Title: Can We Save the Tiger?
Author: Martin Jenkins
Illustrator: Vicky White
Publisher: Candlewick Press, 2011
Ages: 5 – 8
Themes: Endangered Animals, Conservation
“We humans have changed the world a lot over the years, to make room for ourselves and to produce the things we need …
Some of the animals and plants that we share the earth with have coped with the changes very well. But some haven’t.”
Discusses ways that human behavior can either threaten or conserve the amazing animals that share our planet.
Why I Like This Book:
This book has a unique pairing of down-to-earth text and stunning animal portraits; the combination is effective in engaging the reader through heart. This is an informative, easy-to-understand book that can be used in any discussion about extinction and wildlife conservation.
The book discusses the effects of human population on the world’s animals. It starts by discussing reasons of why certain species have become extinct (dodo, great auk) or are endangered (tiger). But this book isn’t a downer. Next it provides examples of species brought back from extinction (American bison, white rhino) due to conservation efforts. But the author does remind us that we need to be vigilant and aware since conservationist efforts don’t always work that well, he provides examples of species that have been brought back but are rare (kakapo, whooping crane).
The narrative style feels comfortable and familiar, like you are in a classroom setting listening to the author speaking. The book isn’t preachy. Jenkins actually tries to boil down the complexities and different viewpoints that make these near-extinction issues difficult to solve.
The layout of the book, with its detailed elegant pencil sketches and animal statistics, feels like a field journal. The artwork is simply breathtaking.
This is a “museum quality” book that will stand the test of time, one that will engage readers of any age.
(click to see larger pic)
This review is part of Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book series. Visit her site to see the other books recommended.