Baby Owl's Rescue by Jennifer Keats Curtis
Illustrated By: Laura Jacques
Geared Towards: Ages 4-8
Published By: Sylvan Dell
Publication Date: September 2009
It's widely proclaimed that should you ever find a lost baby animal in the wild that you should never ever mess with it. Theories differ, but some say the parent may abandon the baby because it senses your presence. Others say that the baby could be abandoned and left for dead because the parent may be frightened by your smell on their young. But what if you found a baby bird or animal that would be in actual danger from other outside sources or predators? Is it then okay to intervene?
In her book Baby Owl's Rescue, author Jennifer Keats Curtis, offers a wonderful story and example of how you could involve yourself were you to ever stumble across a lone baby animal that looked like it could use help. The animal in question in Curtis's book, is as the title suggests, a baby owl. Fallen from his home high in the trees, the young bird is unable to fly back up to his nest. Maddie and Max know, however, that even though the baby owl appears to need help that they should never involve themselves without first consulting an adult. In this instance they go to their mother, who just so happens to be a wildlife rehabilitator.
Mom knows that every case differs and that no real plan of action should be taken until you've thoroughly looked at all the variables in each individual situation. Does it look like that baby is hurt? Is danger eminent if you don't assist the baby? Have you failed to see the parent return within a reasonable time? Is it possible mom or dad have simply gone off to forage for food and that they'll be back soon, in which case they can then assist their baby themselves? These are all great questions you must consider if and when you are trying to determine if action should be taken on behalf of a wild animal who appears to need help.
In this story, after considering all of their options, Max and Maddy's mom determines that they should help. The baby owl is too young and small to fly back up to its high nest, yet left alone on the ground it could easily become prey for a hungry predator. It's not as simple as just picking it up and plunking it in to the nest though. Even when the decision to intervene has been made, a human's involvement with a wild animal baby should still be minimal, at best. No one wants to inadvertantly cause more harm to the unsuspecting creature. However, with a little knowledge and creative planning, mom and the kids are able to rescue the baby owl and easily get it back to safety.
It's a great story with a happy ending!
But don't think the fun stops there. No, of course not. This is a Sylvan Dell publication which means there's a fantastic "Creative Minds" section to be found at the back of the book. It's full of educational owl fun facts, activities, games and more. It's so great that young readers likely won't even catch on to the fact that they're learning something until it's too late. Now if that's not a education in disguise I don't know what is!