How can we save animals if we’ve never heard of them?
In his introduction to this follow-up to Lesser Spotted Animals (2017), Brown explains that he aims to rectify that problem with this album of 26 more marvelous mammals from around the world: not “fancy-pants lions” but “the little guys” from “the big world of wildlife.” From the tree-dwelling dingiso of New Guinea (a “teddy bear kangaroo”) to the Celebes crested macaque (a “monkey with a mohawk”), the British author/illustrator has chosen curious creatures that are likely to appeal to middle-grade animal lovers everywhere. Some, such as the Syrian brown bear or the Indian giant squirrel, are unfamiliar variants of familiar species; others, like the shrewlike black and rufous sengi of eastern Africa or the Altai argali (a huge Mongolian sheep), are likely to be totally new. An engaging, informal text introduces the highlighted species and sometimes some similar relatives; boxed fast facts include a map of the animal’s range and, crucially, its International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List status, from data deficient or least concern to critically endangered. Dialogue balloons of animal commentary add humor throughout, even in the helpful and entertaining glossary. The illustrations include at least one relatively realistic portrait of each spotlighted animal as well as cartoony treatments. Page numbers and thumbnails in the table of contents add to the informational value of this lighthearted reminder of a serious environmental concern.
A welcome, equally successful companion to Lesser Spotted Animals. (Informational picture book. 7-10)