Children’s author—and longtime Maryland Life contributor—Jennifer Keats Curtis has done it again, and that’s fantastic news for your critter-loving kids!
This month, the Anne Arundel County-based writer has three new books coming out: SEAHORSES, Squirrel Rescue, and Animal Helpers: Wildlife Rehabilitators.
Squirrel Rescue (Schiffer Publishing), based on a true story, recounts the saga of a baby squirrel that falls from its nest during a Maryland football game.
SEAHORSES (MacMillan) illustrates the life cycle of the distinctive bony fish.
Animal Helpers: Wildlife Rehabilitators (Sylvan Dell) is the first in a series of photographic journals that offers readers an up-close-and-personal look at the men and women who strive to save wild creatures at zoos, sanctuaries, rescue centers, and clinics around the country.
“The animals, as well as the real people who are helping these animals, inspire me,” says Curtis, explaining where she gets her ideas.
“For example, many readers know that [my previously released] Turtles In My Sandbox is based on the real terrapin head-starting program that takes place in Maryland.
“And I was so excited to learn that we had river otters in Maryland that I had to write about them and was thrilled to work with the folks at the Calvert Marine Museum to create Saving Squeak,” another of her earlier works.
Of course, Curtis isn’t the only one who’s thrilled. The overwhelmingly positive feedback she gets from students and teachers alike assures her that the state is full of fellow animal lovers.
“Kids are awed by what’s happening to animals and the ways in which humans can harm them, often accidentally,” she says.
“They tell me that they’re excited about ways they can help. After reading Osprey Adventure [which details the trials of a baby bird entangled in fishing line] in schools, for example, teachers often email me to tell me that the kids are using lunch trays to clean up any trash they find in the schoolyard.”
But despite Curtis’ enthusiasm for covering wildlife, she admits one of her dream topics is much more run-of-the-mill.
“This may sound mundane, but dogs remain my favorite animal,” she says.
“I love learning about all creatures, but I’d really like to write a book that lets us look in-depth at the unique personalities of dogs, including answering why some seem so much smarter than others!”
Whatever Curtis decides to write next, young Maryland students and their parents will be all the better for reading it.
To promote her new books (and mobilize future generations of animal advocates), Jennifer Keats Curtis conducts presentations and author residencies at schools throughout the state. For more information, visit www.jenniferkeatscurtis.com or tinyurl.com/8v6b3zc.