________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIII Number 14 . . . . December 9, 2016


Sea Otter Rescue. (Wildlife Rescue; 3).

Suzi Eszterhas.
Toronto, ON: Owlkids Books, 2016.
44 pp., hardcover, $18.95.
ISBN 978-1-77147-175-6.

Subject Headings:
Sea otter-Conservation-Alaska-Juvenile literature.
Alaska SeaLife Center-Juvenile literature.
Wildlife rescue-Alaska-Juvenile literature.

Grades 2-7 / Ages 7-12.

Review by Aileen Wortley.

***½ /4



Staying warm is an important part of a baby sea otter's life. It is almost as important as eating! Unlike seals and other marine animals, sea otters don't have blubber to keep them warm. Instead, they rely on their dense fur to do the job. It traps body heat next to their skin and blocks out the cold water. Only clean, fluffy fur works, though. Dirty, matted fur can't insulate otters from the cold water.

Otter pups need to be groomed regularly so their fur can do its job. In the wild, otter mothers groom their pups for hours every day. They dry the fur and blow air into the float coat. At the center, the animal care team fills in for the missing mom. When the pup gets wet, a team member carefully and thoroughly dries it off with a towel. Otter pups love to be groomed. Sometimes they squirm with delight because the towels are so cozy and feel so good.

As author, conservationist and photographer, Suzi Eszterhas has produced many wildlife books for children. This is the third in the 'Wildlife Rescue' series that deals with the rehabilitation of a variety of animals in distress. Here, her camera is focussed on the work of the highly trained professional staff and volunteers at the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward who come to the aid of orphaned sea-otters. In the process, the reader learns much about these remarkable animals that are particularly challenging to care for and whose population is in decline because of various environmental factors.

internal art      The book's contents are formatted as a series of double-page spreads, each of which includes short half-page chapters illustrated with heartwarming pictures of truly adorable creatures. Topics include the pups' initial and ongoing checkups, diet, sea-otter communication, and much more. Also included are a glossary, and index, a Q and A section, and a segment on conservation wherein readers are encouraged to take their own steps to protect wildlife.

internal art      With its attractive layout, cuteness factor, conversational text and myriad photos, Sea Otter Rescue will appeal to children aged seven to twelve who will be fascinated by the information presented. In addition, the dedication and diligence of the Center staff in restoring these helpless bundles of fur to health will inspire. The staff make such huge efforts to imitate the presence of the mother and the baby animal's normal habitat. Eventually, sea-otters unable to be released to the wild are sent to aquariums or zoos where they provide learning opportunities for children who may never otherwise see this lovely animal.

internal art      Sea Otter Rescue is an enticing addition to library and personal collections, and it is gratifying that a portion of the royalties from this title are to be donated to the SeaLife Center.

Highly Recommended.

Aileen Wortley, a retired librarian, lives in Toronto, ON.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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