We are delighted to join the Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge 2015 hosted by Alyson Beecher @ Kid Lit Frenzy. We would also be linking our nonfiction choices with our reading themes throughout the year, as well as reading challenges that we have pledged to join this year. Our reading theme for March/April: Grey & Golden, Young & Fleeting – Ruminations on Mortality and Transient Lives.
For our reading theme, we are planning to share nonfiction stories related to endangered species or themes connected to mortality. I am glad to have found this beautiful nonfiction title in our public library.
This is my first Martin Jenkins book. Now I understand the glowing enthusiasm expressed by Nonfiction Wednesday enthusiasts about his nonfiction titles. He writes in a conversational tone that children would be able to connect with, yet he does not diminish the significance of the message he is trying to convey.
In this breathtakingly-illustrated picture book, Jenkins does not just discuss the beauty of tigers – he also writes about creatures that are already extinct such as the Steller’s sea cow or the marsupial wolf, or animals that are increasingly becoming endangered for a variety of reasons – climate change, human greed, accidents, inability to adapt to the changing environment.
As can be seen in the image above, Jenkins also discusses creatures such as vultures and why, even if people may not regard them as beautiful, they are gradually dying out. He also explores how they contribute to society, even if what they do may be considered distasteful by most. If you look at the image above, you would also notice the overall layout and design (take note of the white spaces allowing the eyes to rest – absolutely no clutter and no mess in the graphics) and how he plays around with font size to emphasize certain concepts or key ideas.
Jenkins also made mention of how there are certain species that “have nearly gone extinct and that we have saved at least for the time being” such as the American Bison gorgeously illustrated above.
There is also information that indicates where the creatures could be found, their scientific names, their size, lifespan, and the number of their species left. The amazing thing is that he does this in a language that is very accessible to children, and one that they would enjoy reading again and again, because he makes it sound so fascinating.
Teachers would also be happy to note that there is a list of useful online resources where students can get more information about nearly 17,000 animals and plants that scientists and conservationists believe to be dying out, as well as the many organizations that serve to protect these endangered species. This book is a definite must-have in all classroom libraries.
Can We Save The Tiger? By Martin Jenkins and illustrated by Vicky White. Published by Walker Books, 2011. Book borrowed from the public library. Book photos taken by me.