BOOKS: Curious creatures, wonderous waifs: My life with Animals

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 2004:

Curious creatures, wonderous waifs: My life with Animals
by Ed Kostro
PublishAmerica, (, 2004. 217 pages,
paperback. $16.95.

Kostro’s journey starts when he is a three-year-old living in
the inner city with his Polish immigrant parents and grandparents.
As a boy he often rescued animals; as a teenager he found summer
camp a place of untold discovery; and his relationships with
animals, especially his little dog Pepper, fared better than his
marriage, which ended in divorce.
“I truly believe that my encounters with all sorts of
animals have been an integral part of making me who I am today–an
avowed ‘animal person,'” Kostro writes.
There are plenty of amusing stories. For example, he finds a
baby robin who has fallen out of her nest. Up goes a huge ladder and
the baby is returned to a full nest of robin chicks. As one chick is
replaced and Kostro climbs down, another is pushed out and there
begins a procession of returning robin chicks to the rather
inadequate nest. A large crowd of neighbors gathers to watch.

Eventually an onlooker yells out to Kostro to enlarge the nest. Thus
the see-saw of rescuer and robins came to a happy ending for all.
Kostro describes the desolation resulting from urban decay
and suburban sprawl, which kills the natural beauty of a city’s
surroundings, and the impact that this has upon family values. He
emphasizes simple values that seem to have been lost in the hustle
and bustle of everyday living. Each chapter is an excellent bedtime
story. –Beverley Pervan

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