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Moto and Me: My Year as a Wildcat's Foster Mom

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  229 ratings  ·  93 reviews
Moto and Me tells the firsthand story of wildlife photographer Suzi Eszterhas’s care for an orphaned baby serval—a small, spotted wildcat—in Kenya. When a grass fire separates the serval from his family, a ranger asks Suzi, who is living in a bush camp and is skilled with animals, to be the serval’s foster mom.

The book chronicles Suzi’s tender care of Moto, including how s
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published April 11th 2017 by Owlkids Books
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4.29  · 
Rating details
 ·  229 ratings  ·  93 reviews

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Jan 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
*Thanks to Netgalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

This is one of the best animal books I've read in a long time. It's a wonderful story about a serval (Moto) in the wild, who needs help. Beautifully written and full of photos, this is a perfect read for elementary children. I loved it and would recommend it to anyone!
Oct 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
This book took me back to my childhood of imagining I was an adult, living in an exotic place, with exotic animals as my pets/friends.

The author lived it folks! And because she's a wildlife photographer, the pictures in this book are adorable and gorgeous. I could seriously be happy with a book of just her pictures from her time in Africa. I wish there were some other pictures of what she described too, not just of Moto, but the pictures of him were great, so no huge complaints here.

The wordin
As a detailed (and in fact absolutely true) picture book description of how wildlife photographer Suzi Eszterhas (who is also the author of Moto and Me) acts as foster mother to an orphaned Serval kitten (and how she specifically and with meticulous, precise care raises young Moto NOT to be a human habituated pet, but an adult wildcat to be rereleased back into the Masai Mara, a wildlife reserve in Kenya, once he does no longer require care and nurturing), Moto and Me has proven both enjoyable a ...more
Leah Bayer
May 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cats
As a kid, I was pretty obsessed with Joy Adamson. I read all of her books over and over for probably a year straight. My mom kept Queen of Shaba: The Story of an African Leopard from me until I had run through the lion & cheetah ones a thousand times, so for a while I got to live in a blissful world where an amazing human wasn't killed by poachers because she loved animals. SIGH. So obviously I am a sucker for abandoned wildlife stories.

I also got to kind of live out that fantasy when, at 16
Gary Anderson
May 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Moto and Me: My Year as a Wildcat’s Foster Mom is a completely satisfying story for young animal lovers. Suzi Eszterhas is a photographer at a Kenyan wildlife reserve. She lives in a tent where wild animals roam freely nearby. When a baby serval, a breed of wildcat, is left alone, rangers ask her to be a foster mom and prepare him for an eventual return to the wild. Moto is cute and cuddly, especially at the beginning, but Eszterhas never loses sight of the goal of returning Moto to the wild.

Mar 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
There was so much that I was thinking about on what this book would be that it greatly surprised me due to the fact that this wasn't another foster mom in the United States. Although there are wonderful animal rescue opportunities and chances that are done by many people around the world it just always seem to be the people of the States or even the United Kingdom who get their stories told.

And so it was with a pleasant surprise that I found this story truly taking place where the actual event
Nostalgia Reader
May 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

I've known about Eszterhas's work since I was a kid from her frequent photographs in "Ranger Rick" magazine, so I was excited to see this book! Her photographs always capture an animal's personality incredibly well and the photos here are no different. Moto is delightfully adorable as a kitten and very regal and proud in his adult pictures.

This was a short, heartwarming memoir for kids about her time raising an orphaned serval kitten, Moto. She provides a page for each major milestone i
Aug 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Young feline fans will be charmed by this beautifully-photographed story of Moto, a baby serval adopted and raised by a wildlife photographer.

When a brushfire separates a serval kitten from his mom and littermates, a wildlife photographer jumps into action, seeing the baby through his formative months until he's ready to live on his own in an African nature preserve.

Each large, color photo is more adorable than the next. However, a few shots are shown of Moto hunting and catching mice, which ma
May 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful story about a wildlife photographer who fosters an orphaned serval kitten in Kenya. The story is written for elementary aged students, grades 1-4, though can be enjoyed by all ages. With great illustrations and details, Eszterhas shows how Moto was orphaned and taken in as her foster. Readers follow Moto as he grows from a playful kitten to an independent cat. Any animal lover will be thrilled to see Moto thrive, while learning all about wild servals and African wildlife rese ...more
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Caleb (age 6): "The pictures were adorable. I thought that the story parts really fit together. Moto made my heart melt because he was a cutie. The lady took good care of Moto. She learned that wild cats are very cute and sometimes a little bit destructive. She sent him back into the wild after many adventures including when Moto went into the kitty pouch. That part was very cute."
Apr 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Received via Netgalley in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

I'm going to give you three good reasons why you're going to go buy this book.

1. A portion of the royalties from sales of the book will be donated to the Mara Conservancy to help protect Moto's home.



Now that I've clearly and concisely argued my point.

This book is amazing. Told quickly and effectively, as all children's nonfiction needs to be, it's the story of the world's most flippin' adorabl
Aug 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this story of the year that Eszterhas spent caring for a wild serval kitten. She received Moto when he was only about 2 weeks old. She fed him from a bottle, cuddled with him and slowly helped prepare him to live in the wild. The best part of the book are the photographs...Eszterhas is a photographer and lived in Africa for 3 years capturing photographs of the animals on the Masai Mara wildlife reserve. Her photos of Moto perfectly capture him as an adorable, cuddly kitten, a young ser ...more
Jan 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc-net-galley
I received a copy of this book from Net Galley for and honest review.

Moto! I loved this book, which is more personal than a number of Eszterhas's other lovely animal photography books for children. Moto, whose name means 'fire' in Swahili, is a rescued Serval that Eszterhas fostered for 9 months in the Masai Mara in Kenya. Her wonderful relationship with the Serval kitten is documented in beautiful photographs. Her successful restoration of him to the wild is an important lesson for younger chi
Dec 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 3-6-non-fiction
Suzi Eszterhas chronicles her year in Kenya with a baby serval she nurtures in Kenya. The beautiful photos and touching story of Moto the baby serval that she cares for, is effectively documented. As one reads the story of Moto and Me, you feel yourself cheering for the survival of this helpless (at first) tiny serval. Clearly written and accompanied with exquisite photos, plus an informational page about servals in the back, makes this a winner for cat lovers and students who love fascinating n ...more
Dec 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Book #95 Read in 2017
Moto and Me by Suzi Ezrtzhaus

This is a cute read with beautiful pictures, detailing the author's year of being a foster mom to a Serval kitten. This was especially lovely to me since I have a Savannah, a cat bred from a Serval. It detailed things Servals eat, how they hunt, how the mothers take care of her kittens and many more things. It would make a lovely gift for cat lovers.
Aug 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: jnf-500-cats
This is a fascinating and heart-warming story of how author/photographer Suzi Eszterhas, who was living in Kenya, fostered a serval kitten who was separated from his mother at two weeks of age. While she acted as a mother figure to the kitten, she worked hard to encourage his natural instincts and to not turn him into a pet. The little guy thrived under her care while learning the way of all serval wildcats. The photos are beautiful and depict Moto at several different ages.
Margo Tanenbaum
Mar 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: africa, animals, cats
I love this skinny nonfiction book about Suzi Eszterhas, wildlife photographer extraordinaire and author of numerous nonfiction animal books for children, and her experience raising an infant serval, a mid-sized African wildcat. As you'd expect, it's filled with wonderful photos and it's a touching story as well as she raises the serval cub and prepares to release it back to the wild.
Jan 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
The author, a wildlife photographer, fosters an orphaned African serval kitten she calls Moto from the time he is 2 weeks old until he is able to survive independently. Beautiful photographs, a fascinating narrative, and an addendum about the serval cats will make this book appealing to animal lovers of all ages.
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved it! Informative and touching. Perfect for primary grade independent readers or for parents or teachers to read aloud.
Jan 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
So cute! Great story about a baby serval cat that was rescued and raised by Eszterhas when she lived in Africa. It was released into the wild when it grew up. Heart warming tale. Lovely photos!
January Gray
May 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very interesting story. I always enjoy reading books about the relationship between a human and an animal. Well written. It kept my attention.
Sharon Tyler
Jul 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Moto and Me: My Year as a Wildcat's Foster Mom by Suzi Eszterhas is a children's non fiction book. It tells the firsthand story of wildlife photographer Suzi Eszterhas’s care for an orphaned baby serval (a small, spotted wildcat) in Kenya. When a grass fire separates the serval from his family, a ranger asks Suzi, who is living in a bush camp and is skilled with animals, to be the serval’s foster mom. The book chronicles Suzi’s tender care of Moto, including how she feeds, bathes, and plays with ...more
DelAnne Frazee
May 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Title: Moto and Me: My Year as a Wildcat's Foster Mom

Author/Photographer: Suzi Eszterhas

Publisher: Owlkids Books

Published: 4-15-2017

Pages: 40

ISBN: 9781771472425

Reviewed For: NetGalley and the Publisher

Reviewed By: DelAnne

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Think a modern Born Free. This is a story I will always love to read. Someone loving nature enough to take a break from their life to help a wild animal to return to the wild.

Told in simple to read and follow along text. Young readers can enjoy sharing Suzi's
Oct 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
I love non fiction, but I am not much of an animal person. I am drawn, to history, biographies etc...but this one was worth read!

The Cuteness factor of this book is 10 out of 10 I mean I got a little silly as I turned each page and went "AHH" or "OH MY DooDNESS DAT IZ DA COOTEST FING I'VE EVAH SEEN! My overall rating is 4.25 stars
I learned a ton about servals, I have no idea what they were. I love the photography and the information is great! I love the back info that talks about getting a
May 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wonderfully crafted narrative nonfiction for the primary set. Eszterhas' photographs are scene-stealers and no one will be able to resist the cover photo of the serval kitten Moto or any of the other adorable and heart-melting photos throughout. But this really is more than a collection of wonderful pictures. Eszterhas does a wonderful job of incorporating information into her charming story of fostering and preparing Moto to live a wild life on his own. The text pairs skillfully with an photo i ...more
If you have a weakness for cats and baby animals - like I do, then this is the book for you! This is the story of an orphaned serval cat named Moto. Determined to nurse the kitten back to health and help him learn, grow, and return to the wild, Suzi did everything she could think of to be the best serval mom she could be. She had a little bit of help from a couple other people who had some experience with orphaned wild animals, but for the most part, it was just her and Moto out there, figuring ...more
Apr 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A wildlife photographer chronicles her year raising a baby serval. Left behind by its mother, the rangers entrusted Eszterhas with the infant cat, and she (under veterinary supervision) raised the kitten to return to the wild.

This is the cutest wild baby cat I have ever seen! Oh my! The photographs are perfect, kitten playing, kitten eating, kitten catching mice - when your foster mom's a photographer, you get the best photo ops. The text is perfect too. About 3rd grade and up will find this de
This wonderful nonfiction picture book uses gorgeous photos and engaging text to tell Suzi Eszterhas' story of fostering a week's old wildcat in the African savanna. Eszterhas was working as a wildlife photographer when rangers asked her to help care for the orphaned serval. Fostering a wild animal is much different than raising a pet, as the goal is to prepare it to return to the wild. The photos that were taken of this experience, show Moto in different stages of development as he learned to h ...more
Brenda Kahn
OMG! How could anyone resist that cover? Author Eszterhas spent three years living in Kenya photographing animals. When an orphaned serval kitten was found, she was given the opportunity to foster the animal with the aim for returning it to the wild. The narrative is simple, straightforward, engaging and interesting. The photographs are amazing -plentiful crisp, clear, full-color photos documenting all the stages of Moto's life with the author/ photographer.
Destinee Sutton
Wonderful non-fiction for ages 5-10. Great details, beautiful photography (not surprising as author is a professional wildlife photographer), compelling story. Besides the pictures of the adorable serval Moto, my favorite part was how the author made a pouch in her shirt so she could carry Moto around and have her hands free to take pictures.
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