Did you ever wonder how the animals in your local zoo got to their zoo homes? Today, most zoo animals are transported by airplane.
But you never sat next to a kangaroo on an airplane? (Well thank your lucky stars, because kangaroos are known to be jittery plane travelers.) That doesn't mean a kangaroo wasn't safely stowed in the baggage section of the plane. Kangaroos travel in special wooden crates with padded ceilings. That way, if a kangaroo gets a little active during a long flight, at least it won't end up with a big headache!
Author Carolyn Jackson tackles a subject that will fascinate young readers in The Flying Ark, recently published in paperback by Stoddart Kids. Jackson explains some of the special traveling arrangements made for creatures large and small as they travel from place to place by airplane. Special diets and special traveling "cages" are just a couple of the facts kids will read about in The Flying Ark. Jackson also provides information about how animals behave when traveling. For some, it's a jarring experience; others make good travelers.
Jackson describes the traveling habits of about fifteen animals, including the flamingo. Did you know that flamingoes like to travel in groups (just as they like to live!) and that when they travel their feet rest on soft, damp peat moss so their webs won't dry out and crack? Jackson shares interesting travel facts about the gorilla, dolphin, camel, giraffe, elephant, and octopus too! And on each page she shares many other tidbits about the animals' habits.
Graham Bardell has created some wonderfully humorous illustrations to accompany Jackson's informative text. Picture a gorilla standing in line to be ticketed! Or a horse, always a nervous flyer, trembling in fear. Or a befuddled octopus traveling in its plastic storage pouch! Or a huge gorilla eating tiny finger sandwiches of jam and honey -- its favorite airplane snack food! Some of the illustrations are sure to crack up young readers, most of whom will be content with the whimsical illustrations. Older readers will long for difficult-to-capture photographs.
The Flying Ark, written by Carolyn Jackson and illustrated by Graham Bardell, was recently released in paperback by Stoddart Kids. (It's also available in hardcover.) Ask your local bookseller to order a copy for you, or you can order it yourself by writing to Stoddart Kids, 85 River Rock Drive, Suite 202, Buffalo, NY 14207. Call toll-free (800)805-1083.
Article by Gary Hopkins
Education World® Editor-in-Chief
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