Animal Ark – Perfect Picture Book Friday for Earth Day

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Title: Animal Ark, Celebrating our WILD WORLD in Poetry and Pictures

Author: Kwame Alexander

Photographs by: Joel Sartore

Published by: National Geographic Kids, February 2017

Ages: 4-8

Themes: animals, poetry


Chorus of creatures

Singing our names

See what we can save–together


Kwame Alexander uplifting poetry and prose pairs with more than 100 of National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore’s compelling images of world species.

Why I like this book:

This is a visual and literary celebration of extraordinary beauty. The portraits of the animals are not only stunning but are intimate and personal. It is as if each animal has honored Kwame and Joel by sharing a little of their story. 

The first, last pages and center pages include stunning pullouts of mini portraits and a chorus of creatures call to action.

The concept of being family with these beautiful creatures is priceless, and more than many books, this one will give children a poignant sense of connection with the venomous viper, the stalking tiger, the colorful chameleon…. From a vast variety of species from diverse ecosystems, from endemic to endangered, each animal is treated with love both by Kwame’s powerful words and Joel’s lens.

This book calls kids to action by presenting them with an ark of animals with whom humanity’s future is woven. It is stunning and powerful, a book for all elementary classrooms.

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Photo Ark founder and National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore has visited 40 countries in his quest to create this photo archive of global biodiversity. To date, he has completed intimate portraits of more than 6,000 species. see more of his work here:

You can get involved and make a difference, here:

The Animal Ark website has a great list of classroom activities.

 This is a great classroom companion for national poetry month and the author has some great thoughts on the text and a small section on writing haiku.

Green Schools.

 Find more “Perfect Picture Book Friday” reviews at Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog HERE.


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4 Responses to Animal Ark – Perfect Picture Book Friday for Earth Day

  1. That is a great cover! My great grandson would love this book. I like the theme of how humanity’s future is connected to these endangered wild animals. Beautiful review.

  2. The photographs you included in your review are indeed amazing. And with added poetry, this book is a perfect addition for National Poetry Month. I’ll be looking to see if my library has a copy of this book. Thank you for sharing it today.

  3. Jilanne Hoffmann says:

    Wow! Color me inspired! The photography and poetry are perfect pairs. I wasn’t going to take a look at this one because I write for older kids. But it looks like that would have been a mistake. I’ve got all of Kwame’s other books, so I should have known better….Thanks for showcasing!

  4. Sue Morris says:

    Animal Ark is so impressive, especially the photographs. If you love animals, this book is for you. Great PPBF!

    “The concept of being family with these beautiful creatures is priceless . . .” Nicely said!

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