Our library’s Tales and Tails Summer Reading Program is all about reading about the animals around us! While animals are a lot of fun to read about, some of them need some extra help. Animals that are endangered are close to becoming gone forever unless we do what we can to help them recover.
One of the most endangered animals in the world is the vaquita. These are small, marine mammals, related to dolphins, and they are classified as critically endangered. It is estimated that there are less than 10 of them left in the world, and they are still declining. This is because of fishing in the Gulf of California where they get tangled in illegal gillnets and are unable to surface for air.
Another critically endangered animal is the kakapo. These are nocturnal, green parrots found solely in New Zealand. These cute birds are flightless and live in the ground. This unfortunately put them in danger when new and invasive predators were brought to New Zealand. Unable to fly and escape these predators, they are at a severe disadvantage and have trouble surviving on their own.
There are currently five existing species of rhino. However, three out of the five are classified as critically endangered and the other two are classified as near threatened and least concerned. They are constantly poached for their horns and need protection from further poaching if we want them to continue living alongside us.
To find out more about endangered animals, check out some of these books from the Aurora Public Library or Dillsboro Public Library, and join in on our summer reading program!
Endangered Animals by Pierre de Hugo
Endangered Animals by Lynn M. Stone
Hope for Animals and Their World: How Endangered Species Are Being Rescued from the Brink by Jane Goodall
I can tell you exactly why I love reading children’s books about animals. During my childhood, my home-town library had a summer reading program where you could read any kind of book and THEN there was a Smokey the Bear program where you needed to read books about animals. My sister just tolerated the nature books, but I loved them. Thank you, St. Simons Public Library!
I think one of the best author/illustrators of animal books for children is Steve Jenkins. His primary medium is cut paper, and he has illustrated his own books, he’s written and illustrated with his wife Robin Page, and he’s illustrated books for other authors like April Pulley Sayre. Jenkins’ books typically focus on one aspect of the animal world, such as relationships, habitats, camouflage, etc. You are guaranteed to learn something amazing with each of his books!
Hollywood often turns to literature for inspiration. In the past two months we’ve seen new versions of Little Women and Dr. Doolittle. The newest adaptation of Jack London’s Call of the Wild will be released in theaters on February 21st and looks very promising. Call of the Wild is a very short novel; it was first published in four installments in the Saturday Evening Post. That makes it a great book to read with your family before seeing the film!
Jack London had spent a year in the Yukon at the height of the gold rush, and he wrote Call of the Wild after returning to California. He sold the publishing rights in 1903 and the book has been in print ever since.
The book is obviously in the genre of animal fiction, but can also be looked at as a hero story, and it follows the example of other American classics like Huckleberry Finn in its depiction of a hero returning to nature.
After reading Call of the Wild, you’ll want to also check out London’s other dog story, White Fang.
The days are shorter, temperatures are colder, and a common question for children is “Where do the animals go when it’s cold?” Of course there are many answers to this: they dig under, they fly away, they hibernate, and they grow thicker coats, for example. If your child is curious, why not check out a book to read together? Here are some great choices from the library’s collection. So cuddle up, stay warm, and share the joys of reading and learning together!
South Bend resident April Pulley Sayre has turned a lifetime fascination with biology into an amazing career researching and writing non-fiction for children. Her latest release, Warbler Wave, is available at both Library locations and features Sayre’s stunning photographs of a variety of warblers. Did you know that warblers migrate thousands of miles each year? I didn’t know that – until I read Warbler Wave! Sayre also shows off her photographic skill in Best in Snow and Full of Fall, as well as 3 food based books photographed at her local farmer’s market.
Sayre is also well-known for her other “Chant” books: Trout, Trout, Trout, Bird, Bird, Bird, and Ant, Ant, Ant.
Books by Sayre have been illustrated by some amazing illustrators, including the award-winning Steve Jenkins who uses cut paper collage. I have been a huge fan of Steve Jenkins books for many years and I love the work he did in Eat like a Bear , Woodpecker, Wham!, and Vulture View.
If your family is interested in learning more about animals or in studying how we relate to the world around us, you should definitely check out the Library’s books by April Pulley Sayre!