Saving Samantha: A True Story

Overview

Illustrator Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen and wife Robbyn team up again for another wildlife tale drawn from their encounters with the animal kingdom. Told in journal form and rendered in beautifully detailed artwork, the van Frankenhuyzens give a "day in the life" view as the fox Samantha begins her journey from injured kit to independent adult living on her own.Always respecting the boundaries between the wild and the human ways of life and based on years of work as licensed wildlife rehabilitators, Gijsbert and ...
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Overview

Illustrator Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen and wife Robbyn team up again for another wildlife tale drawn from their encounters with the animal kingdom. Told in journal form and rendered in beautifully detailed artwork, the van Frankenhuyzens give a "day in the life" view as the fox Samantha begins her journey from injured kit to independent adult living on her own.Always respecting the boundaries between the wild and the human ways of life and based on years of work as licensed wildlife rehabilitators, Gijsbert and Robbyn recommend readers "do not try this at home." Saving Samantha is Gijsbert's fourteenth book with Sleeping Bear Press. He has also illustrated the best-selling The Legend of Sleeping Bear, The Legend of Leelanau, and most recently The Edmund Fitzgerald: Song of the Bell. He and Robbyn live with their daughters in Bath, Michigan, on a 40-acre farm.
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
As they did in Adopted by an Owl (2001), Robbyn and Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen detail their recovery and release of a red fox kit from a woodland trap. The appealing paintings show the appealing fox kit, which they named Samantha, with her adoptive family, including Miles, the dog who discovered the injured fox and became its friend. One especially humorous picture shows the two cavorting and leaping on field mice in a horse pasture while its larger inhabitants watch dispassionately. The story is told in alternating text and journal entries. Most wildlife rehabilitation is aimed at returning the animal to its native habitat and this story is no exception. The journal entries reflect the author's emotions, delight as well as her anxiety and sadness at the fox's gradual return to the wild. The accompanying text is a narrative, factual account that works well. The story ends satisfyingly with Samantha's finding a mate, the emergence of four fur-balls from their den early in the spring, and a feeling that life for this wild creature will continue successfully. Read as a whole, the story also conveys information about a fox's life cycle, habitat, and what it eats (and what eats fox pups). Extra information is also presented in a single page of "Fox Facts," such as some foxes like to climb trees, and a comparison of life expectancy in the wild (three years) and in captivity (up to 16 years). These are facts children may like to discuss. It's a beautiful book which appeals to both family read-aloud time as well as to report writers. It is also one that would make more meaningful the straightforward informational books, such as Caroline Arnold's Fox with photographs by Richard Hewett or JimArnosky's pleasant sketches in Watching Foxes. 2004, Sleeping Bear Press, Ages 6 to 11.
—Susan Hepler, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-4-In this follow-up to their Adopted by an Owl (Sleeping Bear, 2001), a husband-and-wife team share the story of an injured fox cub they nursed on their Michigan farm and returned to the wild. Snippets from the actual diary the author kept during the experience pepper the text, linked together by a narrative that relates how Samantha became part of the family's life. The story begins when they find the cub caught in a trap one spring. By autumn, the family members know that it is time to reintroduce her to the wild, and they watch her from afar as she finds a mate and has a litter of pups. Through it all, the painterly illustrations capture the magnificence of the natural world with glowing colors of light and shadow. Text and pictures capture the inevitable cycles of nature and show respect for the natural world as well as the very real sadness of letting go of an animal friend. An excellent resource for ecology units or discussions of animal life cycles.-Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, Maryland School for the Deaf, Columbia Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781585362202
  • Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press
  • Publication date: 4/15/2004
  • Series: The Hazel Ridge Farm Stories
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 1,393,229
  • Age range: 4 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.46 (w) x 11.36 (h) x 0.40 (d)

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