Can We Save Them?
David Dobson, author
David Dobson teaches geology at Guilford College. In his spare time Dave likes to create computer games, play soccer and the tuba, and write. He lives with his wife and two children in North Carolina.
Read more about David.
James M. Needham, illustrator
James M. Needham spent his childhood in the Midwest where he developed a fascination with nature. He was raised on farms and ranches where he was surrounded by animals. As a young child, he began drawing his surroundings. He spent his spare time turning over rocks, following bugs, and watching birds. He developed an interest in the smaller details of plants an animals.
Read more about James.
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School Library Journal
This introduction to endangered species spotlights a dozen North American animals and wildflowers that are bordering on extinction. The well-organized text keeps readers focused on individual species by repeatedly asking the question, "Can we save the...?" The full-color, double-spread format works well: the text on the verso gives facts about an animal, its habitat, and reasons it is disappearing, while the recto describes ways in which people are working to protect the species and what youngsters can do to help them. A wide cross section of climates and habitats is presented, as is a variety in species including insects, reptiles, birds, and mammals. One double-page spread is devoted to wildflowers. The colorful illustrations reflect natural habitats and enhance the presentation without overpowering it. Dobson's writing is generally clear and factual although he occasionally digresses with statements such as "Homo sapiens are kind of funny looking" and that wildflowers "all share one thing - they have silly-sounding names." An additional choice for youngsters looking to expand their understanding of the interrelatedness of all living things.
The double-page-spread color illustrations--one for each endangered species discussed--make this book a great read-aloud for the young animal lover. Independent readers will enjoy the brief treatment of habitat, physical characteristics, and habits of 12 different North American species facing extinction. Included are Florida panthers, Oahu tree snails, gray bats, American peregrine falcons, wildflowers, and more. The text on each species includes threats to each animal and practical suggestions for conservation. The repeated "Can we save them?" question leaves the reader with a sense of urgency, yet hope for the disappearing life forms on our continent. The book concludes with an annotated map showing where each species can be found.
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Page count: 32
11 x 8 1/2