From School Library Journal
Grade 7 Up–While Noyes touches on myth, legend, history, and some science, this personal account is more about the bond humans and animals share. Close-up, black-and-white photos appear throughout, along with line art. The handsome layout features include reverse type on black pages, gray captions and headings, and full-page art behind the text, lending the presentation a sophisticated, coffee-table-book quality. Dedicated readers will find interesting facts and stories about animals, zoos, and how humans have related to animals over time, but the unevenness of the content mars the narrative. Noyes is a skilled photographer and has experience as a zookeeper, but as she admits, much of what she is trying to convey is elusive, beyond the reach of words. The book's real strength is its design. At best, this volume works as a browsers' delight, to pick up and put down, enjoying the photos or reading short segments describing devil cats, pigs on trial, or clever horses. The bibliography, despite its incomplete format, offers a fascinating list of titles and reveals a diverse collection of sources broadly encompassing the subject.–Janet S. Thompson, Chicago Public Library
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In this insightful, provocative photo-essay, Noyes examines the ways that human lives have overlapped with animals and how our beliefs, culture, and science have been impacted throughout history by the essential but frequently paradoxical human-animal connection. Noyes, a former zookeeper, devotes significant discussion to conservation and the ethics of keeping animals in captivity, including a lengthy debate about zoos, noting that zoos provide an opportunity to bring humans and animals together but alter the natural behavior of the animals on exhibit. Readers will find the provocative questions Noyes raises compelling and challenging, and the lyrical, urgent prose, along with beautiful black-and-white photos of the animals up close, will draw serious readers and browsers alike. Suggest this for classroom debate fodder as well as personal reading for animal lovers. Ed Sullivan
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