Friday, November 20, 2015

Fur, Fins, and Feathers: Abraham Dee Bartlett and the Invention of the Modern Zoo by Cassandre Maxwell- ESSENTIAL

Maxwell, Cassandre. Fur, Fins, and Feathers: Abraham Dee Bartlett and the Invention of the Modern Zoo, PICTURE BOOK. Eerdman’s Books for Young Readers, 2015. $17.00. Abraham Bartlett always loved animals. As a young boy, when he was able to visit a collection of animals displayed in cages, he thought it was amazing. He also felt badly that the animals had to be locked up in such small spaces and that they weren’t always fed or treated well. As he grew up, he continued to study animals and was eventually appointed Superintendent of the London Zoo. Abraham was well known for treating his animals with kindness and taking care of their injuries. He began posting signs so that zoo visitors could learn more about the animals. He continued to study animal habits, food, and habitats throughout his life. He acquired many unusual animals for the zoo and constructed large buildings and outdoor structures so that his animals had more space and freedom. Above all, he wanted the animals to be happy. What an interesting book!  I really enjoyed learning about a man that contributed so much to the development of zoos and animal studies. The pictures are really engaging as they are done in a painting and paper cut out type style. Barlett’s life story will intrigue readers as they learn about how zoos have progressed over time. There are letters and quotes written about the zoo and Bartlett in the front and back covers, as well as a timeline of his life and the zoo at the end of the story. EL, ESSENTIAL. Reviewed by Shay, School Librarian

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