Moto and Me: My Year as a Wildcat's Foster Mom

photos by Suzi Eszterhas. 40p. maps. Owlkids. Apr. 2017. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781771472425. POP
Gr 1–3—Wildlife photographer Eszterhas recounts her experience fostering an orphaned serval kitten named Moto, the Swahili word for fire, at the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. Eszterhas gently explains how Moto came to be separated from his mother and siblings (pesky tourists!) before chronicling her yearlong relationship with the creature. Anecdotes about feeding, grooming, and eventually teaching Moto how to hunt and survive in the wild are accompanied by stunning photos. Moto's curious and playful nature shines as he matures from an impossibly cute tiny kitten to a full-grown serval, climbing trees and stalking prey. The intimacy of the images is well suited to the personal story and will attract readers. Eszterhas emphasizes the great responsibility of returning Moto to the wild and the importance of his developing independence. The text also briefly describes the purpose of the Maasai Mara National Reserve, with an accompanying map of its location in Kenya, while the endnotes provide supplemental information about servals.
VERDICT A tender and heartwarming account that's certain to delight children, especially animal lovers.

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