Reading level: Picture Book (Ages 4-8)
Summary: Overview of the life of the unique antelope-like chiru (found only in Tibet) and of the arduous trek by four men to try to discover more about the mysterious animals before it is too late to save them.
Video summary in the author’s own words:
Illustrations: Acrylic paintings plus a few photographs in the back
Comments: The text is written in free verse and beautifully captures the struggles of both the chiru and the men. The illustrations are bright and imaginative. A lovely story that is both sad and hopeful at the same time.
- Naming Animals – Chiru belong to the family Bovidae, in the Order Artiodactyla. What other animals are related to chiru? Check Mammal Classification at Enchanted Learning. Their scientific name is Pantholops hodgsonii. The author says they have no close relatives. What does she mean by that?
- What other animals live in the same area of Tibet? Research animals like the Tibetian Yak and the Lhasa Apso dog.
- Lesson plan from National Geographic
- and article from National Geographic (check for appropriateness for your children)
Tibet Through the Red Box by Peter Sís
Compatible Middle Grade Nonfiction:
A Life in the Wild: George Schaller’s Struggle to Save the Last Great Beasts by Pamela S. Turner
Saving the Ghost of the Mountain: An Expedition Among Snow Leopards in Mongolia by Sy Montgomery and photographs by Nic Bishop
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children (September 27, 2010)
Next title to be reviewed: Orb Weavers by Sandra Markle