Thursday, May 25, 2017

Step Right Up: How Doc and Jim Key Taught the World About Kindness

Step Right Up: How Doc and Jim Key Taught the World About Kindness by Donna Janell Bowman and illustrated by Daniel Minter

Four paw prints


There was a time when buildings, animals, AND certain people were considered property.  These items could be bought, sold, and sometimes moved to other locations without anyone being able to do anything about it.  This was the time period when William Key was born.  William Key was born before the American Civil War and he was an African American.  This meant that William Key was a slave who belonged to someone else as property.  But people noticed that William Key had a good way with animals.  William Key became known as “Doc” Key.  After the Civil War ended and slaves (like Doc Key) were freed, Doc became the veterinarian of choice for the town and the surrounding community.  Doc realized that the best way to treat animals and get them to respond to people was through kindness instead of harshness which was the traditional way of dealing with animals at the time.  Doc traveled the country helping animals and teaching people how to treat animals.  Along the way Doc became the owner of a sickly race horse that he named Jim.  What Doc didn’t realize was that Jim was an EXTREMELY smart animal and Jim could do amazing things.  But, I’m not going to tell you what those amazing things were...you have to read the book.  Now, I’m not an animal expert and I know very little about horses, but I’m fascinated by the thought they people have the potential to communicate with animals better than we do now.  This book was wonderful.  It had three things I love in a book...an interesting story, good pictures, and additional facts with photographs at the end.  If you are interested in having a pet (NOT neccessarily a horse) then visit http://pbskids.org/itsmylife/family/pets/article7.html to learn more about what you need to know to be a good pet owner.

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