Wednesday, January 18, 2017

WILD & WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY: Poop Detectives: Working Dogs in the Field/Floodwaters and Flames


ABOUT THE BOOK

How can dogs that sniff for excrement, urine, vomit, and mucus help protect animals from extinction? Scat-detection dogs like Wicket, Tucker, and Orbee are conservation heroes and pioneers in a cutting-edge field of science. Canine detec-tives use their super sense of smell to locate the scat of target animals. From loose bear dung to gooey whale poop, scat can tell scientists valuable information about an animal’s sex, age, diet, and health—all without harming the animal or endangering the researcher.

REVIEW

While poop is not something that I normally like to read about, I found this book fascinating.  Poop Detectives explores the use of trained dogs to track wild animals through there scat (droppings).  Instead of catching and tagging animals which can be risky and invasive, this method allows scientists to gather information without disturbing the wild animals as much.  The book details the sorts of dogs that are chosen for this specialized training, emphasizing the need for dogs with high energy levels as well as well-loved treats or activities with which they can be rewarded.  The book goes on to discuss how the dogs are trained, giving examples of specific dogs, trainers, and organizations.  The rest of the book shares real-life examples of scientists and their dogs and the work they do.  I really enjoyed reading about the work these animals and scientists do that contributes to conservation work and taking care of the world around us.  In addition, there is a nice balance of photographs and text that makes the book easier to read and more interesting.


ABOUT THE BOOK

The March and April storm of 1913 was the largest the United States had ever seen. Discover how the people of Dayton, Ohio, the city that suffered the most, struggled and survived.

REVIEW

I've long been impressed with the books that Millbrook Press publishes.  Not only are they high quality in terms of content, but the designs are always beautiful.  Photographs and primary source documents and when appropriate graphs and diagrams are used to help the reader understand the content.  In this particular book, the focus is on the experiences of a few of the residents of Dayton, Ohio, and how they coped with the disaster of 1913 that left half the city flooded and in flames.  These individuals include a public librarian, an industrial business owner, a store employee, a telephone company employee, and a baseball player from the poorer side of town.  I appreciated the map showing the extent of the flood as well as the locations of each of the people highlighted.  Each chapter focuses on one aspect of the disaster.  The book is short, but the great design and succinct accounts create a vivid picture of what the experience was like for a few of those who were there.   The back matter includes an author's note, a timeline, source notes, a glossary, selected Bibliography, as well as a list of places to visit and where to go for more information.  This is a fabulously put together book about a lesser known disaster.


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