Lyrics set to the tune of "Over in the Meadow" introduce 10 species from around the world that have been deemed endangered or extinct in the wild.
This simple but appealing counting book presents birds and mammals from Australia, New Zealand, Guam, Madagascar, the central Asian mountains, Russian Arctic and western United States, some familiar and others quite unusual. Each is given a double-page spread that shows the animal in its habitat along with its young—from one Leadbeater's possum to 10 California sea otter pups. Bowman's illustrations, which look like they've been created with watercolor and pencil, are detailed and lifelike. Each spread also includes the animal's common and Latin name and a box of the usual fast facts plus specific threats and numbers left in the wild or captivity. The verses work well, using an interesting range of vocabulary. Each fits nicely into the song and includes some reference to the animal's behavior. The snow leopard leaps, the red-ruffed lemur climbs, the Idaho ground squirrel romps. First published in Australia in 2010, this eye-opening reminder of the many threats to species survival made the Notables list of the Children's Book Council of Australia's Eve Pownall Award for Information Books.
With its pleasing song, breadth of information and world-wide scope, it should go over well in this country, too. (glossary of conservation status terms) (Informational picture book. 3-7)