Sunday, October 1, 2017
Review: Zoo Scientists to the Rescue by Patricia Newman
Zoo Scientists to the Rescue by Patricia Newman. Photographs by Annie Crawley. 64 p. Millbrook Press/ Lerner Publishing Group, October 28, 2017. 9781512415711. (Review from finished copy courtesy of publisher.)
I don't know about you, but I've been to a zoo or two. I remember childhood trips to the Bronx Zoo with my five siblings, entering darkened halls to peer through iron bars and wrinkling my nose against the smells. I took my own four to a variety of zoos over the years, large and far flung, small and local. Zoos have changed a lot since my childhood. Most, if not all having designed natural spaces where the animals have a bit more room than a cage, but caged, nonetheless. If I ever thought beyond the exhibits to the people behind them, my thoughts were of zoo keepers and vets with little thought given over to their education or training.
Patricia Newman introduces three scientists presently working in three American Zoos on projects to protect three species of animals as well as educating the public about them. Readers step behind the scenes with Newman to meet Meredith Bastion of the National Zoo in Washington D.C., Jeff Baughman of the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs, CO and Rachel Santymire of the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. Each scientist receives a chapter in which Newman cogently explains about the animal, its natural habitat and the threats to them. Fact boxes with scientific information and a clear full-page, full-color photo opens each chapter as well. Readers also learn a bit about each scientist and how them came to specialize in each job. A final chapter recaps a brief history of zoos from collections to entertain, amuse or intimidate to the present emphasis on conservation. There's a practical list of eight ways any reader can work toward conservation efforts in addition to other work that scientists are doing to save wildlife.
The book is colorfully and pleasingly designed. Each page features at least one well-captioned photograph, chart or map. Two pages of source notes, a glossary, selected bibliography, along with recommended books and websites and an index round out this must-purchase book. Display it prominently. Your fact hounds will love it and your science teachers will too. They will find multiple ways to use it in their classrooms from meeting career readiness standards to Next-gen science standards.
ETA: Here's a link to a terrific YouTube video about Zoo Scientists to the Rescue. Thank you Patricia Newman!