Book review: Orangutan Orphanage, by Suzi Eszterhas

Eszterhas, Suzi. Orangutan Orphanage. Owlkids Books, 2016.  $18.95. ISBN 9781771471411. 43 pgs. Ages 7-10. P8Q8

eszterhas-orangutan-orphanageSuzi Eszterhas both wrote and took the photographs for this book. She provides a good introduction (written at a level that will be accessible to lower level readers, but rich enough in information to keep higher level readers engaged)  to the orangutan rescue facility in Borneo- readers learn how and why orangutans become orphaned in Borneo, what the facility does to help prepare youngsters for their return to the wild, and along the way, quite a lot about this endangered species. The photographs are beautiful and do a good job of communicating the unique personalities of the orangutans, and how they interact with and learn from with their “foster-moms,” people from a local village who have been trained in their care. I liked the author’s stress on the emotional lives of the babies- being orphaned is very traumatic and has a long lasting impact on them, as with people. This focus will make an impact on young readers who, I think, will feel a connection. The last pages of the book contain information on how readers can help wildlife and orangutans in particular, a Q/A page, a glossary and an index. This is the second book in the Wildlife Rescue series.

Verdict: Young readers will find this book very engaging with its sweet photographs and sad topic, and would fit in well other books on endangered species and conservation.

November 2016 review by Carol Schramm.

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