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I am grateful for the assistance of organizations including the Association
of Zoos and Aquariums, the Children and Nature Network, the doctors and
staff at Lake Harriet Veterinary in Minneapolis, the Minnesota Children and
Nature Connection, the Minnesota Herpetological Society, the Monarch Lab
at the University of Minnesota, the National Science Teachers Association,
the National Association for the Education of Young Children, and the Hu-
mane Society of the United States. They provided clarity, verified accuracy,
and offered critiques and professional expertise about a variety of issues
addressed in this book.
Huge thanks to David Heath and the team at Redleaf Press for their me-
ticulous work to make this book real, and to my brilliant editor Elena Fultz
for her positive attitude, her gift for bringing coherence to this research
and these ideas, and for her deadlines. Deep gratitude to the many parents,
friends, and strangers who shared pictures and animal anecdotes with me.
Dani Porter Born: If a picture is worth a thousand words, I give a million
thanks to you. Thanks to Chris Gevara and Julie Schlangen of the Metropol-
itan State University Library for their constant assistance with obtaining
needed resources during my research. Much love to my Monday night writ-
ing group, the creative, talented, and supportive group of mother-writers I
am lucky to have in my life.
Heartfelt gratitude to the staff, teachers, students, classroom pets, and
community of parents from Augsburg Park Montessori School, Children’s
Country Day School, Clara Barton Open School, Friends School of Min-
nesota, and Sunny Hollow Montessori. I applaud your recognition of the
importance of animals in the lives of children. I am thankful to you for shar-
ing anecdotes and photos with me and for letting me peek into the special
world shared by children and animals.
Dominic, my love, once again you have consistently and cheerfully man-
aged our home. You have fed, watered, and entertained our children and
pets, and once again you’ve done everything in your power to support our
family—and this work, and me—and I am deeply grateful to you. Thanks for
tolerating so many late hours and fragmented weekends so I could write this
book. I love you, always.
Lucy and Julian: every moment, you teach me what love is. You are my
inspiration. COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL