Hansen, Grace. Asian Animals. Abdo, 2021. $20.95 ea. $125.70 set of 6. 24 p. Grades K-2.
Bengal Tiger. 978-1-0982-0592-8. Giant Panda. 978-1-0982-0593-5. Great Hornbill. 978-1-0982-0594-2. Indian Cobra. 978-1-0982-0595-9. Pangolin. 978-1-0982-0596-6. Water Buffalo. 978-1-0982-0597-3.
The continent of Asia is home to many amazing and unique animals, six of which are featured in this new series for early readers from Abdo. Each oversize volume informs readers about the habitat, characteristics, and lifestyle of the spotlighted animal. This reviewer had the opportunity to read the volume on Giant Pandas. Each two-page spread of the volume featured a high-quality photo accompanied by corresponding text. Readers learn about the habitat of the giant panda, it’s diet of bamboo, how young are raised, and more. As with most Abdo titles, a code in the back of the book allows readers to access supplemental material (video, activities, and more) online.
THOUGHTS: This series is sure to hold appeal for primary readers. The oversize high-quality photos will be sure to engage the interest of even the casual animal fan. For libraries looking to expand their animal collections, this series featuring both common (tiger, panda) and unique (pangolin, water buffalo) animals merits consideration.
590s Animals Elizabeth Henry, Lampeter-Strasburg SD
Moreau, Laurent. Play Outside! Norton Young Readers, 2020. 978-1-324-01547-5. Unpaged. $18.95. Grades K-2.
It’s a common refrain uttered by parents on a regular basis – “why don’t you go play outside?” Author and illustrator Laurent Moreau puts a creative spin on this refrain in this picture book which was originally published in France in 2018 and appeared on U.S. shelves in a translated edition in 2020. The story features an unnamed brother and sister who are encouraged to play outside by their mother after their horseplay leads to a broken vase. Once outside, the pair travel through a variety of landscapes, including trekking through deserts, climbing mountains, climbing trees in the forest, and sailing on icebergs, among other locales. Each locale features a variety of animals, some common and plentiful, others endangered and facing extinction. At the conclusion of the book, readers can explore an illustrated index showing each animal the children met along their journey and identifying the endangered status of each.
THOUGHTS: Readers will enjoy the challenge using the index to help them try to locate the 250 animal species hidden in Moreau’s vibrant artwork. This title could easily be incorporated into lessons involving endangered species and the importance of protecting the environment, themes which are also reinforced within the text of the storyline.
Animals Back From the Brink. Crabtree Publishing, 2020. $14.30 ea. $290.50 set of 14. 32p. Grades 3-6.
Bringing Back the American Alligator. 978-1-549-08040-1. Bringing Back the Black-Footed Ferret. 978-1-725-44237-5. Bringing Back the Blue Iguana. 978-1-725-48072-8. Bringing Back the California Condor. 978-1-725-48073-5. Bringing Back the Giant Panda. 978-1-549-08041-8. Bringing Back the Gray Wolf. 978-1-549-08042-5. Bringing Back the Grizzly Bear. 978-1-549-08043-2. Bringing Back the Humpback Whale. 978-1-549-08044-9. Bringing Back the Island Fox. 978-1-725-48074-2. Bringing Back the Lesser Long-Nosed Bat. 978-1-725-44238-2. Bringing Back the Mountain Gorilla. 978-1-725-44239-9. Bringing Back the Snow Leopard. 978-1-725-44240-5. Bringing Back the Southern White Rhino. 978-1-725-48075-9. Bringing Back the Whooping Crane. 978-1-549-08045-6.
Readers will discover endangered species around the world. Each book begins with facts about the featured species including its habitat and an introduction to the dangerous factors contributing to extinction. Each book explains the scientific criteria that is used to figure out the levels of threat to each species, the historical and current threat to each species, and the problems environmental groups have had trying to protect them. Each book concludes with an explanation of future protection efforts and what the reader can do to help. The “Learning More” section of each book provides books and websites for the reader to learn more about the specific species featured.
THOUGHTS: A good supplement to an existing collection of endangered species books and for libraries with patrons interested in this topic.