Review Blog

Dec 14 2012

Bumper book of pets and other animals by Lex Hirst

cover image

RSPCA. Random House Australia, 2012. ISBN 9781742757117.
With Christmas rapidly closing in, and the prospect that Santa will deliver more than one puppy, kitten, or other little live creature, this may be the perfect book to show students on their first day back next year.  Fully endorsed by the RSPCA, it is replete with facts about cats, dogs, guinea pigs, rabbits, horses, rats, mice, ferrets, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish as well as farmyard animals and other wildlife.  Each chapter includes information about housing, health and happiness, and diet, and includes some fascinating facts such as despite ferrets having a sweet tooth, they can't digest sweet treats.
I deliberately skipped over the chapter about snakes and axolotls, both of which give me the creeps despite Mr 6's fascination with them, but learned that there is a difference between the chooks that lay and those that go on the table.  My two, Steggles and Ingham, are safe!
Most importantly, it has a 10-point checklist of questions that should be answered to ensure that getting a pet is a viable and sustainable choice for the family.
Written in easy non-technical language and illustrated with a wide range of photographs that break up the text into manageable chunks, this would be an excellent addition to one of the most popular sections of the collection.  In the meantime, have a look at the RSPCA's site especially for kids, World of Animal Welfare http://www.woaw.org.au/.  There is a wealth of resources there for the under-8s right through to lesson plans for teachers!
Barbara Braxton

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