HOW TO BECOME A ZOO KEEPER

by Editor on March 2, 2015

Zoology for Kids

Zoology For Kids: An AAW Book Review

The wildlife field is full of interesting careers, including—but certainly not limited to—veterinary work, environmental writing, field biology, conservation law enforcement, and hands-on work with captive wildlife. These sorts of jobs are extremely exciting to a lot of kids—but also seemingly about as attainable as the moon. In fact, a lot of young people might think they’d have as much chance of becoming an astronaut as they would a zookeeper or a zoologist.

So it’s terrific that a new book called Zoology for Kids: Understanding and Working with Animals has come along to demystify and demythologize the wildlife professions and make them seem more like something that, with the right amount of time, effort, and desire, any kid could end up doing for a living. The entire second half of this well-written, informative, and beautifully designed book is called “Working on the Wild Side—Zoology in Real Life”—and it discusses an array of jobs studying, caring for, and protecting wild animals, from being a zookeeper or a professional aquarist to becoming a scientist or a wildlife conservationist. Topics covered include the kinds of daily activities that are involved in each of these careers, as well as some of the requirements for getting there. The authors, the husband and wife team of Josh and Bethanie Hestermann, offer their young readers a lot of practical career encouragement, including the terrific advice to begin gaining experience and building their resumes through volunteer work at a wildlife center or veterinarian’s office.

The first half of the book, meanwhile, is an excellent primer on the science of zoology that manages to be at once thorough, accurate, and interesting. The 21 suggested learning activities are so fascinating that even an adult would enjoy doing them and learning from them. The entire book is extremely readable without talking down to its young (it’s written for ages 9 & up) audience.

This is the second kid’s wildlife book from the Chicago Review Press that we’ve looked at; we’ve been impressed with both of them. Cover price on this trade paperback is U.S. $18.95.

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