Animal Helpers: Raptor Centers

Kirkus Reviews - July 2014

"...this detailed look at why raptors might need help, how people can provide care for them, and how the birds are either eased back into the wild or trained as ambassadors for wilderness-education programs. When a bird first arrives at a center, it is thoroughly examined with medical instruments and some clever techniques. Helpers monitor their patients daily, providing food, medicine and physical therapy, if needed, and watching to see if the birds can hunt successfully. Baby raptors need special care to ensure that they can be released into the wild. A final section brings the topic home to readers-"Would you like to work with raptors?"-and asks if they could/would do some of the helpers' (sometimes-unpleasant) tasks. Full-color photographs throughout show the birds and their injuries, the medical staff at work and the recovering raptors. The backmatter extends the learning with activities and more information about raptor-center volunteers and what to do if you find a raptor needing help."

"Future animal helpers of all sorts will be en-raptor-ed." (Informational picture book. 4-8)

Children's Bookwatch, Midwest Book Review - March 2015

"Fifth in the "Animal Helpers" series, Animal Helpers: Raptor Centers is a children's picturebook about real-life human efforts to help birds of prey who are injured, poisioned, shot, orphaned, or otherwise distressed. The people who work at raptor centers wash birds covered in mud or oil; use medical science and technology to splint broken bones; and care for baby birds while preparing them to be nested with wild "foster parents" who will raise them and teach them how to hunt. Striking full-color photography of raptors in need and people who work to help return them to the wild fills this captivating book. Extra pages at the end offer additional activities for curious young minds, as well as more fun facts about different types of raptor, and stress that raptors are absolutely not pets. "The best way to help a raptor in need is to call for help. Find a raptor center or licensed wildlife rehabilitator near you...Do not try to take the raptor home or keep it as a pet. Itl is illegal to have raptors in captivity or to disturb nesting raptors without the proper permits from the State and Federal government." Other highly recommended titles in the "Animal Helpers" series include "Animal Helpers: Wildlife Rehabilitators", "Animal Helpers: Sanctuaries", "Animal Helpers: Zoos", and "Animal Helpers: Aquariums".

NSTA Recommends - December 2014

"Has a child ever asked you how they could volunteer to help animals who are injured or orphaned? Has a child ever asked you what volunteers really do to help those animals? If you are like me, I have had those questions for years. However, my responses usually included the traditional "It depends and I am not really sure."

Here is some good news for those of us who have struggled to provide accurate responses, specifically for ways people help injured or orphaned raptors. Animal Helpers: Raptor Centers provides a starting point for answering those questions. This book is part of a series of books called Animal Helpers that includes sanctuaries, zoos, and aquariums. The book is written for readers who are in lower to middle elementary school. The narrative leads the reader through the reasons that sometimes raptors are injured and what can be done to help the raptors return to their natural environment. When they can't be released, they stay at a raptor center or another educational program. Actual photographs of many kinds of raptors accompany the narrative about the injured, orphaned, or rehabilitated raptors to the actual volunteers working with veterinarians. Following the informational narrative writing and photographs, the book offers the questions: "Would you like to work with raptors? Could you weigh a newly hatched great horned owl? Would you clean the cage of an injured peregrine falcon?"

The book urges the reader to get to know the raptors by visiting raptor centers, observing raptors in the wild, and then when the reader is older to volunteer in a raptor center. There are 4 pages called "For Creative Minds" that have 2 matching activities (with the answers) and 2 pages of additional information concerning raptor adaptations, valuable volunteers, and conclude with what to do if you find a raptor in need. There is an online link to the publisher where there are three interactive 10 question quizzes that incorporate content and math. Also included are raptor content specific pre-reading questions, writing prompts, sequencing sentence strips, and even a word search with a word bank. The book is available as e-book or in Spanish. Using these online extensions, this book could easily become a teacher's listen and learn class learning adventure or it could be used by individual students who just happen to want to know more. I recommend this book, Animal Helpers: Raptor Centers because it provided factual answers with photographs to those questions of how a child volunteers to help animals who are injured or orphaned and what volunteers really do to help those animals. Now I know what to tell a child about how raptors are injured, rehabilitated, and what can happen to the raptors. In addition, now I know what to tell that child that asked,"What can I do to volunteer?"
-Reviewer: Coralee Smith

Outnumbered 3 to 1-March 2015

"The books from the Animal Helpers series is by far Big Sis' favorites. She really likes the photography and loves seeing the people helping out the animals. She seems to have a really soft spot in her heart for wild animals and how we as humans can help."

Reader's Haven Reviews - April 2015

"This is actually a vocation book where young children can learn about the work of being an animal helper (Veterinarian) in a Raptor Center. The need for birds of prey - raptors - to have help in order to survive is presented. The recovery of raptors from situations where they are injured and transferred to a raptor center is examined with text and illustrations.

Then the young child is asked several questions - would you clean the cage of a raptor, would you weigh a new born raptor, etc. Identification of various raptors via quality photographs is good."

So Cal City Kids - July 2015

"The Animal Helpers series is one of my favorite! I love how the books show how important work is being done to protect, care for and conserve our wild birds. After learning about the importance of raptor centers, children are able to engage in learning activities in the For Creative Minds section. Recommended for grades K-3."

Bookloons - July 2015

"Actual color photos are used to illustrate the text. You'll also discover four pages of learning activities which will make this book a good resource for teachers and parents home schooling their children. Every school library should have a copy of this handy book which will appeal to youngsters in the first to third grades."