Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Book Review: The Adventures of Three Raccoons Raised by a Human Mother

The Adventures of Three Raccoons Raised by a Human Mother
Author:  Nieves Monge
I wanted to read this book to my children because I have a desire for them to develop an appreciation for nature and wildlife.  There is no secret to the storyline, as the title The Adventures of Three Raccoons Raised by a Human Mother, gives it away.  What the title does not do, however, is tell of Monge’s passion for wildlife.

Being only eighteen pages, and the fact that I am not familiar with the author, I wanted to pre-read the book before I shared it with the boys. 

Mom’s few dislikes:
The writing is disjointed, jumpy, and overall leaves a lot to be desired.  The word “etc.” has no place in a child’s story.  The language was not as descriptive as it could have been.  It was listed as a juvenile book, and as such, I made the mistake of expecting at least one or two pictures or photographs.

Mom’s likes:
The author clearly expresses her love and devotion to animals.  I think she made the rehabilitation process very understandable to a young child.  From rescuing the animals and feeding them nutritious foods, to developing their natural instincts and returning them to the wild, it is all very clear that this is a specific mission and the animals' survival is at stake.   Occasionally the vocabulary perked up with words like “immersed” and this I appreciated, as I prefer the books I read aloud to be descriptive and full of rich language.  I don’t think it needs to be watered down for a child to appreciate the story.

So...what does the boy think?

While Elliott is still a little young yet to follow the entire story and gets somewhat distracted during our readings, he does understand the story line.  We are still working through the book in short readings, and he will ask for it voluntarily.  Being 4, he was naturally disappointed that there were not any pictures.  To remedy this, I supplemented with a few pictures online and some YouTube videos of baby raccoons, and he has thoroughly enjoyed that.

To be honest, Elliott is naturally inquisitive and seems to prefer the straight fact-telling parts of the book over the story itself.  We have already had discussions about how animals belong in the wild in their natural habitats and of course we talked about nocturnal animals, as that has always been an interesting topic for him.  I am positive he will appreciate the ending, and this is a book I am willing to keep on our bookshelf.

You can learn more here.

I received a complimentary copy of The Adventures of Three Raccoons Raised by a Human Mother as a member of the Dorrance Publishing Book Review Team.  Visit to learn how you can become a member of the Book Review Team.

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