today’s children storybook summary is
Strange Creatures, The Story of Walter Rothschild and His Museum
By Lita Jude
Theme: Love and care for animals, the environment, and nature
Plot: Walter, a shy boy, has spent most of his time alone, scouring the family’s enormous garden. His father wants him to take over the family banking business, but the boy loves animals and being in nature. This is a true story about the life and work of Walter Rothschild.
Walter Rothschild grew up in England in a wealthy family, being almost the richest boy in the world. But what made him special was his interest and love for all creatures and plants.
He was a shy child and didn’t have many friends. He spent most of the time on the family’s many acres observing animals, birds, and insects. He surrounded himself with creatures and plants to whom he spoke and for who he cared. Walter’s parents wanted him to take over the family’s business, but the boy had no interest in it, so his mother and father weren’t happy.
Also, he didn’t speak much, worrying his parents. But they didn’t have to because the boy had nothing to say until he saw a circus parade with exotic animals one day. Then, he enthusiastically told his parents that all he wants is to build his own museum. He was seven years old.
As he grew up, Walter kept planning his museum while preparing for a life as a banker and fulfilling his father’s plan for him. He used his allowance money to buy animals that he housed in the family garden. The boy had kangaroos, lizards, and kiwi birds, among others. He also met other people interested in animals, just like he was. One of them was Alfred Gunter from the Museum of Natural History.
As a young man, he used the earnings from his job at his father’s firm to commission animals and birds from faraway places, some unheard of until that point. Soon he was able to open his museum, where crowds of people lined up to see his wonderful animals, birds, and insects.
But Walter’s work didn’t stop there. He continues to expand his museum with new species, which he classified and described, helping the scientific community and bringing awareness about wildlife to a broader audience.
In a note at the end of the book, the author provides information about Walter Rothschild and his legacy.
Characters: Walter Rothschild,
Talking points: Following your dream, being different, being born into privilege
Recommended Age: 6 and up
Reading Time: 10 minutes
Things to Learn: you have to work hard for your dreams, no matter how wealthy you are,
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