Reviews

Publishers Weekly

"The Hestermanns strike an effective balance between educational material and fun that should hit a sweet spot for animal lovers."

 

The husband-and-wife team of the Hestermanns present an accessible introduction to zoology, filled with vivid photographs and written in lively, enthusiastic prose. Early chapters focus on animal classification, biology, behavior, and habitats, while later ones introduce a variety of professions that involve working directly with animals. Each chapter offers activities that encourage readers to further engage with the material—one project suggests baking an edible animal cell cake: “Add some sprinkles (ribosomes) between some of the gummy worms to create rough endoplasmic reticulum.” Some sidebars introduce thought-provoking concepts, such as whether or not animals practice altruism; others focus on specific individuals who work with animals; an extensive glossary, source notes, and resource list are included. The Hestermanns strike an effective balance between educational material and fun that should hit a sweet spot for animal lovers. Ages 9–up. (Mar.)

 

Kirkus Reviews
"A convincing invitation to the wide world of working with animals."

 

A pair of enthusiastic animal lovers provide a comprehensive introduction to zoology, a description of potential careers and suggestions for hands-on activities for learning or practicing. This useful title begins with an in-depth look at the basics of the study of animal life: animal forms and functions, animal behavior, and the relation of animals to their environments. The second section describes the many different roles animal lovers can play: as workers (and even volunteers) in zoos and aquariums, veterinarians, wildlife researchers and “conservation warriors.” The accompanying activities are appropriate for middle school students alone or in groups. They include baking an edible “animal cell” and making a salad from fruits commonly pollinated by bats, molding tiger teeth, making a stethoscope and taking vital signs, and playing various games. The extensive text, though a bit daunting at first, reads smoothly and often directly addresses the audience. It’s broken up and made to look more accessible with plentiful pictures (a wide range of animals and animal workers) and text boxes. Some of these breakout sections discuss zoological concepts such as metamorphosis and animal classification, while others introduce figures in the history of animal study, from Aristotle to the chief scientist at Polar Bears International, and still others describe particular animal encounters. A convincing invitation to the wide world of working with animals. (glossary, resources, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 11-15)

 

Booklist

"(There's) plenty here to engage hands-on experimenters as well as readers indulging a general interest in living things or wondering what it would be like to be a zookeeper, veterinarian, wildlife researcher, or even 'conservation warrior.'"

 

The authors (one of whom is a professional trainer of marine mammals) take a multipronged approach to their subject here, opening with a broad overview of animal forms, common behaviors, and functions in an ecosystem, and then surveying zoology-related careers and interspersing throughout the text 21 low-cost projects or activities. These range from placing Tootsie Rolls and other candy on a flat cake to represent parts of a cell to teaching friends how to perform simple tricks using animal-training techniques (none of which require animals besides humans). Both parts of the book are generously stocked with diagrams and animal photos, while frequent sidebars profile scientists of the past or offer closer looks at metamorphosis, animal altruism, and more. It’s all a little bit about a lot of subjects, plenty here to engage hands-on experimenters as well as readers indulging a general interest in living things or wondering what it would be like to be a zookeeper, veterinarian, wildlife researcher, or even “conservation warrior.”

 

Teacher Librarian Magazine

"Teachers will find these activities to be an effective way to address science standards and children will simply enjoy the hands-on experiences."

 

ZOOLOGY FOR KIDS: UNDERSTANDING AND WORKING WITH ANIMALS by Josh Hestermann and Bethanie Hestermann is an engaging introduction to the science of animals. The book is divided into two parts: Zoology for Beginners and Working on the Wild Side - Zoology in Real Life. The first section explores animal form and function, behavior, and habitats. In the second part of the book, readers examine the various careers associated with animals including zookeepers and aquarists, veterinarians, researchers, and conservationists. The writing is geared to middle grade readers with appealing examples and interesting descriptions. While it includes scientific vocabulary, key words are bold-faced and a glossary provides definitions of these terms. In-depth side-bars and special pages feature interesting facts, background information, and career spotlights. The attractive cover, inviting layout, colorful photos, and inviting illustrations will appeal to student readers. Additional resources and a bibliography are designed to extend the experience. Twenty-one, hands-on activities are woven throughout the book. From baking edible animal cells to testing your sense of direction, these fun experiences involve readers in meaningful projects that require both creative and critical thinking related to animal life. Teachers will find these activities to be an effective way to address science standards and children will simply enjoy the hands-on experiences. Readers who enjoy Zoology for Kids will also want to look for other books in the Young Naturalist series including Awesome Snake Science!, Birdology, and Insectigations.

 

This work of nonfiction will be popular with youth who want to learn more about the science and care of animals. Librarians will find Zoology for Kids as well as the other books in the Young Naturalist series to be outstanding additions to the science collection.

 

School Library Journal

"Charming photos, hand-drawn graphics, highlighted words, and a correlative glossary enhance the clear-cut writing style. VERDICT A worthwhile purchase."

 

Gr 4–6—Studded with fun activities and attractive animal photos, this comprehensive resource will excite those not already smitten with the animal world to enthusiastically join in the delightful exploration of what it means to study and care for animals in today's world. This book kicks off with a time line highlighting zoological milestones and a brief explanation of the subject, segueing into an in-depth view of animals, detailing their form, function, and habitats. Part 2 introduces professionals who have chosen a career in zoology and through their interviews and testimonies reveals how kids can start doing their own research and take steps to pursue a variety of interesting careers such as veterinarian, conservation scientist, or wildlife researcher. The author tackles many relevant questions: How are targets used to train a seal? Do elephants get toothaches? What are vital signs, and how are they used to determine an animal's health? The projects are entertaining and will foster observational skills or let kids conduct experiments; they include baking an animal cell out of cake mix, making a bird feeder out of a cardboard tube, interviewing a zoologist, and monitoring animal behavior in one's own backyard. This fascinating blend of history and science will provide children with a solid understanding of the topic and how it applies to other life sciences. Charming photos, hand-drawn graphics, highlighted words, and a correlative glossary enhance the clear-cut writing style. VERDICT A worthwhile purchase.—Kathryn Diman, Bass Harbor Memorial Library, Bernard, ME

 

School Library Connection (November 2015 issue)

"The meaningful activities encourage even the youngest readers to engage." 

 

With pages including 21 activities, this volume is packed with photos and facts that inspire children to investigate the world of animals. What is exceptional about this book is that it is written by a marine mammal keeper/trainer and his wife who provide their expertise on the science of zoology. The authors expose readers to animal-related career options. There is data about animal behaviors, environment, and the job of their caretakers: zookeepers and aquarists, veterinarians, wildlife researchers, and conservationists. The meaningful activities encourage even the youngest readers to engage in the activities. By dividing the book into two parts: Zoology for Beginners and Working on the Wild Side - Zoology in Real Life, the authors simplify the vast amount of information presented. Madeleine Zember, Librarian and Special Education Teacher, Midway Jewish Center, Syosset, New York [Editor’s Note: Available in e-book format.] Recommended

 

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