NONFICTION

A Wild Child’s Guide to Endangered Animals

Chronicle. Oct. 2019. 140p. Tr $27.50. ISBN 9781452176864.
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Gr 4-7–Where in the world do birds sleep in midair or fish reside in the desert? Marotta reveals the answers in this informative introduction to 43 endangered species from around the world, including both rare and well-known animals living in a variety of habitats: freshwater, oceans, forests, mountains, tundras, deserts, grassland, and wetlands. Caribou, axolotl, giraffes, agami, and herons come to life in the author’s highly detailed illustrations. The featured animals are considered vulnerable (high risk of extinction), endangered (very high risk of extinction), or critically endangered. A humphead wrasse, hiding among the coral reefs of the Red Sea, stuffs herself with seafood as she grows, changes color from red orange to vibrant greenish blue, and becomes a six-foot-long male that weighs 400 pounds. The little dodo bird, unlike the now-extinct flightless dodos of Mauritius Island, flies through the forests of Samoa on its short wings, evades scientists, and never shows off its nest. An information box prefaces each of the eight biomes. Two pages devoted to each animal include facts and exquisite paintings. A world map identifies each creature’s homeland, and a two-page listing of all species listed by habitat highlights the threats to each one. A final page describes the many ways that kids and adults can protect endangered species.
VERDICT This introduction to some very unusual animals, birds, and sea creatures is a delight.

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