Reviews

Animal Helpers: Zoos


NSTA Recommends - December 2013

I recommend this little book about how zoos serve as a means to protect and conserve various species of animals-especially those who are endangered and threatened. Animal Helpers: Zoos would work well as an introduction to this topic to spin off students’ research projects and to stimulate their interest in learning more.

It could be used as reading material in a center with various activities related to the topic to complete individually or with a partner, or as a read–aloud book during science class. If you are planning a field trip to a zoo, read this book before you go to teach your students what goes on behind the scenes! If you are a 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade teacher, principal, or school librarian, this is definitely a book to order, especially since it is aligned with 3rd and 5th grade Common Core and the Science Frameworks.

This book is presented well-the clearly written text includes new vocabulary and concepts that are paired with clear and inviting photographs. I especially liked the way the photos of the animals (many of them cute babies!) illustrated the different jobs of the zookeeper, such as feeding the baby animals a bottle, scrubbing a rhino’s foot, and engaging the animals in playful activities to keep them from getting bored. Especially noteworthy is the educational section at the back of the book that contains thought-provoking activities, websites, and more detailed information about wildlife conservation, as well as additional vocabulary that includes the fields of animal study such as herpetology, ornithology, and entomology. Teachers will appreciate the corresponding publisher’s website that shows the alignment with CCSS, NGSS, and Social Studies Standards, 51 pages of enriching teaching activities, and information about the author. This website contains downloadable e–books with additional features such as audio. - Debby Chessin

Horn Book Guide - April 2014

Simple text asks young readers if they could perform the various tasks of a zookeeper ("Could you give a baby moose a bottle or teach a lamb to walk on a leash?"). Appealing color photos show zoo favorites and less-familiar species, though some images are unfortunately obscured in the book's gutter. Additional information on zookeepers, zoo habitats, and wildlife conservation is appended.

School Library Journal - December 2013

Curtis capitalizes on children’s love of animals to teach them about zookeepers. Aimed at a young audience, the text is minimal, describing for readers some of the tasks zookeepers perform on a daily basis: “Could you introduce baby chimps to their new troop or provide a snack for reptiles?”

Midwest Book Review - October 2013

"Zoos" is a bright new title from the Animal Helpers series for children, containing a narrated photographic journal of the many caretaker tasks performed with different exotic animals in zoos. Perfectly adapted for students in grades K-2, "Zoos" presents additional animal related learning activities and wildlife conservation status systems, a true/false animal zoo quiz, and information about zookeepers, zoologists, and veterinarians. "Zoos" is chock full of portraits of zoo animals and their caretakers up close and will thrill young students of nature and living creatures.

Feathered Quill Book Reviews - September 2014

This is a fun, interesting book about zookeepers that will charm young readers. The layout is very vibrant with full-color, full-page photographs that often span two pages. In some instances, there are additional thumbnails that add to the story. Newly independent readers can tackle this beginning nonfiction book with a bit of assistance with unusual words such as “enrichment.” In the back of the book are several activities, including some that can be downloaded and printed from the publisher’s website. This would be an excellent book to read and discuss in the homeschool or classroom setting.

Homeschool Book Review - October 2013

This photographic journal book in the Animal Helpers Series from Arbordale Publishing highlights various kinds of workers in a zoo, including zookeepers, veterinarians, animal trainers, interns, and volunteers, and explains their duties in a fun and interesting way. There are luscious full-color, full-page photographs of many sorts of animals, such as a giraffe, a baby moose, chimpanzees, and a rhinoceros, among others—even a newborn snow leopard and a red panda. These pictures come from the Alaska, Austin, Maryland, and Turtle Back Zoos. The “For Creative Minds” educational section has four pages of learning activities, and there are more free activities at the publisher’s website. It would be an excellent book to read and discuss in a homeschool or classroom. Two other books are available in the Animal Helpers Series, Wildlife Rehabilitators and Sanctuaries, and two more are planned, Aquariums and Raptor Centers.

ACS Readers Haven - January 2014

Jennifer Keats Curtis has created another in her series of “Animal Helpers” - Zoos - that is spot-on with its text, illustrations, and educational pages at the back of the book.

Animal Helpers: Zoos inquires of the reader whether they could do certain things for the animals in the zoos. It asks the reader could you do while picturing a zoo worker scrubbing a rhino’s foot or giving a baby moose a bottle - all daily incidentals that occupy a zoo worker.

The book presents facts in a subtle way - “Zoos are safe, permanent homes for native and exotic animals.” - letting the child understand that there are many types of animals housed in the zoo.

Bookideas - February 2014

"You are invited to visit a zoo and see what zookeepers do in this picture book that features color photos of many types of zoo animals. Would you enjoy giving a baby moose a bottle, scrubbing a rhino's foot, building a new home for porcupines or providing a snack for baby alligators? If so, you might make a good zookeeper.Zookeepers must care for many different animals and they also work closely with veterinarians who care for the animals when they need check- ups, their shots or are sick.Zoo animals, especially babies, often get bored and they want someone to play with them. That's one of the fun things a zookeeper gets to do. They also clean out the cages and bring the animals their food every day.In the "For Creative Minds" section of this book you'll find a section on building a zoo habitat and another on wildlife conservation. There's also information on the differences between a zookeeper, zoologist and veterinarian.When you finish reading this book, try the true or false self-test at the back to see how much you remember about a zookeeper's job. This book fits nicely into Common Core, Next Generation Science Standards and social studies lessons for grades K-2."

Tif Talks Books - March 2014

In Zoos, we get an inside look into being a zookeeper - building necessities for the animals, feeding the baby animals, and caring for the animals in general. My favorite part is the up close and personal photographs of the animals. It's the perfect combination to keeping this adult and her children mesmerized about zookeepers for very long periods of time.

Learning Table Reviews - June 2014

The large text is geared toward early readers, and the cute animals are showcased in full-page vibrant photographs, which make the book beg to be picked up and flipped through.