It’s autumn in Grand River, and as Keisha and her pals prepare for Halloween, a phone call comes in to Carters’ Urban Rescue: a deer has been spotted in the neighborhood . . . with a pumpkin on his head! The deer was enjoying the birdseed treat inside when, somehow, it got stuck. The Animal Rescue Team has a problem to solve: how do you get a pumpkin off a deer’s head when you can’t catch him? (And how can Keisha concentrate when the newest ...
It’s autumn in Grand River, and as Keisha and her pals prepare for Halloween, a phone call comes in to Carters’ Urban Rescue: a deer has been spotted in the neighborhood . . . with a pumpkin on his head! The deer was enjoying the birdseed treat inside when, somehow, it got stuck. The Animal Rescue Team has a problem to solve: how do you get a pumpkin off a deer’s head when you can’t catch him? (And how can Keisha concentrate when the newest animal at Carters’ Urban Rescue is howling his way into her heart?)
Whatever the dilemma, if it’s got fur or feathers, the Carters are the ones to call! Filled with adventure, lots of laughs, and plenty of critters, Sue Stauffacher’s Animal Rescue Team books are perfect for independent readers.
Animal Rescue Team #1: Gator on the Loose!
Animal Rescue Team #2: Special Delivery!
Gr 4–6—The Carters are a close-knit and compassionate bunch. They run an urban wildlife rescue, which sets the stage for humorous adventures that play out amid other funny family situations. In this book, Halloween is approaching, and a young deer's curiosity has gotten the best of him, leaving him wandering through the neighborhood with a plastic pumpkin stuck on his head. Aiding the deer is central to the story, but it's actually one of several equally strong plot threads, which might prove a tad overwhelming for some slower readers. Still, the happy chaos is part of the book's appeal, and the characters are the biggest treat of all. From Grandma Alice, who decides to wear an emerald ring from her suitor on her toe, to little brother Razi, who dresses up as "Find-It Man" to locate a wayward family puppy, the cast is quirky, warm, and engaging. Stauffacher has done a neat job of making readers feel as though they have been invited in for a piece of Mrs. Carter's ginger cake and an afternoon of laughs. Lamont's light and lively cartoon art is the perfect complement to the storytelling. An entertaining, feel-good read.—Alyson Low, Fayetteville Public Library, AR
Sue Stauffacher lives with her husband and sons in a 150-plus-year-old farmhouse in the city of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Over the years, possums, bats, raccoons, mice, squirrels, crows, ducks, woodchucks, chipmunks, voles, skunks, bunnies, and a whole bunch of other critters have lived on the property. Though Sue is not a rehabilitator herself, she is passionate about helping kids know what to do when the wild meets the child.
A longtime advocate for literacy, Sue speaks around the country, connecting kids with books to help grow lifelong readers. She is a former book reviewer, and her novels for young readers include Harry Sue, Donutheart, and Donuthead. To learn more about Sue and her work, including the Animal Rescue Team books, visit her on the Web at www.suestauffacher.com.
Keisha Carter set out five pieces of bread and buttered them. Using a biscuit cutter, she made a hole in the center of each piece and settled them butter-side-down into Daddy's hot pan.
"Please get Grandma the ice pack from the freezer," Daddy said as he cracked eggs into the empty spaces.
Keisha stood on her tippy-toes and felt for the ice pack. "Did she have yoga last night?"
"Yes. According to Bob, she was showing their instructor the new move she's made up. Cat-falling-off-counter or something like that. She strained her back a little."
Big Bob, as all the kids called him, worked as a vet tech at the Humane Society, was the leader of their 4-H's Wild 4-Ever Club and always put his yoga mat next to Grandma's at Yoga You Can Do. But he was not Grandma's boyfriend. "Take it right up and ask her if she wants breakfast in bed. And please find Razi for me. You don't want to be late for school. Tell him I'm making toad-in-the-hole. That'll get him going."
As Keisha hurried down the hall, she heard the phone ringing in the office. Grandma usually answered the phone on school mornings, but she was upstairs groaning.
"I'll get it," Keisha called back to Daddy in the kitchen, so he didn't have to leave the eggs. "Carters' Urban Rescue," she answered, a little out of breath.
"Oh dear. Oh, the poor little deer."
"Excuse me?" Keisha asked.
"I have a deer here that needs rescuing."
"Do you live in the city?" Though the Carters had rescued a lot of animals since they set up their business, it wasn't often they got a call about a deer.
"I should think so. I'm right on the edge of Huff Park."
Huff Park was less than a mile from the Carters' home.
"Is the deer injured?" Keisha sat down at the desk and opened the "animal info" file drawer. She yanked out the file labeled "deer."
"Well, no. Not precisely . . . Good heavens, look at the time! I'll miss my bus."
Keisha felt her stomach grumbling. "If the deer isn't injured, why does it need to be rescued?" she asked, hoping to hurry the call to an end for the lady who was about to miss her bus and for her empty stomach.
"Because he can't get the pumpkin off his head!"
Keisha was so surprised, she didn't know what to say.
"Hello? Did you hear me? If I miss the 7:42, I'll be late for work. And I'm the one who makes the coffee. Dr. Trimble says it is the only civilized cup of coffee he gets in a day."
Keisha did not know the difference between civilized coffee and uncivilized coffee, but in the end they were supposed to be talking about a deer, weren't they?
"About the deer . . ."
"I live at 422 Joan Street. The street dead-ends into the park. In a few months, we'll have cross-country skiers trampling my perennial beds. I'm looking out my back door right now and he's . . . he's taking the trail that leads to the baseball diamonds. Oh, the poor deer. How will he eat? How will he drink? Please come out and get this pumpkin off his head."
"But how did he get--"
"Every Halloween time, I put it out for birds with the seeds right in it. He must have been after the salt on the seeds, poor thing, and it got stuck on his head. There's nothing I can do about it now, and being late for work and having Mary Nell make the coffee won't help the deer's plight. I just don't understand why it's stuck so fast. Isn't there something you can do?"
"Well, I can tell my dad--"
"Your dad? Isn't this . . . I thought I was calling Carters' Urban Rescue."
"You are. We're a family business."
"A family business that rescues wildlife? What will we think of next? Well . . . please relay this information to your father and see if he can do something for that poor, unfortunate deer. I really must dash. Good day, young lady." Keisha heard the phone disconnect. She sat still for a minute, trying to figure out how a deer would get into the city in the first place. Then she remembered that Big Bob had once explained that deer could come into the city by traveling through "wildlife corridors," or stretches of nature that weren't proper forests. Wildlife corridors could be a city cemetery or urban garden, even a bunch of empty lots.