It has been around 25 years since I spent any time in London over the winter, so the past few days of steady snow have taken me (and Heathrow) by surprise! I have opted for fireside reading rather than snowstorm exploits, though I thoroughly enjoyed all the winter activities you shared with me last Tuesday. So let’s get the importance business underway first….. HOORAY for the SNOW GAMES ePicture Book AND illustration WINNER, which is HANNAH HOLTof Lightbulb Books. Hannah is an author and her blog is chock full of fun and easy kids activities. Hannah, please email me the email address of the person you want the book for and your snail mail address for the illustration from Maja.
As many of us are snowed-in, snowed-under and snow-enchanted at the moment, I wanted to introduce you to a sweet endangered snow animal and a true story.
Written and illustrated by Craig Hatkoff, Juliana Hatkoff and Isabella Hatkoff
Published by Scholastic, 2010
Hardcover, 40 pages, non-fiction
Ages: 5 -11
Themes: snow leopards, conservation, endangered species, international cooperation
Synopsis: Our story begins in a remote, snowy mountain range in Pakistan where a goat-herder cannot turn his back on a tiny orphaned snow leopard. Fortunately, little Leo seems to have adapted well to a new diet of goat’s milk. The goat herder realizes he can’t care long term for this cub, so contacts the WWF offices in Gilgit. Snow leopards are on the red list for endangered species and, with humility, the Pakistani authorities recognize they don’t have the facilities to care for Leo, thus they contact the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) in the US, who agree the Bronx Zoo would make a great home for the orphan. The WCS team fly as soon as arrangements can be made to Islamabad and set out on the 17-hour drive only to be blocked by a landslide. It’s a long, long trip there and back, but Leo arrives safely at 13 months old in his present home in the Bronx zoo in New York. Leo is immediately introduced to a leopard his own age in the zoo, Shelby, who bonds with his new playmate and is happy to teach Leo much more about being a snow leopard.
Why I like this book: This is a large hardback book full of exquisite color photos. There is a full page of text every other page, which would be accessible for children aged 8-11, but children from 5-8 will, I believe, enjoy listening to the story of baby Leo’s rescue. Kids will not only delight in this animal rescue adventure, but also will understand a little of the international cooperation that was required and will learn of the importance of zoo conservation work. There are four full pages at the back dedicated to a deeper understanding of: leopards, endangered species and the importance of captive breeding programs. I really welcome appealing educational books such as this.
Snow Leopard coloring page from the Exploring Nature website.
The World Wildlife fund offers the possibility to adopt a snow leopard,
Check out this youtube video on these beautiful big cats
More snow leopard facts can be found for kids here.
The Snow Leopard is listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as ‘endangered’. Endangered Species – EN (Status: Threatened) – In the immediate probability of becoming extinct and require protection to exist. There are estimated to be 4000 – 6500 snow leopards left in the wild.