Future animal helpers of all sorts will be en-raptor-ed.

RAPTOR CENTERS

From the Animal Helpers series

This new Animal Helpers book considers raptors that have been injured or need help and the people and centers that care for them.

While the basic definition of a raptor, or bird of prey, is glaringly missing, that is about the only information that seems to be absent from this detailed look at why raptors might need help, how people can provide care for them, and how the birds are either eased back into the wild or trained as ambassadors for wilderness-education programs. When a bird first arrives at a center, it is thoroughly examined with medical instruments and some clever techniques. Helpers monitor their patients daily, providing food, medicine and physical therapy, if needed, and watching to see if the birds can hunt successfully. Baby raptors need special care to ensure that they can be released into the wild. A final section brings the topic home to readers—“Would you like to work with raptors?”—and asks if they could/would do some of the helpers’ (sometimes-unpleasant) tasks. Full-color photographs throughout show the birds and their injuries, the medical staff at work and the recovering raptors. The backmatter extends the learning with activities and more information about raptor-center volunteers and what to do if you find a raptor needing help.

Future animal helpers of all sorts will be en-raptor-ed. (Informational picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 10, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-62855-447-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Arbordale Publishing

Review Posted Online: July 29, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2014

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Though Jim may have been grumpy because a chimp’s an ape and not a monkey, readers will enjoy and maybe learn from his...

GRUMPY MONKEY

It’s a wonderful day in the jungle, so why’s Jim Panzee so grumpy?

When Jim woke up, nothing was right: "The sun was too bright, the sky was too blue, and bananas were too sweet." Norman the gorilla asks Jim why he’s so grumpy, and Jim insists he’s not. They meet Marabou, to whom Norman confides that Jim’s grumpy. When Jim denies it again, Marabou points out that Jim’s shoulders are hunched; Jim stands up. When they meet Lemur, Lemur points out Jim’s bunchy eyebrows; Jim unbunches them. When he trips over Snake, Snake points out Jim’s frown…so Jim puts on a grimacelike smile. Everyone has suggestions to brighten his mood: dancing, singing, swinging, swimming…but Jim doesn’t feel like any of that. He gets so fed up, he yells at his animal friends and stomps off…then he feels sad about yelling. He and Norman (who regrets dancing with that porcupine) finally just have a sit and decide it’s a wonderful day to be grumpy—which, of course, makes them both feel a little better. Suzanne Lang’s encouragement to sit with your emotions (thus allowing them to pass) is nearly Buddhist in its take, and it will be great bibliotherapy for the crabby, cranky, and cross. Oscar-nominated animator Max Lang’s cartoony illustrations lighten the mood without making light of Jim’s mood; Jim has comically long arms, and his facial expressions are quite funny.

Though Jim may have been grumpy because a chimp’s an ape and not a monkey, readers will enjoy and maybe learn from his journey. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: May 15, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-553-53786-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2018

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THE WONKY DONKEY

The print version of a knee-slapping cumulative ditty.

In the song, Smith meets a donkey on the road. It is three-legged, and so a “wonky donkey” that, on further examination, has but one eye and so is a “winky wonky donkey” with a taste for country music and therefore a “honky-tonky winky wonky donkey,” and so on to a final characterization as a “spunky hanky-panky cranky stinky-dinky lanky honky-tonky winky wonky donkey.” A free musical recording (of this version, anyway—the author’s website hints at an adults-only version of the song) is available from the publisher and elsewhere online. Even though the book has no included soundtrack, the sly, high-spirited, eye patch–sporting donkey that grins, winks, farts, and clumps its way through the song on a prosthetic metal hoof in Cowley’s informal watercolors supplies comical visual flourishes for the silly wordplay. Look for ready guffaws from young audiences, whether read or sung, though those attuned to disability stereotypes may find themselves wincing instead or as well.

Hee haw. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: May 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-545-26124-1

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 29, 2018

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