'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.' - author Jackie French

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Review: Animal Rescue

This picture book is breathtaking in the simplicity of its concept and amazing in its ability to present the very difficult subject of animal cruelty and captivity.

Animal Rescue manages to present these topics in a way that is not too overwhelming or too affronting, and is not overly graphic for young children to explore and understand.

The lack of text throughout the book other than the title on the front cover offers parents some control over how far into this topic they delve with their children, while allowing the discussion to be led by the child as you both explore the different ways that humans in this world can exploit and harm wild and domestic animals.

Each double page spread offers two scenarios, one of how animals have or can be mistreated by humans and one of how animals should be treated by humans (if indeed humans are involved at all!).

There is an elephant in the circus opposite an elephant in the wild, chickens in a crowded shed opposite free range chickens in an open field, a fox in the wild opposite a fox as a fur, and an orca swimming free opposite an orca in a show tank.

The thing that sets this book well and truly apart is the transparent film page in between each of these double page spreads. When you turn the transparent page, you transport the animal from a place of capture or cruelty back to their natural environment, therefore rescuing the animals and becoming the hero of the story.

The illustrations remain friendly throughout, even in the negative scenarios the creatures are not portrayed as afraid or injured, but more as sad and longing for freedom.

While there are some scenarios of animals being used as trophies (i.e. a moose head mounted on a wall, a tiger pelt used as a rug) they are in no way stress inducing, and it was not too much for my 3 and 5-year-old to cope with.

The entire production of this book is so spot on, creating a gentle introduction to a topic that might otherwise be too hard or too traumatising to discuss at a young age.

Title: Animal Rescue
Author/Illustrator: Patrick George
Publisher: PatrickGeorge, $19.99
Publication Date: 12 February 2015
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9781908473127
For ages: 3 - 8
Type: Picture Book

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