Through simple text and watercolor illustrations, Curtis and Yee explain the arduous and time-consuming task of cleaning birds, amphibians, mammals, and other animals and setting them free. Narrated in the first person plural, the book stresses the workers’ devotion to the animals. Several pages of further information, including ways to prevent oil spills and help injured animals, are appended. A wildlife identification page encourages close observation, and a short interview with the head of the Bird Rescue group discusses the mission of the organization. VERDICT An unusual look at the effects of oil spills on wildlife, and a useful tool for teaching early elementary students about environmental science.
–Eva Elisabeth VonAncken, formerly at Trinity-Pawling School,
On the U.S. East Coast, a team from the Delaware-based Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research rescues birds and animals from oil spills of all kinds. Their process involves capture, treatment, including extensive scrubbing, and time for recovery before release. Yee’s digitally colored drawings are realistic. Knowledgeable readers will recognize the painted turtle, great blue herons, mallards, Canada geese, bald eagle, and mergansers in the hands of wildlife rehabilitators, veterinarians, and support staff or paddling happily in recovery pools. Peeking out of cages in their rescue truck are others: a wood duck, a muskrat, a cormorant. The variety is impressive. The men and women working with these injured animals represent different ages and races. The relatively simple text is printed directly on the illustrations in a large font. The use of first-person plural emphasizes the teamwork involved. As with other books from this publisher, backmatter includes further information: suggestions for things readers can do, a picture-identification puzzle, and an interview with the organization’s executive director. A straightforward description of how some humans are working to help animals affected by the oils we all use.
River Rescue provides an informative look into animal rescue and rehabilitation and encourages good environmental citizenship among readers. The earth-toned art is realistic and the text is easy to understand.