Saturday, June 10, 2017

A-Z of Endangered animals by Jennifer Cossins

I imagine it would have been so interesting completing research for this book A-Z of Endangered Animals but also quite frustrating have set yourself the parameter of only 26 endangered animals and using the 26 letters of the alphabet.

I wonder how Jennifer Cossins made her selection.  We have some excellent books in our school library which feature endangered and extinct animals.  In her introduction Jennifer Cossins the horrifying fact that over the the last 500 years over 800 species have become extinct. The reasons are clear - humans are responsible for changing environments, destroying habitats, introducing species, exploitation and climate change.

That is why a book like this and others I have put below are so important and why I am pleased to see this book short listed for our CBCA awards this year.  Young children need to know about and hopefully marvel at,the amazing diversity of life on our planet.  I always like to mention different animals to my classes - vicuna, tenrick, okapi and pangolin.  None of these are featured in A-Z of Endangered animals but you can read about these curious creatures :

Birds - Umbrella bird, Crested penguin, Yellow Cardinal, Kakapo, Xinjaing Ground Jay, Jocotoso Antipitta and Helmeted Hornbill.

Mammals - Zebra Duiker, Vaquita, Tasmanian Devil, Indian elephant,  Dugong, Blue Whale, Snow Leopard, Quokka, Pigmy Three-toed sloth, Mandrill, Amur Tiger and Orangutan.

The saddest story is probably the Vaquita - the world's smallest mammal and a member of the porpoise family. It was awful to read the estimated population is about 60.  The other aspect I enjoyed in this book in the inclusion of an "interesting fact" on each page.  This might be the way to begin a discussion with a class using this book along with listing all the important issues mentioned in the introduction.

Here are couple :

"Sloths come to forest floor only once a week to relieve themselves."
"Unlike other big cats, the snow leopard cannot roar."

The final pages have suggested web sites and a useful glossary.

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