Review Blog

Aug 31 2012

Can we save the tiger? by Martin Jenkins and Vicky White

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Walker Books, 2012. ISBN 9781 4063 3208 7.
(All ages)Highly recommended. Information book. Endangered species. This marvellous picture book with astonishingly enticing black and white line illustrations and paragraphs of words outlining the fate of animals around the world that have been made extinct by human activity, makes a heartfelt plea for saving those that are endangered. A winning topic for the young and not so young, this book is a gem to handle and browse, read all the way through, use as a reference with its simple index, and click onto the plethora of websites given for further information. It will have a wide classroom use and will be a popular book for students to borrow and take home, there to read further and share with their family.
The strong words describe some of the animals that have become extinct, from the well known, Dodo, Marsupial Wolf, and the Great Auk for example, to those like the Tiger on the cover, an endangered species, and many others on the brink of extinction. So the book takes many of these animals in turn, outlining their habitat, their history and why they have come so close to extinction. Students and readers will be amazed and enraged at some of the stories, wanting to find out more, and certainly work to acquaint people of the dangers these animals face.
The animals this book discusses are, amongst others, the Asian Elephant, the African Hunting Dog and the Sawfish. Towards the end of this book, several positive stories are told, of animals once on the brink of extinction being brought back. The Bison is a case in point, which almost died out in North America, to be saved int eh nick of time. The Kakapo is one of my favourites, a New Zealand flightless parrot, decimated by feral animals brought to the country by its European settlers, now rekindled by being taken to a small island where no feral animals exist. This is a lovely story which hopefully can be emulated.
The book is the second written and illustrated by the same pair, the first being Ape, published again by Walker in 2008, and one I often reread.
Fran Knight

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