Book Look

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

From Nancy Gilson, Dispatch arts editor and children's book aficionado, comes a review with a nice tie-in to our January cover animal theme!

Extraordinary Endangered Animals (Abrams, 157 pages, $24.95, age 10 and older) by Sandrine Silhol and Gaelle Guerive, illustrated by Marie Doucedame

The Earth enjoys a richness of critters - more than one million species of animals.

But of those, nearly 43,000 are endangered and could become extinct.

Thirty-five of these precious, precarious creatures are featured in Extraordinary Endangered Animals, a big, lush book loaded with photographs and information.

The animals are arranged by continent and each is presented with its individual traits and habits described. For instance:

Europe is home to the Western spadefoot toad, the male of which "sings" to attract females;

Asia hosts the Bactrian camel, the two-humped version found only the Gobi Desert;

North America has the sea otter, which, when it wants to sleep, can wrap its body in algae as an anchor;

South America claims the Amazon river dolphin, a mysterious freshwater version;

In Africa dwells the Ethiopian wolf, whose cubs are cared for and fed by the entire pack;

And Oceana boasts coral, which really is an animal and the only one visible from space.

A large, color portrait of each animal (photographs were taken by a variety of artists) is accompanied by additional smaller photographs, fact-filled text, a map of its habitat and small, color sketches by Marie Doucedame.

The theme of living harmoniously with nature spans the book's more than 150 pages. At the end, readers are given a variety of ways to help endangered animals.

Those who want to further pursue the topic can check out another recent book by the publisher: 50 Ways to Save the Earth.