Thursday, July 16, 2015

Fur, Fins, and Feathers: 

Abraham Dee Bartlett and the Invention of the Modern Zoo

 Cassandra Maxwell has written a wonderful book that briefly explores the life of Araham Dee Bartlett and his contributions to the modern zoo. Born in 1812, Bartlett was fascinated by animals. His father knew the director of the Royal Menagerie in London and Abraham was allowed to play with many of the wild animals. He loved the animals but was distressed by the small cages the animals were forced to live in and also by the callous way they were treated by their keepers. Abraham began studying animals and eventually became Superintendent of the London Zoological Society. His workers often referred to him as Papa Bartlett. He advocated many changes to the zoo which improved the quality of life for the animals. The book includes background information and a short list of books for further reading. I found the illustrations fun to explore for additional tidbits of information.  For example, he was presented with a watch by the Queen because he took such good care of her birds. This book would be a good read-aloud for early elementary. Especially before a field trip to the zoo! I received an advanced copy for review from the publisher - thanks Library Thing!