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NJ Libraries Summer Reading Program

Secrets of the Animal Powers

secrets of the animal powers

NJ Libraries Summer Reading Program

YOU are the Hero!  

People sometimes don’t realize this until they are very old, yet it is a concept that should be taught to children. To become the Hero in your own life isn’t hard, it just requires remembering.

NJ Libraries Summer Reading Program

The alligator snapper sits at the bottom of rivers and lakes for days, even weeks, mouth agape, waiting for an incautious fish or turtle. Such patience!

Heroes are who they are because they act when and how others do not. They have attributes like courage, determination or compassion that we admire in them. But these attributes can be difficult to hold in the mind since they have no real physical form. Peoples from many cultures, all over the world, assigned these attributes to animals they saw in their everyday lives. They felt the bear was courageous and so held the image of the bear in their minds when they wished to be courageous. Science shows us the bear isn’t being courageous, he’s being a bear. He’s doing what is natural for him.

NJ Libraries Summer Reading Program

The Hero must be determined or single minded. She must stubbornly advance toward her goal. The shark swims endlessly searching for food. Once food is found it is relentless in catching it. Can you be that determined? Even with that word problem on your homework?

To assist the Hero to think of the bear, and act in a courageous manner, he would often carry a claw or piece of bear fur. This part of the animal is called a “totem.” It helps his mind remember what courage “looks” like in his mind and allows him to act it in his day to day life.

NJ Libraries Summer Reading Program

The Hero must be intelligent, using his mind as a knife to cut through information and sort what is important. The Black White Tegu can recognize different people and different food sources and types. Smart fella! How hard do you work remembering whats important to you?

The Secrets of the Animal Heroes presentation will discuss what a hero is, his or her attributes and how to bring to mind those heroic attributes using animal totems as reminders. Wild animals have no heroic attributes, they are what they are and do not strive for more, but people can see what they wish to see in these animals, so we help draw a few comparisons.

NJ Libraries Summer Reading Program

The Hero must be strong. her body must be able to perform when she needs it, not stuck with her butt on the couch! The tarantula is small but powerful and always ready to move to the attack or defense as the situation changes.

NJ Libraries Summer Reading Program

Snake inspire courage in the Hero. Whether it’s their unblinking stare into the soul of their enemy; their amazing ability to swallow animals nearly as large as themselves; or a king snake’s unflagging stubbornness in attacking a venomous rattlesnake; it seems that a snake’s courage is never in doubt.


A king snake hunts rattlesnakes because it has evolved over millions of years to do so, not because it’s courageous. But if thinking of a king snake will help you remember how to be courageous, why not use that?

NJ Libraries Summer Reading Program

The Hero must be compassionate and care about those around her. The alligator sacrifices herself for her little ones. She eats less, spends a great deal of her time protecting them and even puts her life in front of on coming danger.

All these animals could make wonderful totems for each us to help us visualize the best attributes of the Hero.

That Hero, that is each of us, in our own lives!

All the animals except the shark, will be alive.

All children will receive a totem they may keep at the end of the presentation.

If this presentation is not to your liking, we are also offering our SNAKES! presentation for the same price.

All Presentations are $300

However, if your library is small or you can arrange multiple programs with close associates, we are willing to discuss a discount.

 To book this show

Call Bill at 973-248-9964 

A recommendation from Kathy Erikson at the Bayville Library



  1. Monique

    Saw the presentation at the Scotch Plains Fanwood library today and thought the demo had excellent messages and was extremely informative! Presenter, (Bill,) was clearly skilled at handling the animals and was very educated about the subject matter. I know my son learned things today, because I certainly did, and the totem, (shark tooth,) is a great keepsake. We went home and dug out our old shark teeth from a mining adventure and we are using shark teeth for show and tell, (at school,) tomorrow since it’s Shark Week!

  2. Nikki Hansen--Lawrence branch of the Mercer County Library

    I just wanted to say I thoroughly enjoyed the presentation that Erin gave at the Lawrence branch of the Mercer County Library. She had good energy, was very knowledgeable, answered the bazillion questions the kids hurled at her with humor and patience, kept good order with the kids and didn’t allow distractions like crying babies to throw her. I also applaud her enthusiasm for creatures that don’t often get a lot of love or appreciation. I think the comment of one of my young charges says it all: ” I didn’t think I was going to like it but I found it really interesting and I liked it a lot”. I look forward to catching another presentation sometime. Many thanks to you and your fellow creature caretakers for the work you’re doing. Wildlife rescuers and rehabilitators don’t get nearly the credit you/they deserve.
    Cheers, Nikki Hansen

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