Confessions of an Accidental Zoo Curator — What Readers Say
“The title of this book caught my attention, so decided to order it and find out the story behind it. It was a fun read and the title makes perfect sense now – very clever!
Clever also describes many of the individual stories in the book. They provided several laugh out loud moments as well as surprising, sad and happy moments. The boa’s taxi ride to the set of Captain Kangaroo is a picture that will forever be etched in my mind!
Education, evolution and great story-telling are included in this book. It made me realize how fascinating and unique members of the animal kingdom are. It also impressed upon me the responsibility we have as human beings, who are created in God’s image, to care for what has been entrusted to us – the earth and all that is in it.”
—Lesa J, United States
“It is the author’s reluctance that makes this book so much fun. Kicked out of a taxi when she confesses to having an increasingly obstreperous boa constrictor wrapped around her waist is an interesting antidote, but what makes this story so enjoyable is that she’d really been sitting in the back seat of the cab worrying about rows of razor sharp teeth, fantasies of a slow constricted death, visions of an unhinged jaw – basically, she’s been worried about being breakfast. Put out upon a freezing Midtown street, Ms. Berkovits, undaunted, walks the rest of the way to her destination where she and Harriet, the boa constrictor, will seamlessly be a hit on The Captain Kangaroo Show.
There are hawks, snakes and anteaters – there are lions, tigers and bears to reference the Wizard of Oz. Though at times Ms. Berkovits might be a bit reluctant, like Dorothy, she is never deterred. Wryly, she handles whatever her position at the Bronx Zoo might throw at her with warmth, curiosity and a natural love of all the planet’s creatures including its most frustrating, The Human Animal.”
—Jim Cooper, New York
“Confessions appeals to a wide variety of audiences and is a terrific read for many reasons. While the stories Berkovits relates are true and definitely inform; they are simultaneously very funny and offer an unexpected glimpse into the “behind the scenes” quirks and foibles that took place at the world famous Bronx Zoo. Berkovits not only delivers stories that range from the tender to the hilarious to the profound; she also covers a wide swath of the globe. Bringing her readers into the stressful scene where she faced “Panda-monium” and an ethical dilemma in China literally a world away from her inauspicious beginnings with a Pomeranian in Poland, to a searing few moments of miscalculation on the savannah in Kenya, that had it gone the other way this book would not exist, Berkovits does not disappoint. By turns, enlightening, hilarious, tender, and insightful, this is a must read for anyone who loves animals in or out of a zoo.”
—Bibliomaniac, United States
“This is a fantastic book about the famous Bronx Zoo. It is informative, funny and has lots of humor. I enjoyed this book tremendously. I could not put the book down, and found myself wishing it could go on without an ending.
If you love nature and beautiful creatures then the Bronx Zoo is the place to visit, but before your visit please read this awesome book about the Bronx Zoo’s wonderful achievements? The zoo’s educators themselves stepped out of their boundaries to educate the public’s youngsters, and I feel because of the author herself.
The Bronx Zoo educators share their experience and training programs not only in the USA, but also across the world. Because of their hard work we are able to share and view with our own eyes a real panda.
I lived two blocks away from the Bronx Zoo, it was our place of fascination and adventure, since then the zoo went through growth and transformation, it is truly one of the greatest zoos to visit. This is one book I would not give away. READ IT! You will enjoy it!”
—Mou, United States
“It’s an amazing career, and a jaw-dropping story told with wit and wisdom. The “confessions” are glimpses of what happens behind the scenes, while caring for the animals and minding one’s colleagues. The book brims with amusing incidents, but none more memorable than the day Berkovits hails a New York City cab with Harriet, a boa constrictor, snuggled inside her shearling and wrapped around her waist. This is one gutsy gal—and I don’t mean Harriet!
Confessions of an Accidental Zoo Curator is a small gem. And for those of you who harbor dreams of working with animals and zoo keepers, this charming book will have you polishing your resume.”
—Dr. D, United States