Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Book Review - Primate School

Primate School

By: Jennifer Keats Curtis
Publisher: Arbordale Publishing
Publication Date: April 2015
ISBN: 978-1628555646
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: May 2015

Franco, an Allen's swamp monkey, slipped his little hand through the bars of his cage. He had something that needed to be done, but so did Kwan, a silverback gorilla. Each primate had learned that in order to receive special grooming they had to pay attention to signals they learned in class. Franco needed to have his fingernails clipped and Kwan (ahhhhh-open-wide!) needed his teeth checked out. Of course there was a little treat in store for each one of them.

Primates that "live in zoos don't perform tricks," but do need to learn how to cooperate with their keepers. Just like their human counterparts, they need to learn lessons. Franco, Kwan, and other zoo animals study their lessons in "training classes where they learn behaviors that keep them happy and healthy." There are many different species of primates, but one thing they do have in common is that they are smart. Of course there are many other traits they have in common. You'll learn exactly what a primate is and will be able to see just how cool they really are.

Did you know that some of these primates can learn some of their lessons from an iPad? They can! Perhaps they aren't capable of playing games like Words for Friends, but Christopher, an orangutan, can work through a memory game. Primates who aren't in zoos "learn from members of their group" by "exploring, observing and playing." If you want a behind the scenes look at how primates learn in a zoo setting you need only turn the pages of this book and you'll be able to receive a few lessons yourself!

This is a fun and fascinating look at zoo school learning that will wow young students. No, not all training that takes place in a zoo setting involves circus-like tricks, but rather something quite unexpected. Young readers will get a glimpse of primates as they hold out their arms for a blood pressure check to those working their magic on a touch screen. The pages are filled with full color photographs and fascinating facts that will draw in even the most reluctant readers. In the back of the book there are four pages of activities as well as free complementary activities on the publisher's website.

Accelerated Reader: 3.9
Flesch-Kinncaid: 4.4
Lexile: 670L
Fountas and Pinnell: O

Quill says: This is a fun and fascinating look at zoo school learning that will wow young students!

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