A trove of panda portraits lights up a survey of international efforts to increase the populations and conserve the habitats of this most photogenic of animals.
The chief draw will be the page-after-page presentation of impossibly cute panda newborns, roly-poly cubs, and sedentary adults chomping away at bamboo in both zoos and natural settings—with further views of panda toys, cartoons, and animal workers in panda suits to disguise their human forms. Jazynka and Raven-Ellison’s accompanying commentary fills budding conservationists in on the panda family’s ancestry and modern members, panda behavior and life cycles, how the animals are cared for in captivity, and particularly on how those born in captivity are “rewilded” (thus the suits) in preparation for releasing them into their natural habitats. The focus shifts back and forth from zoos, mostly in the United States, to nature preserves in China, with frequent inset profiles of panda researchers in both hemispheres and brief Q-and-A sessions. Project ideas for young activists ranging from fundraising activities to wildlife photography cap each chapter, rounded off with healthy lists of organizations and sources of information at the end. The simultaneously publishing Mission: Shark Rescue, by Ruth A. Musgrave, also with Raven-Ellison, covers much the same sort of material with rather more teeth.
Heaping helpings of eye candy for panda lovers. (maps, index) (Nonfiction. 10-13)