Sunday, October 21, 2012

Book Review - Animal Helpers

Animal Helpers: Wildlife Rehabilitators

By: Jennifer Keats Curtis
Publisher: Sylvan Dell Publishing
Publication Date: June 2012
ISBN: 978-1-60718-671-7
Reviewed by: Diane Lunsford
Review Date: October 2012

Wildlife Rehabilitators by award-winning nature author Jennifer Keats Curtis is a terrific educational resource for her 4-9 year old target audience.

Ms. Curtis begins with an explanation of what a wildlife rehabilitator is and the importance of what they do. She is specific in outlining the stark differences between the rehabilitator versus the family veterinarian one takes their domestic dog or cat to. Through each page, she casts a spotlight on wildlife ranging from baby opossums to the majestic bald eagle with life-like photos. The fact that she uses real photos in a backdrop of the creatures’ natural habitats in some instances sets an educational tone throughout the book; yet it doesn’t take away from an enjoyable learning experience for this particular genre. Rather it assists the reader in processing what makes each breed unique to its wildlife home and gives them a concept of where they live.

Once underway, Curtis provides information about survival tactics, sleeping and feeding habits along with the dangers that lurk among predators to name a few. She is patient in her explanations toward what constitutes normal lifestyle and what to look for when assessing an injured animal versus one who has been abandoned. She provides scenarios to assist in recognizing the differences between the two situations. There is an element of tenderness portrayed in certain images. She has captured a coupling of fawns snuggled down in a portable play pen on one page and a juvenile raccoon suckling on a baby bottle on another.

I found this to be an enjoyable read for the 4-9 year old audience. At the end of the story, Ms. Curtis provides thought-provoking questions that encourage the reader to engage in discussion toward what they learned. After reading Animal Helpers: Wildlife Rehabilitators, there is no question as to how Ms. Curtis acquired her award-winning stature as a nature author. Her writing exudes confidence toward her knowledge of the subject matter. I would highly recommend anyone with a child in the 4-9 age groups to select this work for their personal library not only because of its educational value but the photographs as well.

Quill Says: Great information for the next time you take a walk on the wild side!

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