Reviews and Endorsements
She's Just Too Fond of Books- April, 2010
Can you resist that wide-eyed look of the owl on the cover illustration? You won’t be able to resist the story inside Baby Owl’s Rescue, either.
Laura Jacques’ illustrations are simply gorgeous; they are so realistic, with depth and shading, that they almost look like photos. I can’t imagine the patience it took to draw such details as each needle on the pine tree, or every feather on the baby owl.
The back of the book has a four-page section called “For Creative Minds,” which offers ‘fun facts,’ a matching game, and other related activities. The Sylvan Dell website offers an author interview, teacher’s guide (38-page .pdf file), and a list of related websites. There’s also a sample of the e-book, which can be set to auto-advance, ‘reading’ the story with audio. I love the e-book feature, which is sold for $14.95; they’re developing the application for hand-held devices, and I’ll likely purchase a few books when they’re available on the iPhone.
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Heck of a Bunch Blog-April 2011
First of all, I have to say this storybook has amazing illustrations. Baby Owl's Rescue tells of how two children find a baby owl by a tree and how their mother educates them on how to handle the situation. In the "Creative Minds" section of the book there are fun owl facts, a matching activity, a sequencing activity, and advice on what to do if you find an injured bird. Younger children may need this book read to them but I can see kids of all ages being engaged with the storyline.
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National Writing for Children's Center- April 10, 2010
It is generally known that when we find a wild baby animal, we should not touch it because it could bite or scratch us. But then again, experts say it is best to leave it alone or return the baby to its parents.
So how do we correctly and safely handle this situation while helping the baby as well? Thanks to Sylvan Dell’s book, Baby Owl’s Rescue written by Jennifer Keats Curtis, we can read all about how one family rescued a wild baby bird!
Jennifer Keats Curtis has done an excellent job telling this story, and I like the lesson within the story—helping wildlife is important, but it must be done cautiously and with supervision from an expert. It’s obvious she enjoys teaching children about preserving and protecting local wildlife. She lives with her family in Maryland, and she has written several books for Sylvan Dell.
I also love the illustrations by the very talented Laura Jacques. The pictures are beautiful, colorful and realistic. Ms. Jacques has over twenty-five years of professional experience as an illustrator, and she enjoys illustrating books that focus on natural history, wildlife, and the environment.
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Maryland Life Magazine- Nov/Dec 2009
Have you ever wondered what happens to small creatures that have lost their way? Jennifer Keats Curtis, editor-at-large for Maryland Life and author of several children's tales, brings that idea to life with her latest book, Baby Owl's Rescue. The story follows brother-and-sister duo Max and Maddie as they, with the help of their wildlife rehabilitator mother, return a baby great horned owl to its nest. Curtis, whose goal is to utilize the "once upon a time" setting to help bring children closer to the wonderful animals that live in or near [their] own back yards," shows kids that the best way to save a wild animal is to do so with the aid of an adult. The book also includes a life-cycle chart, which children can use to learn about the growth and development of owls, along with a guide on what to do if an injured bird is found. So if you're looking for the perfect book to teach youngsters about the importance of protecting wildlife, Baby Owl's Rescue is just that - perfect!
Midwest Book Review, Pets / Wildlife Shelf - Nov 2009
"Baby Owl's Rescue" is an educational book about experiences young Maddie and Max have when they discover a baby Great Horned Owl in their backyard. Fortunately their mother is a trained naturalist who has experience in helping lost or injured fledglings be restored to their parent(s). She teaches them the proper ways to go about helping restore the young "brancher" owl to a nest in the tree he fell from. "Baby Owl's Rescue" has extra fun facts for creative minds and matching activities plus more educational material in the last 8 pages of the book to make it a multi-sensory learning experience. Most helpful of all is the page with suggestions listed for what to do if you find an injured bird. All the shaded illustrations add to the wonder of "Baby Owl's Rescue," a book which will strongly appeal to an audience aged 4-8.
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Epinions.com - Oct 13, 2009
The Bottom Line: Baby Owl's Rescue wins the heart of children, respect of teachers, and my approval for accuracy and the author's presentation of facts and wildlife rescue strategies
Clack, clack, clack - a sound you don't often hear while tossing a baseball around in the back yard - rearranged Maddie's and Max's plans for the day. Clack, clack, clack, an odd noise that wasn't a squirrel, probably saved the life of a baby owl. Finding a baby Great Horned Owl, a very frightened baby owl, on the ground just shouldn't happen yet these two siblings knew what to do but would you?
Clack, clack, clack continued. As Maddie and Max crept closer while trying not to frighten this poor baby any further, they could see its bright yellow eyes and its long talons, furry feet, and sharp beak. They could see it was doing its best to warn them away. Baby Owl's Rescue provides a valuable lesson for readers on how to respond when the human and wildlife boundary overlaps and when a juvenile is at risk. This also reminds us that we live within their habitats and that they share that space with us.
Jennifer Keats Curtis's Baby Owl's Rescue introduces us to a baby owl who has fallen into trouble and two smart siblings who might not know what to do but who know what not to do. Their mother was a wildlife rehabilitator, trained to care for injured animals, and they knew to leave the baby alone. They knew the parents might be close but at the same time they suspected something should be done. They went for mom and they ran for help.
After she arrives Max and Maddie learn a lot about owls including that this baby might have been the offspring of a pair of Great Horned Owls they began hearing around the start of the year. They had heard the whoo-hoo-ho-o-o throughout the cold winter and then it ceased. Mom suspected that occurred about the time this baby hatched. The nest was very high in the tree and this little owlet probably fell out during a storm the previous night. Getting the baby back into its nest required fire department assistance and a clever plan from mom. Wheet. Wheet. Wheet. The rescue involved a cherry picker, a basket, and a recording of owl baby noises. Wheet. Wheet. Wheet.
Last week I facilitated a teacher workshop with early childhood teachers and the focus of the workshop was wildlife. I was eager to see their response to this book, especially since it was written for four to eight year olds. They loved it. Even though there is more text than many used in the four year old curriculum, they explained this was perfect for their five to seven year olds. They would love reading this and sharing the rescue story. Many children worry about getting separated from their parents; the teachers believe the return of this attentive parent will soothe some unwarranted anxieties. They also appreciated that the children actually went for an adult before attempting their own rescue effort. These teachers (as well as this reviewer) felt that the children modeled appropriate behavior.
What else appealed?
• The facts that were integrated into the story.
• Laura Jacques realistic illustrations. The teachers asked me if the illustrations of the people were actually photographs? The realism and detail might inspire some art activities.
• Baby Owl. It was easy to see how frightened the owlet was – young children would be emotionally drawn into this story.
• The For Creative Minds pages in the back of the book. This Sylvan Dell Publishing Book contains Great Horned Owl Facts (Did you know they weighed between 3 and 4 lbs and that they can live up to 12 or 13 years?)
• They loved the life-cycle sequencing activity, but felt the “What to Do if you Find An Injured Animal” instruction could serve as an entire stand-alone lesson.
While I couldn't introduce them to the online resources (lack of Internet connection) I explained that the publisher provided a 38-page collection of Teaching Activities, Alignment to Standards, online copies of the Creative Minds activities as well as appropriate web resources. The teachers enthusiastically wrote www.sylvandellpublishing.com for future reference.Our workshop's focus was nature and that became the vehicle for integrating science, music, movement, reading, and art into their everyday lessons. The teachers, most with many years of experience, quickly recommended complementary activities and books. They all agreed the Baby Owl Rescue should be combined with Martin Waddell's classic book, Owl Babies - both have a charming story with missing parents and equally adorable and anxious owlets.
Baby Owl Rescue will enchant young readers. I recommend this to parents or grandparents with owls nesting in nearby trees and I encourage teachers to use this while teaching about local wildlife. This book's accuracy has been verified by wildlife rehabilitators and representatives of the National Audubon Society. Trust the content to be accurate, but trust the story and images to captivate the imagination and hearts of young readers.I appreciate Sylvan Dell's willingness to share this book in exchange for my honest opinion of the book.This book gets solid approval from me and the 33 teachers in a recent workshop.
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Reader Views Kids - Dec 2009
Max and Maddie are outside playing in their yard when they hear a strange clacking sound. It continues and they go and see if they can find out where the noise is coming from. When they look under a tree, they see a baby owl clacking its beak at them. “That owl is so cute!” Grace said, to which Ella replied “but look at its claws, they look really sharp.”
Max and Maddie weren’t sure what to do but thought it was a good idea to get their mom, who was a wildlife rehabilitator. “Mommy, I would get you if I saw an animal that needed help.” Grace told me. “But mom might not know what to do, we don’t have any owls.” Ella said. Their mom thought that the owl may be old enough to climb back up the tree and into the nest by itself but warns the kids not to get too close because too much human contact isn’t good. But, it is just too young to climb.
So, she has the kids watch it while she goes into the house. “I would take care of it because I want to be a vet when I grow up” Grace said. Their mom comes out with a laundry basket and fills it with loose branches. She has called the fire department to help put the basket with the baby owl near the other nest in the tree. “I bet that little baby misses its mommy” Ella said.
Thankfully the mother owl found its baby in the basket and was able to find food to feed it. “Baby Owl’s Rescue” by Jennifer Keats Curtis was very well written and the illustrations were absolutely gorgeous. I loved the fact that it was educational but still easy to read. Highly recommended! - Reviewed by Grace (age 5) and Ella (age 4) Gleichner with Mom for Reader Views
Ready Set Read Reviews - Oct 14, 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!
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Raising Itty-Bitty Bookworms - Oct 8, 2009
Sylvan Dell, one of my very favorite publishers, recently sent me a copy of Baby Owl's Rescue to review. It is one of their Fall 2009 titles. After reading it, I have to say, it is my favorite of the Fall titles. It is also one of Samantha's favorites. She enjoyed it so much that she wanted to write a review.
Here is Samantha's Review of Baby Owl's Rescue:
Baby Owl's Rescue is about a baby Great Horned Owl who fell out of his nest and was laying under a pine tree. Two kids found the baby owl. They knew that they should not touch it because their mom was a wildlife helper. They called their mom and she came out and looked at it. She said it was too young to fly, so she had the children help her make a nest for the baby owl. They made the nest out of a laundry basket and twigs. They called the fire department and they came and put the nest up in a tree. Then they put the owl in the nest. They played a CD of baby owl sounds, so the mother owl would find the baby. The mother came to her baby and fed it. My favorite part was when the mother owl fed the baby. The baby was so cute. I think other kids should read this book because it is interesting to learn how to deal with a wild owl. Also, the illustrations look so real. They are beautiful!
Sylvan Dell provides many resources for each of their titles. Here are some of the resources for Baby Owl's Rescue: Go here to see the the Baby Owl's Rescue e-book. You will love the beautiful illustrations. Creative Mind Printables. Printable Teaching Activities.
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Katie's Literature Lounge - Oct 4, 2009
Another great title from Sylvan Dell... need I say more?
There is so much to be learned about owls in this book! The story is absolutely incredible and the illustrations are gorgeous... you'll feel like you're in the book, standing right there beside Baby Owl. I love the lesson taught in this book ... children are learning that it's important not to touch baby animals, as in many cases that will cause the animal to be rejected by its parents. This book is definitely worth reading, if not owning, especially if you have children who are outdoor-lovers and who might be tempted to bring Mother Nature home to you upon finding it!
Activities to Use in Collaboration with this book:
Craft - Owl Handprint
ELA (Parts of Speech) - Children create silly sentences by adding nouns, verbs and adjectives to complete the sentences. Download and print page 11 of Sylvan Dell Publishing's Teaching Activities packet, found here.
Math (Word Problems) - Using the data sheet provided on page 33 of Sylvan Dell Publishing's Teaching Activities packet, children will complete simple math problems.
Science - A very cool, interactive online activity that's mess-free but very educational. Visit KidWings Virtual Owl Pellet Dissection to dissect an owl pellet! Kids will love this!
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The Reading Tub - September 2009
Little Kid Reaction: My daughter yanked this off the counter before I had a chance to take it to my office. She spent some time exploring the pages and then asked to read it at bedtime. There were plenty of "ooh's" for the adorable owlet and some great concern that mother owl would come back. She wanted to know if the baby owl ever learned to fly.
Big Kid Reaction: Sylvan Dell has another great hit on its hands. This is a wonderful story, but also a perfect, much-needed contribution to nature reading for kids. Given the number of dwindling wildlife habitats, kids need to learn safety habits for wild animals, just as they do domesticated ones.
Pros: Beautiful illustrations, an adorable owlet, and step-by-step explanation introduce kids to owls and the proper way to help wildlife.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. This is an exceptional nonfiction picture book and it has information about rescuing birds that all kids need to have
Educational Themes: The main theme in the story is the rescue of the owlet. That is complemented with more detailed information about an owl's life cycle, facts about the Great Horned Owl, and owl attributes in the back. As always, Sylvan Dell makes it easy to engage learners, as they take an interactive approach (games) to help kids learn this information.
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Gibson Island Country School - Oct 2009
I shared Baby Owl’s Rescue, both the actual book and the Sylvan Dell site with the voice track. [My boys and my students] were totally sucked in. Then we followed up the reading with a lesson from the Sylvan Dell teacher resource site using the Chart for the Backyard Owl Count for doing multi-digit adding!! I love all the lessons that are included! We applied and got one of the Sylvan Dell grants for the year to use their online books/free resources...now it's only a matter of making time to read all the online books! (Maybe that'll be my bedtime stories plan for my own kids!)
The boys loved it! Here are some very little mini-notes they wrote to you (They thought it was cool that I knew you and was going to be emailing you!)
Dear Mrs. Curtis,
Your book is really cool. You are a good writer. I really liked Baby Owl Rescue. ~From, Cameron
The little boy in Baby Owl Rescue looks like Mrs. Dabrowka's son. It was a good book. I thought it was funny when the fireman played catch at the end. ~From, Thomas
I really liked your book Baby Owl Rescue. The pictures are really good. The book is super good. The owls and the story were really cool. ~From, Hunter
I really enjoyed your book. I thought the story was awesome. I really liked the whole story of the owls. ~From, Cole
I think Baby Owl Rescue is the best book in the world. I thought Max looked like Ian, Mrs. Dabrowka's son. The story is fantastic! ~From, Dylan
Maryland Watermen’s Gazette – August 2009
For three decades, I have spoken and written that a major way to change the way folks behave toward the Bay and her tributaries, throughout the entire watershed, is to focus on children and try to have them grow up with an environmental ethic that will improve the Bay’s future. My good friend and author Jennifer Keats Curtis does just that and her most recent children’s book, Baby Owl’s Rescue, is another step in the right direction.
Children reading Baby Owls Rescue join Maddie and Max as they learn a valuable lesson from a little lost owl. This story reminds us that we live in a world surrounded by wild creatures and those creatures deserve our caution and respect. The brother and sister team just wanted to play a little baseball when they came face-to-face with a baby owl that teaches them valuable lessons about life and the wild. Laura Jacques does a quality job with the illustrations and Sylvan Dell Publishing takes the latest Curtis book into your home or school.
Curtis’ other environmental Bay books for children also focus on wildlife. Her first book, Oshus and Shelly Save the Bay, about oyster siblings saving the Bay, won an award from the Maryland Council of Teachers of English Language Arts; Turtles in My Sandbox, a finalist for the ASPCA Henry Bergh Children’s Book Award; Osprey Adventure is about saving the osprey from pollution and based on the work of biologist Pete McGowan; and, in 2010 look for Saving Squeak: A River Otter’s Tale. Research for her books has meant partnering with the Maryland State Department of Education, University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Virginia wildlife rehabber Suzanne McBride, and Maryland wildlife rehabber Kathy Woods.
When Curtis isn’t writing her books for children in the Bay community, or speaking to countless elementary schools about her books, the Bay and writing, she serves as Editor-at-Large for Maryland Life Magazine. Oh, yes, and she’s also currently working on a nonfiction book about seahorses. Her books are highly recommended by parents and teachers. - Mick Blackistone
Chesupioc Newsletter - Audubon Society - Fall 2009
The delightful book being published by Sylvan Dell is the perfect example of what a children’s book should be. There are many lessons in this book: do not disturb wildlife, call an adult for help before you touch wildlife, and teaching children (and adults) that there are wildlife rehabilitators who are professionals in reuniting baby birds with their parents. Based on the work of one of our local wildlife rehabilitators it reinforces leaving the baby alone so that the parent can take care of it. Written by Jennifer Keats Curtis (Turtles in My Sandbox), a local author, and with perfect illustrations by Laura Jacques, this warm and fuzzy story will hopefully teach all readers how they can help with wildlife. Look for it in bookstores around September 20th, and at local book signings around Maryland. Royalties will help to support the work of the Phoenix Wildlife Center in Phoenix, Maryland.
Amazing Kids! eZine - September 2009
What would you do if you saw a wild baby bird, trapped in your backyard? Would you know how to take care of it? Who would you call for help? In yet another stunningly fun and educational picture book from Sylvan Dell Publishing, Baby Owl’s Rescue, two kids are faced with these very questions!
I’ll never forget that when I was 8, we had two Chimney Sweep baby birds fall into our chimney! My parents put them in a towel-lined shoebox, and my brothers and I sat by the birds, making sure they were warm and secure until it was time to go to bed, that night. We had a nearby neighbor who owned a wildlife sanctuary, so we gave her the birds to take care of until they were old enough to fly free in the wild. It was certainly an adventure!
We never thought we’d be sudden foster ‘parents’ to two tiny Chimney Sweeps that winter, but the fun tips throughout (and in the back!) of Baby Owl’s Adventure are sure to keep you prepared if a baby bird or two decides to visit!
A great read for any animal lover! You can read the eBook version for free until October 31st. - Brittany, Student Editor-in-Chief
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