Three experts, three species, three zoos: these elements add up to a fascinating story of how specialists make a real...



Readers see the human side of animal science.

Newman brings scientific research to life with her lively introduction to three scientists active today, two women and one man, all white and from the United States. The National Zoo’s Meredith Bastian’s “wild perspective” was an important factor in her hiring, first by the Philadelphia Zoo and then by her current employer. Her experiences in Borneo led to conservation efforts that include educating zoo visitors about using palm oil products from companies that do not harm orangutan environments. She has also advocated for the installation of “overhead trails,” resembling ziplines, that allow “orangutans to travel much like wild ones do.” In writing about the Lincoln Park Zoo’s Rachel Santymire’s work in South Africa, Newman describes how “male black rhinos scrape their feces into long trenches” to mark their territory, while “females scrape to look for a mate—kind of like posting a profile on a dating website.” The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s Jeff Baughman doesn’t just breed black-footed ferrets; he reintroduces these small mammals back into the wild, helping to build up a population that numbered only 18 in 1984. With engaging photos, useful charts and maps, and practical conservation tips, this volume provides lots of encouragement for budding young scientists.

Three experts, three species, three zoos: these elements add up to a fascinating story of how specialists make a real difference in conservation today. (source notes, glossary, selected bibliography, more conservation stories, index) (Nonfiction. 9-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5124-1571-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Millbrook/Lerner

Review Posted Online: Aug. 2, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2017

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Moving and poetic.

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A motherless boy is forced to abandon his domesticated fox when his father decides to join soldiers in an approaching war.

Twelve-year-old Peter found his loyal companion, Pax, as an orphaned kit while still grieving his own mother’s death. Peter’s difficult and often harsh father said he could keep the fox “for now” but five years later insists the boy leave Pax by the road when he takes Peter to his grandfather’s house, hundreds of miles away. Peter’s journey back to Pax and Pax’s steadfastness in waiting for Peter’s return result in a tale of survival, intrinsic connection, and redemption. The battles between warring humans in the unnamed conflict remain remote, but the oncoming wave of deaths is seen through Pax’s eyes as woodland creatures are blown up by mines. While Pax learns to negotiate the complications of surviving in the wild and relating to other foxes, Peter breaks his foot and must learn to trust a seemingly eccentric woman named Vola who battles her own ghosts of war. Alternating chapters from the perspectives of boy and fox are perfectly paced and complementary. Only Peter, Pax, Vola, and three of Pax’s fox companions are named, conferring a spare, fablelike quality. Every moment in the graceful, fluid narrative is believable. Klassen’s cover art has a sense of contained, powerful stillness. (Interior illustrations not seen.)

Moving and poetic. (Animal fantasy. 9-13)

Pub Date: Feb. 2, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-237701-2

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2015

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Templeton Twins hidden in integrand function (5, 3). Read it to solve it! (Fiction. 9-13)


From the Templeton Twins series , Vol. 1

The scene-hogging narrator steals the show in this clever series opener.

Since the mother of 12-year-old twins Abigail and John recently died, their father, professor Elton Templeton, has decided to take his knack for inventing to Tickeridge-Baltock Institute of Technology (aka Tick-Tock Tech). At the professor’s opening lecture, disgruntled former student Dean D. Dean accuses him of stealing his idea for the Personal One-Man Helicopter. When the professor denies Dean’s involvement in his invention, Dean (with the help of his own twin brother, Dan) kidnaps the Templeton twins and their ridiculous dog, hoping to retrieve the device as ransom. How this caper, accompanied by mechanical-like illustrations, will end matters less than how the narrator will report it. Nearly a character himself, the self-important, over-the-top narrator takes pleasure in admonishing his readers (“If you don’t remember me saying that, I urge you to turn back to Chapter 2 (the first Chapter 2) and refresh your memory, because I distinctly remember saying it, and I remember you reading it”). Occasionally tedious, his end-of-chapter “Questions for Review” emphasize humor—and his ego. Also adding to the fun, particularly for word buffs, is Abigail’s use of cryptic crossword puzzles. A tender ending to this otherwise comical story acknowledges the family’s grief.

Templeton Twins hidden in integrand function (5, 3). Read it to solve it! (Fiction. 9-13)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8118-6679-8

Page Count: 232

Publisher: Chronicle

Review Posted Online: April 25, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2012

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