The idea for Raccoon Rescue was always grounded in the desire to educate other humans about “nuisance” wildlife and how survival drives animals to human-built property. With that in mind, getting the book into the hands of people who could help spread that message has been a necessary part of getting it into the world.
I’m talking, of course, about those who are involved with public education on a day-to-day basis: wildlife rehabbers and advocates, who in addition to caring for orphaned and injured animals, also teach classes, bring animal ambassadors to schools, and post what they know to their social media pages.
So of course I was thrilled when my outreach to many of those organizations began to pay off in the form of some fabulous reviews!
First up: John Griffin, Director of Urban Wildlife, The Humane Society of the United States
John was tough to reach — when I started to prepare to publish the book, he was about to be deployed to Texas, here in the Southeast, and finally to Puerto Rico, to help with animal rescue efforts in the wakes of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. Somewhere in there he managed to read it, though, and offered the following result via email:
“This delightful story about a family of raccoons not only provides a healthy dose of much needed empathy for what wild animals in our communities contend with on a daily basis, but an important perspective viewed through the eyes of our wild neighbors that will help all who read it better understand and coexist with them.
“I thoroughly enjoyed this exciting, sometimes harrowing story about the individual lives of this family of raccoons. This story entertainingly winds through the lives of young raccoons growing up in a suburban community and in the course of that storytelling reviews and imparts life lessons that are universal to animal and human alike.
“Drawing parallels and shifting perspectives from animal to human leaves the reader (as it did my 8 year old) imagining what it is like to understand themselves from a raccoon’s viewpoint as the reader is carried along to the conclusion and a reuniting that portrays the strength and courage of a mother’s love.”
Next up: The Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals (Vancouver, BC)
I found this organization through a Canadian rehabilitator, Procyon Wildlife Centre in Ontario, which had taken in a horribly burned juvenile raccoon they eventually named Phoenix-Rose. Social media manager Michael graciously agreed to the review — and here’s some of what came of it!
“It isn’t often that a children’s storybook about a family of raccoons can make you smirk, cause your heart to race, fall in love with a character, and walk away feeling good, all within 80 pages. But Raccoon Rescue manages to pull it off – and we can’t get enough….
“…starts as an adorable story and ends as an adorable story, but what plays out in between is not only thrilling, but makes it impossible to not exercise critical thinking skills and experience empathy and compassion….
“The story is masterfully written in a Disney-esque style that elicits a range of emotion, regardless of the age of reader, and causes introspection in a wonderful way….
“Raccoon Rescue is a heart-warming, thrilling, intellectually challenging book that should be in the hands of every humane educator, and the shelves of every school library.”
Finally: Roo’s Corner’s Endorsement
I didn’t know this when I approached them, but Arkansas-based Roo’s Corner mentored raccoon rehabilitation efforts at Izzie’s Pond, so I was thrilled for them to post on both their Facebook page and on Amazon.com this review:
From a rehabber’s perspective we cannot preach coexistence and humane wildlife conflict resolution enough. We also know that the sooner these concepts are introduced to someone the more likely an open mind is created. Raccoon Rescue is an excellent read geared towards the young reader that manages to address the many aspects of human/wildlife interactions in a flowing and easy to read story that even an adult can gain enjoyment and insight from. This sweetly told story of a mother raccoon and her family of three not only addresses the ever important issues of existing peacefully with wild neighbors but it also brings light to wildlife rehabilitation, responsible acts pertaining to wild orphans, and even environmental pollution.
*****REHABBERS!*****Especially because of the discussion questions and glossary at the end of the book I highly recommend you add this publication to your educational arsenal for use in both small scale or larger presentations to a young audience.
Be sure to check out the glowing review received from D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer at the Midwest Book Review, including:
“The fun drawings throughout make Raccoon Rescue the perfect next step for nature-loving readers who still enjoy pictures, but who are ready for the structure of a chapter book complete with plot and animal insights. This audience will love this gentle, fun tale of animals learning to get along both in the wild and with the puzzling humans around them.”