Striking photographs and clear explanatory text introduce 15 highly endangered species and two brought back from the edge of extinction, examples of the “very wonderful, very rare” living things with which humans share our world.
Working from the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s “Red List of Threatened Species,” the authors have selected a variety of animals, insects and plants from around the world to exemplify the issue. Four pages of introduction explain the problem and topics touched on in subsequent double-spread “chapters”: field research, numbers and threats, action plans and scientists involved. Appropriately for young readers, success stories come first: the humpback whale and New Zealand’s black robin. Subsequent spreads cover species from Przewalski’s horse on the Mongolian steppes to kestrels in Mauritius. Each creature gets a spread with a photograph, a few paragraphs of engaging, descriptive text, and sidebar notes: number, location, threats and what needs to be done. Many of these species have been captive-bred and released. Others will require community engagement and enforcement of existing protective laws. The design is attractive and the organization clear. A map serves as an index to species covered and also locates other creatures that make up the top 100 from the Zoological Society of London’s “Priceless or Worthless?” list.
An appealing and effective way to convey an important message. (glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 10-15)