Can We Save the Tiger? by Martin Jenkins and illustrated Vicky White is a gorgeous picture book with a powerful message and already has won an award as a 2011 Boston Globe – Horn Book honor book for nonfiction. Jenkins introduces the reader to several interesting animals that have gone extinct and others, like the tiger, that are on the verge of extinction due to human activity, while engaging in a dialogue about how complex conservation issues are.
Starting with the dodo, which was last seen in 1665, Jenkins first names a few animals that have gone extinct. He then showcases the story of the tiger, an animal most children recognize from experiences at zoos. He goes into quite a bit of detail, showing many sides of the story of why there are so few tigers left in the world today and how they could easily go the way of the dodo. Jenkins doesn’t stick to the tiger, however, he also discusses less familiar or spectacular animals, such as the partula snail and the white-rumped vulture. He mentions the kakapo parrot, the subject of the recent Kakapo Rescue. Unfortunately, he has far too many examples to choose from.
Vicky White’s illustrations are what makes this book so special. She has captured the style of a nature journal, combining simple pencil sketches with a few breathtaking, photo-real full color pieces. It would be worthwhile to pick up the book to share the beautiful illustrations and the facts that accompany each animal.
Although the text is simple and straightforward enough for children, the overall message is disheartening. This brings up a question: Is this book for children or adults? Have you seen this book yet? What do you think?
Reading level: Ages 5 and up
Publisher: Candlewick (February 22, 2011)
Nonfiction Monday is a blogging celebration of nonfiction books for kids. We invite you to join us. For more information and a schedule, stop by the new Nonfiction Monday blog to see who is hosting each week.
This week’s post is at Ana’s Nonfiction Blog.