Elem. – Play Outside!

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.

Picture Book          Elizabeth Henry, Lampeter-Strasburg SD

Elem./MG – Animals Back From the Brink (Series NF)

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.

590 Animals     Jaynie Korzi, South Middleton SD