Laurel writes about...

  • Catching Criminals

    Catching Criminals

    Stopping wildlife poachers and smugglers
  • Aiding Animals

    Aiding Animals

    Rehabilitating injured and orphaned wildlife.
  • Wild Tales

    Wild Tales

    Captivating stories and intriguing research on wild creatures.
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Review! Orangutan Houdini by Laurel Neme

17 May, 2015

orangutanOrangutan Houdini


Written by Laurel Neme


Illustrated by Kathie Kelleher


32 pages – ages 5+


Published by Bunker Hill Publishing Inc on October 8, 2014


Synopsis- Fu Manchu is the head orangutan at the Henry Doorly Zoo. And he’s an escape artist! Several times, Fu and his troop mysteriously appear in another area of the zoo, outside of an exhibit. And the people in charge are sure the door was locked… What is going on? How do they keep going out?


What I Thought- This is a cool book based on a real person – ER – Orangutan. Fu Manchu (love the name) was a real ape, who really did escape the enclosure in his zoo. The illustrations compliment the story well and add detail and some humor to the enjoyable text. They capture the feeling of cleverness, good-nature, and humor of the characters perfectly. The story is not necessarily laugh out loud funny, but it definitely has some giggle moments. This book can get kids interested in orangutans, zoos, or locks. I am thoroughly impressed with Fu’s lock-picking skills. There are some words in the text that will be difficult for smaller children to read it independently, but I think it is a wonderful read aloud for kids and adults to share together. This is a really cool book I am sure many kids will enjoy!


I give “Orangutan Houdini” four out of five bookworms!fourbooks

I love the jazzy trailer!


A captivating tale based on the true story of an orangutan who loves outsmarting his zookeeper friend.


Animal Investigators by Laurel Neme


Readers go behind the scenes at the world’s only forensics lab dedicated to solving animal crimes in this gripping “CSI for wildlife.”

Available Now