Children's Book Review: *Baby Owl's Rescue* by Jennifer Keats Curtis

  • Baby Owl’s Rescue by Jennifer Keats Curtis; illustrated by Laura Jacques
  • Reading level: Ages 4-8
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Sylvan Dell Publishing (September 5, 2009)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934359952
  • Back-of-the-book blurb:  What if you found a baby owl in your back yard? Would you know what to do? Where would you go to find help? Join young Maddie and Max as they learn a valuable lesson from a little lost owl in Baby Owl’s Rescue. 

    She is Too Fond of Books’ review:  Can you resist that wide-eyed look of the owl on the cover illustration?  You won’t be able to resist the story inside Baby Owl’s Rescue, either.

    Maddie and Max, sister and brother, follow the strange ‘clack. clack. clack.’ sound to find a baby owl underneath the big pine tree in the corner of their backyard.  They know better than to touch it, and turn to  their mother for help.  Mom is a wildlife rehabilitator, and knows just what to do in order to reunited the baby with its mother.

    Along the way, Maddie and Max (and the reader) learn some important lessons:

    • baby wild animals may look cute, but don’t treat them like pets (respect)
    • sometimes animal parents are nearby; human intervention may harm, rather than help
    • facts about the Great Horned Owl
    • animals have instincts that act as defense mechanisms (puffing up feathers to look bigger)

    Laura Jacques’ illustrations are simply gorgeous; they are so realistic, with depth and shading, that they almost look like photos.  I can’t imagine the patience it took to draw such details as each needle on the pine tree, or every feather on the baby owl.

    The back of the book has a four-page section called “For Creative Minds,” which offers ‘fun facts,’ a matching game, and other related activities.  The Sylvan Dell website offers an author interview, teacher’s guide (38-page .pdf file), and a list of related websites.  There’s also a sample of the e-book, which can be set to auto-advance, ‘reading’ the story with audio.  I love the e-book feature, which is sold for $14.95; they’re developing the application for hand-held devices, and I’ll likely purchase a few books when they’re available on the iPhone.

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    FTC disclosure: review copy provided by the publisher

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