CM . . .
. Volume XI Number 17 . . . . April 29, 2005
People who visit mountain gorillas must be careful not to make the gorillas sick. Mountain gorillas can catch diseases, such as pneumonia, from humans. Diseases are dangerous for mountain gorillas. If one mountain gorilla becomes ill, other members of the group can also become ill. Even a disease that is fairly harmless to humans can destroy an entire gorilla population. Tourists are taken through the forests by tour guides to make sure they do not get too close to the animals. Tourists are required to get vaccines before they visit the areas in which the gorillas live.
These three new titles bring the series "Earth's Endangered Animals" to a total of seven books. Crabtree Publishing has chosen a diverse selection of animals for this series. They are found in worldwide habitats across North America, Africa and Indonesia, and include mammals and reptiles. Beginning with a simple definition of the various levels of risk, each species is introduced with an explanation of why it is considered endangered. General details about the animals follow: origin/history, family group, specific habitat, appearance, life cycle, food, habits and defense strategies. Armed with this data, the young reader will understand the subsequent discussions of habitat loss, poaching/hunting, and the challenge to maintain healthy population cycles that are the reasons for their decline. Several pages are devoted to showing solutions to the problem in the form of conservation programs, parks, zoos and through education and eco-tourism. The focus is on the value of these animals as part of their entire ecosystem. "When wolves are reintroduced into an area, the relationships among animals - and even plants - change. Wolves hunt ...deer and elk. The remains...feed other animals...[and] make the soil a healthier place for new plants to grow." The reader is invited to learn more about each animal and encouraged to share findings with others; websites are provided as a starting point in this brief interactive phase of the books.
This publisher knows how to present accessible information in an attractive package. The type style is large and easy to digest in small chunks of text. Illustrative material - clear, colorful, up-to-date photos mainly - is liberally used. New vocabulary is highlighted in bold type or listed in the Glossary. An Index makes these books useful for beginning research. They will also appeal to students as leisure reading about animals both strange and familiar.
Gillian Richardson, a former teacher-librarian, is a freelance writer living in BC.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.