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Reviewed by Lois J Wickstrom for Readers' Favorite
Raccoons Don’t Use Spoons, written by Sharon Hanzik and illustrated by Bobbi Switzer, is both an introduction to raccoons and an introduction to respecting wildlife. The illustrations and the text show how clever raccoons can be. The book also shows why you shouldn’t feed them or try to treat them like pets. The author is a retired park ranger who spent 31 years interpreting natural history for people from all over the world. Working in natural parks has given her a great deal of experience with wild animals, and she has clearly come to enjoy the raccoon, provided it doesn’t try to move into her home or tent.
In Raccoons Don’t Use Spoons, Sharon Hanzik shows how raccoons don’t need knives, forks or spoons to get plenty to eat. Raccoons have hands just like people, and they know how to use them. Raccoons can open zippers or trashcans. They can peel a banana. They can catch frogs and crayfish and minnows and worms. When one raccoon learns a new skill, it quickly shows others its new ability. Hanzik teaches readers that raccoons are to be respected and allowed to be wild. This book provides information about the raccoon’s diet, habits, habitat, and adaptations. It also teaches good stewardship toward wildlife. Her 31 years as a park ranger have taught Hanzik to value the raccoon and its many sneaky skills. The colorful illustrations by Bobbi Switzer show the cleverness and talents of this creature and warn about their wildness. If a child in your life is about to go camping or visit a national park, this book is a good introduction.