Catherine Barr, author
Catherine Barr is an ecologist who has been a journalist, and editor, and worked for Greenpeace. She writes nonfiction that sparks questions and conversations. Her book The Story of Life: A First Book on Evolution was shortlisted for the English Association Picture Book Award and long listed for the School Library Association Information Book Awards. She lives with her family in Wales.
Anne Wilson, illustrator
Anne Wilson grew up loving picture books and one day decided that telling a story through pictures was something she'd quite like to do for a job. She has an MA in illustration from Central Saint Martins in London.
- Coming soon!
Barr and Wilson introduce 15 creatures that are included on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s “Red List,” which designates danger categories from “extinct” to “least concern: for animals, plants, and fungi. Animals described here are listed in the “vulnerable” to “critically endangered” categories. Using a “choose your own adventure” approach, an opening double-page spread directs readers to “pick a place” (biome), and then the next spread asks them to “choose a creature,” each bearing a page number, from that environment. On the indicated page, readers find an attractive full-page bleed painting of the animal (generally out of scale) in its natural setting along with a small human. Each spread includes similar information in a clear layout: the creature’s common name, zoological classification, and Latin name; a short narrative text usually connecting the animal and the human depicted; bulleted facts; and a box entitled “DANGER!” that gives the IUCN category and reasons for the designation. Each section also refers readers to a later spread that lists one website per animal for further information along with suggestions for general conservation efforts—and that instructs readers to return to the beginning and explore another animal. Interested kids will read the whole engaging book. Deeply colored mixed-media illustrations occasionally obscure the text. A world map on the front endpapers showing the habitats of the animals is partially hidden by the jacket flap. The last page lists 60 other animals on the Red List, for further exploration. Fascinating for both researching and browsing.
School Library Journal
A very brief introduction to 15 animals on the Red List, a grouping of endangered species created by scientists working for the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). In the book, for each creature, there are two descriptive paragraphs, several bulleted facts, and a short survey of some dangers it is currently encountering. Rather than read from beginning to end, students are asked to choose a place (deserts, forests, mountains grasslands, rivers, or oceans), choose an animal (by selecting an illustration), turn to the pages where the creature is discussed, and then turn to the back to find out ways they can help, which typically consists of referral to a website. There are many directions to follow, but the purpose for this is unclear. This is an attractively illustrated and formatted book that children might enjoy looking at, but not enough information is provided to connect the work of the IUCN with the plight of endangered animals or to truly understand the problems these creatures are facing. VERDICT Consider to jump-start motivated learners to do more research; otherwise an additional purchase.
ISBN: 978-1-63289-731-2 EPUB
ISBN: 978-1-63289-732-9 PDF
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Page count: 48
811/16 x 1113/16