February 20, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Rare: Creatures of the Photo Ark | SLJ DVD Review

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redstarRare: Creatures of the Photo Ark. 2:50 hrs. PBS. 2017. $24.99. UPC 0841887030656. Blu-ray $29.99. ISBN 9781531700058.

Gr 7 Up –Taking photographs of rare animals and habitats that might become extinct is the focus of this three-part program. Joel Sartore, a National Geographic photographer for more than 25 years, narrates his travels across the globe as he finishes his 11-year project—the Photo Ark—while demonstrating his efforts to film some of the world’s most rare and at-risk animals. Each segment highlights various endangered animals and their habitats. Students will become instantly engaged not only by the images of these threatened species but also by the unusual habitats, preserves, and sanctuaries that Sartore personally treks through to produce these special photographs. In the first part, he visits Madagascar to capture what he calls “the coolest animals on the planet” on film. More than 600 new species have been discovered here; but, as students will learn, other species are dying because they are losing their environments. The episodes also offer viewers a close-up look at deforestation and the rising of sea levels and pollution, and demonstrate how these phenomena will affect animals and humans alike. Throughout, Sartore reiterates his desire to reach people on an emotional level in order to help save endangered species. One of the segments also comes with a warning about scenes involving animal reproduction. VERDICT This first-hand narrative of digitizing endangered species across the globe will inspire and alert viewers to the effects of climate change, biodiversity, and preservation.–Sheila Acosta, San Antonio Public Library

This review was published in the School Library Journal November 2017 issue.

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