________________ CM . . . . Volume XI Number 6 . . . .November 12, 2004

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Endangered Rhinoceros. (Earth's Endangered Animals Series).

Bobbie Kalman.
St. Catharines, ON: Crabtree, 2004.
32 pp., pbk. & cl., $8.06 (pbk.), $20.76 (RLB).
ISBN 0-7787-1898-0 (pbk.), ISBN 0-7787-1852-2 (RLB).

Subject Headings:
Rhinoceroses-Juvenile literature.
Endangered species-Juvenile literature.
Rhinoceroses.

Grades 3-5 / Ages 8-10.

Review by Gillian Richardson.

***1/2 /4

   
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Endangered Sea Turtles. (Earth's Endangered Animals Series).

Bobbie Kalman.
St. Catharines, ON: Crabtree, 2004.
32 pp., pbk. & cl., $8.06 (pbk.), $20.76 (RLB).
ISBN 0-7787-1899-9 (pbk.), ISBN 0-7787-1853-0 (RLB).

Subject Headings:
Sea turtles-Juvenile literature.
Endangered species-Juvenile literature.
Sea turtles.

Grades 3-5 / Ages 8-10.

Review by Gillian Richardson.

*** /4

   
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Endangered Tigers. (Earth's Endangered Animals Series).

Bobbie Kalman.
St. Catharines, ON: Crabtree, 2004.
32 pp., pbk. & cl., $8.06 (pbk.), $20.76 (RLB).
ISBN 0-7787-1896-4 (pbk.), ISBN 0-7787-1850-6 (RLB).

Subject Headings:
Tigers-Juvenile literature.
Endangered species-Juvenile literature.
Tigers.

Grades 3-5 / Ages 8-10.

Review by Gillian Richardson.

*** /4

   
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Endangered Monk Seals. (Earth's Endangered Animals Series).

Bobbie Kalman.
St. Catharines, ON: Crabtree, 2004.
32 pp., pbk. & cl., $8.06 (pbk.), $20.76 (RLB).
ISBN 0-7787-1897-2 (pbk.), ISBN 0-7787-1851-4 (RLB).

Subject Headings:
Monk seals-Juvenile literature.
Endangered species-Juvenile literature.
Monk seals.

Grades 3-5 / Ages 8-10.

Review by Gillian Richardson.

*** /4

   

excerpt:

Why monks?

Monk seals were named after monks because of the way they look and behave. Monks are men who live in religious communities or groups, away from other people. Monk seals also prefer to live alone. Monks often wear long robes with hoods. Monk seals have loose skin around their necks that resemble the hoods of monks, as shown in the picture on the left. (From Endangered Monk Seals)

 

This new series, "Earth's Endangered Animals," matches the traditional quality and reader accessibility of previous science series by Crabtree. With four titles so far, this series gives young readers up-to-date information on common and not so familiar species of animals in an appealing presentation rich with colour photos and lifelike drawings.

     Each 32 page book opens with an introduction to the concept of endangerment with definitions of the various threat levels provided by the World Conservation Union's Red List. A brief description of the topic species is followed by details of the types remaining in the wild: eg. five types of tigers, only two types of monk seals. More detailed characteristics of the animal are given, including special adaptations for optimum survival. These descriptions focus on the animal's basic needs in terms of food, space and habitat, as well as life cycle to lay the groundwork for further explanation of the reasons it has earned the endangered status. In all cases, fewer young are being born due to lack of adequate space, reduced availability of food, and reduced longevity partly as a result of the previous factors. More specific causes for the population decline are dealt with: human interference, habitat destruction, pollution, overhunting.

     A final chapter is devoted to 'How You Can Help.' Attempts to safeguard the species in preserves and zoos are explained as well as the laws created for their protection in the wild. The young reader is encouraged to learn more and build respect for wildlife. Websites are provided, along with activities such as fundraising to contribute to habitat preservation programs, or for 'adoption.' A Glossary defines some boldfaced terms while others are well explained in context. A brief index is included.

     The text is presented in large, easy to read type in small portions well laid out among clear, action-filled photos or drawings that support it. Many illustrations have additional captions. The monk seal photo referred to in the excerpt above is a close-up that leaves no doubt as to the origin of the animal's name.

     Some highlights of the various books include:

     - an excellent explanation of the three groups of pinnipeds (seals, sea lions and walruses) and how to distinguish them
     - focus on respect for wildlife in a list of 'rules to follow' if seals are seen on a beach
     - a clear drawing showing the comparative sizes of the five rhino species
     - a new term? megaherbivore (very large herbivore)
     - fascinating facts: white rhinos inhabit open savanna where the mother keeps the calf in front of her for protection, while the black rhino shields her calf behind her as she moves through trees and bushes.
     - recovery success of white rhinos from 20 to over 12,000 when moved to protected parks.
     - increased detail in the description of each sea turtle species (8), since information on habitat (ocean, beaches) could be dealt with in a single page.

     This series offers young researchers a fine starting point and inspiration to seek out further resources on these endangered animals.

Highly Recommended.

Gillian Richardson is a former teacher-librarian, freelance writer and writing instructor living in BC.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

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