Monday, March 13, 2006

ER Vets: Life in an Animal Emergency Room

ER Vets: Life in an Animal Emergency Room by Donna M. Jackson, 2005

Subbing at an elementary library earlier this month I came across this marvelous book on the shelving cart. I bet it is not on the shelf very often.

Kids love books about their favorite animals. Books on dog and cat breeds fly off the shelves. Put a puppy on the cover and there is instant interest.

Veterinary medicine is a career that is intriguing to many children. The photography shines in this book and invites the reader into a state of the art emergency care facility. There are photos of surgery that are detailed but not gruesome. The images of animals being cushioned with pillows and blankets are particularly comforting to young pet owners. Kind and caring professionals offer insight into their work at the ER.

The book also deals with the loss of a pet. Lucy is a ball python who escaped from her bag and got behind the dash of her owner's car. Despite the vet's attempts to revive the snake Lucy dies from hypothermia. Her owner describes his feelings of sadness and loss.

There are interesting insets, including abbreviations and terminology the doctors use (example HBC is hit by car) and human foods that are dangerous to animals.

State reading assessments use nonfiction selections to test student reading ability. This would be an excellent choice to model nonfiction reading. Young readers will also pick this one up and pore over every word on their own.

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