Save the...Giraffes

Philomel. (Save the...). Jan. 2023. 96p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780593404171.
Gr 3-6–In this latest installment of the series about endangered animals, Sanchez, with a preface by Chelsea Clinton, pays rich homage to the tall and graceful giraffe. The book is filled with interesting facts: how a giraffe’s constant consumption of leaves helps the savanna plant life flourish; mother giraffes seem to abandon their newborns to keep them safe from predators; young giraffes spend time in a “giraffe kindergarten,” playing with other young giraffes under the watchful eye of one female adult. This nonfiction title makes a great primer for students learning to add adjectives and description to their writing, as in: “On their long legs, giraffes glide across this broad landscape with slow-motion grace, tails swishing to shoo away insects.” Sanchez includes personal opinion alongside the facts. For example, “Now that sounds like a pretty good field trip!” There are few pictures among the text, and these are black and white. The chapter organization is not perfect. Chapter Two is titled “Family and Friends,” and while much of the information is relevant, the chapter includes explanation of the different species of giraffes and how many of them are endangered, which would have been better suited for the next chapter discussing why giraffes are at risk of extinction. Extensive information on why giraffes are endangered and what needs to be done to save them is included. The book ends with a list of fun facts and specific ways young readers can get involved in saving giraffes. There is no index, so students may have trouble using this text for research.
VERDICT The book does not follow a traditional nonfiction format but will appeal to animal enthusiasts and activists, especially those who enjoy their facts delivered in narrative prose.

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