BOOK REVIEW: A Kid’s Guide to Protecting & Caring for Animals

A Kid's Guide to Protecting & Caring for Animals

I was rather surprised by the format of this book, which is set up like a workbook instead of something similar to ASPCA Kids: Kids Making a Difference for Animals . Teachers and humane educators can run off copies of the pages and hand them out as individual activity sheets.

That said, the information and ideas contained within this book are mostly excellent. Expect lots of open-ended questions and calls to research that will really get students thinking. The pages themselves are also more visually exciting than the worksheets of my youth; they’re peppered with amusing and thought-provoking quotes and book suggestions for further reading.

The primary focus of this workbook is on the welfare of companion animals. In one activity, students are asked to take the role of a shelter director and are presented with some common dilemmas; in another, they are asked to act out a skit imagining they have discovered an abandoned cat and her kittens. Other animal issues, such as the plight of endangered species and the role of animals in society, are addressed in a smaller capacity. The worksheet about farm animal issues is unfortunately predictably wimpy; it highlighted a group of middle school students who asked their school to serve only “happy meat.” (The outcome of this effort wasn’t discussed.) However, this doesn’t come as a surprise because a.) the meat issue is a contentious one; b) children have little say about what’s put on their plates; and c.) the ASPCA, the group behind the workbook, takes no firm position on the slaughter of farm animals for food.

Nevertheless, this service-learning manual is a fine addition to any humane curriculum, and humane educators in particular won’t want to miss it.

I purchased this book for my library.

(review originally appeared at goodreads.com)

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