Perfect Picture Book Friday – GONE WILD

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Today is Endangered Species Day 2012 and my book selection pays homage to this. You can find out much more about events/reading/films and other resources fot this day at, for example they have a list of ten easy things you can do at home to protect endangered species.

Gone Wild – An Endangered Animal Alphabet

By David McLimans

Published by Walker Books, 2006

Ages: 3 up

Themes: Endangered Animals, the alphabet, pictograph

Award: Caldecott Honor Book


“Chinese Alligator; Class: Reptilia; Habititat: Swamps, rivers, lakes, ponds; Range: China; Threats: Habitat loss from farming; Status: Critically endangered.”

There is an introduction where children can read that more than 5000 animals face extinction in the 21st century. McLimans defines the three categories: critically endangered, endangered and vulnerable. The actual alphabet letters are a return to the origins of picture writing or pictograms, and symbolic, simple, bold and in black. The capital and small letter are in red as is a small box of facts for each animal. Each animals then has a paragraph and illustration at the back of the book also in red and black.

Why I like this Book:

It is a book that will appeal to very young children and to adults. It is a mix of simple, A is for alligator, but then you can read the latin name too, as well as what animal family the creature falls into. Although there are more mammals represented proportionally, all the animal families are included. Children will recognize some (zebra, black rhinoceros..) and will be intrigued by others (spotted tail-quoll,  swan goose). The illustrations are graphic, symbolic and fun. I think this is a striking way to bring this important issue to even our youngest children in a playful way.


American Museum of Natural History:


Endangered Species Coalition:


Defenders of Wildlife: (great educational resources here)

I would get younger children to reproduce a letter each from the book and older ones I would get to research their own animal and design an animal-letter with fact box. If this is with a class, you could make a class book!

To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.  Or click on the Perfect Picture Book Fridays  badge in the right sidebar.

This is also part of Gathering Books’ Award Winning Books 2012 Challenge.

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15 Responses to Perfect Picture Book Friday – GONE WILD

  1. This books sounds perfect for endangered species day Joanna! Thanks for all the wonderful resources 🙂

  2. I didn’t realize that today was Endangered Species Day — thank you for raising our consciousness on the whole subject of endangered species, Joanna.

    This book sounds excellent — what a great way to learn a little or a lot. And the activities you suggest and sites you link to are spot on (of course.)

  3. Yes, I’ve read this one recently. So elegant you have to look at the pictures numerous times!

  4. This looks great, Joanna. Is it non-fiction? It look like it might be… I love the pictograph style – very striking. And I love that it can appeal to such a wide range of ages. As you know, I always love animal books 🙂 Thanks for adding this one!

  5. I love books that get children to be aware of and care for wildlife. I hadn’t heard of this one, but it looks stunning. I also did not know that today is Endangered Species Day, so I’ll be sure to take the opportunity to read some of our own wildlife books to my kids today.

  6. Thanks for letting me know it is Endangered Species Day. This sounds like a great book. My experience has taught me that kids really understand the idea of “endangered”. Most can even tell you why an animal is in that condition. Education and books like this have played an important role in helping these kids comprehend the situation many animals are in. This can only be a good thing for the future of our animals.

  7. What an interesting book. It might help me with some research I’m working on. Thanks for the recommendation.

  8. A great selection Joanna. Sounds unque in the manner in which the story of endangered animals are shared. Want to check this out.

  9. Thanks, Joanna, for the heads-up about Endangered Species Day. Perhaps we need to make it Endangered Species Year. 🙂
    What a great review and list of resources…the art work alone will appeal to kids…and I’d love it for the informational value…my I-want-this-book list is growing quite ungainly. 🙂

  10. My heart always aches on this topic, but am intrigued by the information and the illustrations. And, curious to know where zebras fall into this list of animals.

  11. Ohhhh yes! I love animal books. You have me hooked. Very striking colours to. Love the idea of getting the class to make a book drawing animals and writing a fact box……excellent! Thanks for sharing Joanna.

  12. Heather says:

    I love these activities and websites, Joanna! This book sounds like one I need to find for Arthur, he loves books with lists and order to them. Thank you!

  13. I missed endangered species day. *rats* I love all animals and I am trying to teach our kids to take care of the endangered species by doing all they can to teach folks about them. What a great choice, Joanna! I love that all the animal families are included. Awesome resources you awesome resource gal! *waves*

  14. What a nice addition the the PPBF list. This seems like a unique alphabet book. I will check it out for sure.

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