April 19, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Animal Reunions | SLJ DVD Review

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redstarAnimal Reunions. (Nature). 53 min. Dist. by PBS. 2016. $24.99. ISBN 9781627896856. Animal Reunions

Gr 4 Up –This wonderful film documents the work of animal rescuers who have nurtured orphaned wildlife—elephants, chimpanzees, gorillas—and reintroduced them to the wild, as well as videographer Kim Wolhuter, who has studied a family of cheetahs (the fastest animal on earth). In all cases, the bond that develops between these dedicated humans and the animals they have worked with and studied proves remarkably indelible. There are moving moments of the animals, having been reintroduced to the wild and not having contact with humans for more than a year, recognizing their former caregivers and greeting them with obvious joy and affection. These scenes answer the film’s question: Can animals feel affection toward humans? Commentary from conservationists and wildlife experts (including Jane Goodall) and the amazing footage of the animals come together to create the high-quality, informative presentation one would expect from this series. Viewers will look at human/animal bonds in a different light afterward. VERDICT Useful for environmental science, biology, and psychology classes, as well as for general interest. Highly recommended.–Cynthia Ortiz, School Librarian, Hackensack High School, NJ

This review is published in School Library Journal’s August 2016 issue.