Save These Endangered Animals

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Save These Endangered Animals

Children's books on animal conservation

We all have the responsibility of keeping the Earth, its resources, its habitats, and its animals safe from extinction for both ourselves and future generations. Unfortunately, according to a recent Forbes article ranking countries with endangered species, the United States is number six in the world. If you're looking for a way to help children get interested in protecting endangered animals, these picture books are a fun and easy way to bring up important conservation facts to children. 

If Elephants Disappeared by Lily Williams 
In this beautifully illustrated and succinct book, Williams explains the concepts of biodiversity, ecosystems, greenhouse gas and keystone species in a way that is clear and easy for children to understand. She starts by explaining why African forest elephants are a keystone species for the Congo Basin and then plays out the domino effect that their potential extinction would have on tropical rain forest plants and other animals. At the end of the book, Williams has included a glossary, brief facts on elephants and tropical forests, and, most importantly, a section on how children can help save the elephants.

If Polar Bears Disappeared by Lily Williams
Another entry in the same series as If Elephants Disappeared, this title follows a similar formula but is set a world away from the African forest. Here, young readers can learn about polar bear evolution, the Artic food chain, and the significance of global warning to the Artic ecosystem overall. As in the above title, there is an informative end section that includes information on what children can do to help save polar bears. (And, if you enjoy both of these titles by Williams, DCPL also owns one more in the series: If Sharks Disappeared.)
 
Don't Let Them Disappear: 12 Endangered Species Across the Globe by Chelsea Clinton
Clinton writes a brief summary of how each of the animal groups live, where they live and why they are endangered. Each group of animals is featured on one page. At the end of the book, Clinton has a helpful list of things that children can do to help the animals that they just read about. Gianna Marino did a wonderful job with the illustrations. The animals have very expressive faces and the pictures are very engaging. They attract the reader’s interest.
 
Let’s Save the Animals: A Flip-the-Flap Book by Frances Barry
This beautiful board book introduces the endangered animals by depicting each animal on two separate pages. For example, when you first see a polar bear, they are strolling across the ice; then, on the second page, they dive into the Arctic Ocean. In small print on the second page featuring each animal, the author explains why the animal is endangered. For example, polar bears live and hunt on ice in the Arctic Ocean, which is melting due to global warming. In this way, the reader meets animals including African elephants, black rhinoceroses, Amur tigers, polar bears, giant pandas, and monarch butterflies -- and, in a dramatic final two pages, are encouraged, "Let’s save them all before they are gone!”
 
P is for Pangolin: An Alphabet of Obscure, Endangered & Underappreciated Animals by Anastasia Kierst
This book features an animal for each letter of the alphabet. A brief description of the animal accompanies each picture. Not all of the animals are endangered, but the following endangered animals are featured: giant river otters, hawksbill sea turtles, Japanese Giant salamanders, Kabul Markhors and pangolins. At the back of the book, the author explains the different meanings for "critically endangered," "endangered," and "vulnerable." There’s also a list of ways children can help endangered animals, as well as educator resource pages at the end of the book.
 
Under Threat: An Album of Endangered Animals by Martin Jenkins
In this book, children can learn about endangered animals by learning the history, historical status and current status of each animal, as well as where and how they live. For example, the kakapo (the world’s largest parrot) is found in New Zealand. When Europeans arrived, they began clearing the forests and woodlands in which kakapos lived; they also imported cats, stoats, ferrets, and weasels to try to control the rabbits and hares that they had introduced. Because kakapos are unable to fly, they were defenseless against these predators. A note on the last page of the book mentions that more information about the included animals can be found at the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species and BirdLife.  
 
Tracks of a Panda by Nick Dowson
In this delightful picture book, Dowson tells the story of a mother panda and her cub and their search for bamboo and a place to make a home of their own. The reader is drawn into the story and takes the journey with the panda and her cub. Yu Rong’s watercolor illustrations are both delicate and beautiful. Dowson notes at the back of the book: “Where special reserves are set up to protect them, pandas do well. Even so, their future survival is at risk: there are only about 2,500 wild giant pandas left.”
 
Wild: Endangered Animals in Living Motion: A Photicular Book by Dan Kainen
Move the pages and watch the pictures of the animals move! How can anybody not be fascinated by this? Also, depending on how you turn the page, you can make the rhinoceros and the pangolin move both forward and backward. This book provides information and pictures on the giant panda, Amur leopard, albatross, gorilla, rhinoceros, bumblebee, elephant and pangolin. The author provides a brief description of the traits, habits and habitats of each animal. The author also explains whey each animal is endangered or vulnerable.
 
Why and Where are Animals Endangered? by Bobbie Kalman
This isn’t just a book for children about endangered animals; it’s also a call to action! At the end of each section the author poses a question for children to answer. Some examples of these questions are as follows: “How can people help these endangered animals by choosing what they buy?” and “If too many fish die due to overfishing and pollution, what will happen to the seals that eat the fish?” At the end of the book, Kalman includes an assignment for children to help them understand how the animals described in the book are all over the globe, as well as a list of websites for further research. 
 
Moon Bear by Brenda Z. Guiberson
Brenda Z. Guiberson follows a moon bear (Asiatic black bear) for one year of the bear's life from waking up from hibernation to going to hibernate again. During the course of one year, the beautiful black bear with a crescent white moon spot on her chest licks oozing sap, claws tree trunks, and eats bamboo, raspberries, beechnuts, and acorns. The illustrations are done in an inviting and pleasing collage style. At the end of the book, the author mentions how and why these bears are endangered. How can children help these bears? They can visit Animals Asia to find out!