Kirkus Reviews QR Code


by Sandrine Silhol & Gaëlle Guérive & illustrated by Marie Doucedame

Age Range: 9 - 12

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-4197-0034-7
Publisher: Abrams

This oversized album describes 34 unusual and appealing animals from six world regions and explains why many are endangered.

An introduction emphasizes the importance of maintaining balance in nature and introduces the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List of endangered species. Each species is presented in a pair of double-page spreads that includes two large photographs, watercolor art, relatively extensive text describing the animal and the threats it faces, a small, general map and a notebook entry describing human connections. Although this purports to be about endangered species, the first animal described, the Atlantic puffin, is of “least concern” according to the most recent IUCN list. The next, the Southwestern water vole, is “vulnerable” in its European habitat and the third, the Western spadefoot toad, is closer to endangered status as “near-threatened.” There are also mistakes of fact—Valentine's Day is not “the beginning of the mating season for amphibians.” Throughout, the authors use the word “skate” when they mean stingray. No translator is listed for the text, first published in France in 2010 as Les Animaux d'exception: Racontés aux enfants. There are no credits for the photographs except for those repeated on the jacket, and no sources given for the information. Finally, the index has errors.

Beautiful but flawed. (glossary, "How you can help") (Reference. 9-12)