I care about endangered animals and making sure we protect them from extinction.
So this book, Saving Species, by Jess French and James Gilleard, really interested me.
It’s a very colourful book, but it doesn’t have photos or computer graphics of the animals, but rather more cartoony, blocky pictures. I liked these, but sometimes I found myself going back to another book to see what they would really look like.
There’s lots of animals in this book, and not just the ones we all know about, such as polar bears and tigers. In fact, there’s even a few insects, which surprised me!
Each page contains a few paragraphs of information on each animal, telling you why they’re special and why they are endangered. I enjoyed the way the book is written.
There’s also a ‘fact circle’ for each animal telling you where they live, the threats to them, and their status. Where possible, it would have been nice to know just how many animals are left in the wild as this information really brings home just how endangered they are. For example, I know that there are around 5,500 black rhinos left (which is terrifying – it’s like the population of one small town) , and the book should tell us that – I think that’s the kind of info children like to see.
At the back of the book there’s a guide about how each and everyone of us can help save these beautiful animals, such as walking or cycling short journeys and buying products that have been resourced sustainably. I think everyone should read this and do what they can!
My favourite page was on the Chinese Pangolin. They’re the only mammal that has scales and they can eat up to 70 million ants a year! But sadly they’re being hunted as their scales are used in traditional Chinese medicine. This has to stop!!!
We bought Lucy Saving Species as she was becoming increasingly interested in endangered animals and the way such animals are classified. It is an absolutely stunning book with beautiful, stylised illustrations and just the right level of detail for kids from about age six or seven onwards – though I enjoyed reading it as well. In fact, it would make a good ‘coffee table’ book for people of all ages to browse.
The book provides the conservation status for each animal, but no-where does it define what these mean. As it is, very little context is given about the degree to which these animals are near to extinction, just that they are all endangered in some way. Kids like Lucy would have appreciated a bit more information