Author: Martin Jenkins
Illustrator: Vicky White
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication Date: 2011
Genre/Format: Nonfiction/Picture Book
Summary: A blend of facts and narration that tells a story of extinct animals and other animals that have been threatened by extinction.
What I Think: One of my reading goals this year is to read more nonfiction. I like nonfiction, but there are some nonfiction books that just seem so boring to me that I don't even want to open them up or I'm turned off even from flipping through them. I happened to see people mention this book on Twitter so I put it on hold at the library. I have to admit, when I first thumbed through this I wasn't sure what all the excitement was about...and then I sat down to actually read it and was so moved. The summary on the jacket flap had me intrigued. In the last year I have learned so much about how animals are treated by humans and this book points out how humans impact the lives of animals whether we mean to or not. I think it's important for kids to realize how the way we live and the choices we make impact our world and everyone and thing that lives on it.
The illustrations in this book are a combination of colored and black-and-white sketches. I think the pencil drawings add to the somber mood this book emanates. There is a hopeful message in this book, but it definitely brought tears to my eyes to read about the animals that are extinct and that are close to extinction. As a mom, I was thinking protectively of all the animals that are extinct or have been threatened. I also had a sad feeling knowing that my kiddos might not ever get to see these animals. While it might not seem like a big deal if Peanut and Baby Bird ever get to see a Partula Snail or a Sawfish, it really is a big deal if we don't make changes and more and more animals become extinct. If we don't pay attention today, more animals are going to be in trouble tomorrow.
I'm so glad people have been talking about this book and spreading the word about it. It deserves to be talked about and shared and I'm glad I found out about it because it's my favorite non-fiction book I've read this year. Thanks to Martin Jenkins for speaking up for the animals!
Read Together: 3 - 12
Read Alone: 5 - 12
Read With: The Lorax (Classic Seuss) by Dr. Seuss, Hurt Go Happy by Ginny Rorby, Hoot by Carl Hiaasen, and other nonfiction books about animals and the environment
Snatch of Text:
"We humans have changed the world a lot over the
years, to make room for ourselves and to produce the
things we need. We've turned forests into farmland,
dammed rivers, and built towns and cities to live in.
Some of the other animals and plants that we share
the Earth with have coped with the changes very
well. But some haven't.
In fact, some have coped so badly that they're not here
They're extinct."Reading Strategies to Practice: Activating Background Knowledge, Making Connections, Asking Questions
Writing Strategies to Practice: Expository, Persuasive
Writing Prompts: Research an animal that is extinct or close to extinction, then explain what is causing the animal to be endangered and what people can do about it. Write a letter to a person in your community (a neighbor, a store, a factory, a politician) to persuade him or her to make choices that help animals or don't negatively impact animals.
Topics Covered: Animals, Environment, People, Making Choices, Sympathy, Perspective-Taking, Integration - Science
Translated to Spanish: No
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