Can We Save the Tiger? – Around the World in 50 Weeks

Can We Save the Tiger?

Written by Martin Jenkins, illustrated by Vicky White

Published by Walker Books Ltd, 2011

Ages: 5 and up

Themes: animals, conservation, extinction,

Opening/Synopsis: “The world is quite a big place, you know. But it’s not that big, when you consider how much there is to squeeze into it. ……. Us humans have changed the world a lot over the years, to make room for ourselves and to produce the things we need…… Some of the other animals and plants that we share the Earth with have coped with the changes very well. But some haven’t.”

Martin Jenkins, a conservation biologist, accompanies us around the world on a 56 page journey of phenomenal fauna. From animals we will never see again, such as the Stellar’s Sea Cow (last ween in 1768) and the Broad-faced Potoroo (last seen in 1875) to some of the present day animals struggling for survival, such as the Ground Iguanas of the West Indies or the White Rumped Vultureof SE Asia. He explains many of the complexities of the threats: of how introducing a non indigenous animal influences indigenous flora and fauna, how modern farming techniques may help feed humans, but can destroy animals.

Kakapoo Bird

He speaks of success stories, such as the bison populations of North America, and species on the brink of extinction like the Kakapo bird of New Zealand.

He writes in detail but with clarity and passion on behalf of our co-planet dwellers. Every single page of this large, long picture book contains incredible pencil drawings, with occasional color, of these magnificent species. The book is worth the artwork alone. Vicky White, the illustrator, worked as a zookeeper for many years before doing an MA in natural history illustration from London’s Royal College of Art.

Why I like this book: This book will fascinate and inspire children. A clear case is presented for the fate of all these species lying in our hands. While much good has been done, so much still remains to fight for and our children can participate in this preservation of the gracious beauty we have all around us. I would love to have some of this art work on my walls, it is truly exquisite. Tigers, seals, parrots, rhinoceros peer at you from the pages, inviting you to become involved. This is a book of balance; of sadness and progress of failure and hope. It presents the call for our involvement to conserve our world as a call to compassion and action for the 17,000 animals and plants presently in danger. This is a book I would recommend for every school library for the inevitable classes on endangered species. I think it gives one of the most articulate overviews out there.

Other great resources mentioned at the back of the book are:

Birdlife International,

Conservation International,

Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust,

Fauna And Flora International,

IUCN,

Nature Conservancy,

Wildlife Conservation Society,

WWF.

 

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18 Responses to Can We Save the Tiger? – Around the World in 50 Weeks

  1. Joanna, what a great book to highlight! Think it is an important book for school libraries because we are raising new generations of children that are compassionate about wildlife and our environment. This books gives kids the information they need to nudge them into action. Will be interested in Erik’s take. This is such a beautiful and engaging book!

  2. Joanna says:

    It is a book of beauty, Pat. It doesn’t condemn, but rather inspires us to ask ourselves what part we can play in protecting and nurturing these species.

  3. What a wonderful sounding book. I so appreciate that it shows the stories of hope as well as the stories of extinction, so that kids (and the rest of us) know that taking action does make a difference.

    Thank you for bringing this book to our attention, and for keeping this issue in front of us.

  4. Joanna says:

    Beth, this is a book of majesty, vulnerability, hope, collaboration, surprise and action. It’s a truly valuable children’s picture book! Thanks for your enthusiasm.

  5. Oh wow, Joanna, you had me at that absolutely stunning book cover. This is also a lovely post complete with so many links from various resources! 🙂 I love reading about the things that are truly important to you and those which are closest to your heart. 🙂

  6. Leslie Rose says:

    I have to get this book for my students. We write persuasive speeches every year and there are always several on saving endangered species. This looks like a great resource for the level of research they are able to do.

  7. I’m pretty sure Darshana posted this on PPBF a while back. I wanted to read it then, and still haven’t. After your additional review, I really MUST! It sounds really good!

    • Joanna says:

      She did indeed pip me to the post for PPPF, Susanna, however as it is such a beautiful book and I had bought it because of my personal interest, I felt I also wanted to review it on my blog.

  8. Joanna says:

    Thanks, Myra, I thoroughly enjoyed this picture book!

  9. This is a wonderful book and would not be surprised if it is already in my local library. The cover is beautiful and can imagine the other pics just as vivid and in your face. Nice the mention of the Kakapo! Thanks Joanna.
    (going to try and share it on fb)

  10. Joanna says:

    Isn’t the Kakapo cute? 🙂

  11. We humans have changed the world. I think this one is on my list, but I’ve wanted to wait to read it. I just read stories this month about oil and gas companies outbidding farmers for water. I could walk instead of driving, but I cannot go without food. Sigh.

    • Joanna says:

      It’s not easy to find what part we can play in this, Stacy. As Enzo gets older, you can engage him in discussions about how he want to be involved in conservation.

  12. Hannah Holt says:

    The cover is beauitful and the text sounds just as wonderful. Thanks for this and all your reviews!

  13. Joanna says:

    I think adults and children alike will enjoy this one, Hannah!

  14. This book looks so beautiful and carries such an important message. Even the title drew me in immediately. I am definitely going to read this with my kids.

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