (conservation director of Seattle's Snow Leopard Trust), author Sy Montgomery and photographer Nic Bishop, who collaborated on this detailed, sophisticated picture book. Never common, the snow leopard is in danger of disappearing; fewer than 7,000 are thought to survive in the wild, with about 600 in zoos. The authors title their last chapter "How To Save a Ghost."