Fur, Fins, and Feathers: Abraham Dee Bartlett and the Invention of the Modern Zoo
Written and illustrated by Cassandre Maxwell
Eerdmans Books for Young Readers. 2015
I received a copy of this book from the publisher.
Abraham Dee Bartlett was born in 1812 in London, England. As a young boy, Abraham was fascinated with animals, especially those with fur, fins, and feathers. A family friend, who owned a collection of wild animals, allowed Abraham to play with the young animals.
But when it was time to put the animals back, he felt sorry for them. They had no place to explore, no place to hide, nothing to play with. They didn’t always get enough to eat, and their keepers sometimes teased them.
Abraham knew he had to find a way to help the animals.
Maxwell does a wonderful job bringing to life the story of the man whose love of all animals would grow up to create the modern zoo. His careful observations of the animals habits allowed him to improve their lives by offering adequate space for them to roam and he understood that a balanced diet was vital to the animals good health.
The very readable text is enhanced by full and sometimes double-page Illustrations created using cut paper collage and mixed media.The end papers are charming and back matter includes an author’s note, bibliography and further reading, and a timeline.
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