SubTopic: Extinction & Conservation

  Aani and the Tree Huggers

by Jeannine Atkins

HARDCOVER
Flora : Trees & Forests
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Based upon real events that took place during the 1970's in Northern India, this picture book is exquisitely illustrated using traditional Indian art techniques to portray the rural life of an Indian village and the determination of the Indian women to save their forest.

"Aani and the Tree Huggers takes place in a village in India that practices the sustainable cutting of a few trees every year to build houses; they get what they need from the forest without depleting it. One day men come to cut down the forest, ordered to do so by a man in the city who is not connected to the village or community. The village women wrap their arms around the trees refusing to allow the men to cut them. Facing this resistance, the men leave and the trees are saved." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (Winter 1997-1998) published by CCEL.

        Grades: Preschool to 5th

  Acting for Nature

by Sneed B. Collard III and Action for Nature

PAPERBACK
Environmental Themes : Extinction & Conservation
Environmental Themes  : Pollution & Sustainability

Written by Sneed Collard III and Action for Nature, a USA environmental education organization based in San Francisco, "Acting for Nature" provides engrossing and inspirational accounts of young people from eleven countries who chose to take action to improve the environmental conditions in their communities. Spanning the globe, the real life stories of boys and girls in familiar and far-off places transcend all political and geographical boundaries -- Judith and Miriam in Spain organizing "The Great Green March" to stop pollution of the Ebro River in Spain, Vincent from Kenya working in the impoverished slums of Nairobi to plant trees and set up recycling centers, Tom from New Zealand rescuing the native penguins from urban sprawl and Aika, the twelve year old Japanese girl, creating her book, Secrets of the Earth to teach other children about our planet. Their stories as well as those of other dedicated children serve as an inspiration for people of all ages to work globally to improve the conditions of their communities and the environment.

Visit: www.actionfornature.org

      Grades: 5th & up

  Adelina's Whales

by Richard Sobol

HARDCOVER
Animals : Mammals
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

This is a beautiful photo-essay by Richard Sobol about a 10 year old girl living in the remote fishing village of La Laguna in Baja, Mexico near a lagoon that is a gray whale nursery. Every year Adelina Mayoral eagerly awaits the arrival of her special friends, the gray whales that travel from their northern feeding grounds, as far away as Alaska and Russia, across the Pacific to this protected lagoon to give birth and raise their calves until the spring when they once again head north. The text and stunning photography, that show the close encounters and rapport of humans and whales, also offer an insight into Adelina’s daily life and the world of these unique mammals. In the "Foreword" Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. describes his visit to Laguna San Ignacio and how Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) succeeded in 1997 in saving this pristine lagoon from industrial development and keeping this area as a gray whale nursery.

For more information, visit: www.savebiogems.org/baja/

      Grades: 2nd to 5th

  Adventures in the Amazon Rain Forest

by Susan E. Goodman

PAPERBACK
Habitats & Ecosystems
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Through the perspective of a group of 7th and 8th graders from Michigan, "Adventures in the Amazon Rain Forest" takes readers into the Peruvian Amazon where the students explore the vast diversity of the rain forest and its inhabitants as well as learn the "basics" of living in this exotic environment. Color photographs capture the students during their field trip as they venture through the Amazon on canoes, climb to the canopy to contrast life forms to those of the forest floor, and discover uses of the wealth of resources such as medicinal plants. They interact with Peruvian schoolchildren through sports and music as well as learn the skills of trading with members of one native Amazonian tribe, the Yagua. While discovering the importance of saving the rainforests, they also are exposed to the complexity of preserving this endangered ecosystem in light of the economic pressures on local people to sustain themselves.

The hardback version is called "Bats, Bugs, and Biodiversity: Adventures in the Amazonian Rain Forest."

        Grades: 3rd to 7th

  Almost Gone: The World’s Rarest Animals

by Steve Jenkins

PAPERBACK
Animals : Various Classes
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Written and illustrated by Caldecott winner Steve Jenkins, Almost Gone: The World’s Rarest Animals examines twenty-one endangered animals found throughout the world, poignantly highlighting the critically low numbers that remain. Jenkins depicts these rare animals through beautiful cut and torn paper collage artwork. The informative text describes the physical, behavioral and feeding traits, their natural habitats and reasons behind the endangered status of these animals. Readers can learn that the Abington Island Tortoises of the Galapagos Islands were overhunted in the 1800’s to the extent of possibly only one tortoise remaining in the world. Jenkins also includes examples of animals that are now extinct as well as several species that through various efforts have made a comeback to healthier numbers. Describing the extinction of species, Jenkins writes that, although the consequences of the extinction of a species are not fully understood because of the complexity of the web of connections amongst living things, "we do know that something unique has been lost and can never be replaced."

The endangered animals described in this book include: monkey-eating eagle and dwarf water buffalo (Philippines); crested shelduck and baiji or Yangtze River dolphin (China); blue iguana (Grand Cayman Island); northern hairy-nosed wombat, eastern barred bandicoot, giant stick insect and waterfall or torrent frog (Australia); California condor (Southwestern U.S.); addax (Sahara Desert); hispid hare or Assam rabbit (India and Nepal); Miami blue butterfly (Florida, U.S.); Javan rhinoceros (Vietnam and Indonesia); golden lion tamarin (Brazil); Bactrian camel (Mongolia and China); coelacanth (Indian Ocean); Iriomote cat (Japan); Abington Island tortoise (Galapagos Islands); and, northern right whale (Atlantic Ocean). The extinct animals that are cited are: moa, (New Zealand), Stellar sea cow (Bering Strait), Tasmanian wolf (Australia), and Guam flying fox (Mariana Islands). Lastly, the recovering species include: gharial or Indian crocodile (Northern India), whooping crane (North America), and Alpine ibex (Europe).

See also: Alexandra Wright's Will We Miss Them? Endangered Species, and
David McLimans' Gone Wild: An Endangered Animal Alphabet

        Grades: Kindergarten to 3rd

  An American Safari

by Jim Brandenburg

HARDCOVER
Habitats & Ecosystems
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Brandenburg’s dramatic and lyrical photo-essay of North American prairies highlights his stunning imagery of its wildlife, wildflowers, grasses and landscape and sends a message to save the unique ecosystem of endangered native grasslands that once covered nearly a quarter of North America less than two centuries ago. Brandenburg conveys a personal perspective to his experience of the prairies during his boyhood in southern Minnesota, exploring the landscape that inspired him towards a future career as a wildlife photographer. His reflections include insights into the life of prairie dogs and their elaborate "towns", the near extinction of bison, the interdependence of species that make the grasslands their home, the regional types of three different prairies, and the ecological importance of this unique, endangered North American treasure.

See also: Sneed B. Collard's The Prairie Builders

        Grades: 3rd to 6th

  And Then There Was One

by Margaret Facklam

PAPERBACK
Animals : Various Classes
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

In this interesting, informative and well-written survey, Facklam unveils the mysteries of extinction describing the reasons for the disappearance of some species as part of the natural evolutionary process and contrasting the recent increasing rate of extinction due to human intervention, ignorance and carelessness. Citing examples of the disappearance of species due to natural causes, such as earthquakes, volcanoes and, in the case of dinosaurs, possibly an asteroid collision, the author also describes natural selection and adaptations through which other species have survived for millions of years. To demonstrate the impact humans have had on the environment, Facklam examines the role in more recent extinctions of habitat destruction, excessive hunting and trapping, poaching, introduction of non-native species, pollution, DDT and other hazardous waste. In the final chapter, "And Now the Good News", the author ends the book on a positive note describing efforts through legislation and recovery programs to preserve endangered and threatened species from extinction.

Recommended in Nature's Course (November/December 1994) published by CCEL.

      Grades: 3rd to 6th

  Animals Like Us

by Andrea Mills and David Attenborough

HARDCOVER
Animals : Various Classes
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

The ARKive website was created to serve as a virtual "Noah’s Ark" of information about animals and plants throughout the world that are in danger of extinction. Launched by David Attenborough and based in England, this project was conceived to educate the public about the urgent need to protect and conserve endangered species and their habitats.

Designed to accompany the ARKive website, Animals Like Us features several of these endangered animals, organized by the five habitats of forest, desert, ocean, grassland and mountain. Spectacular color photography of each endangered species – close-ups and images of the animals in their respective habitats – as well as fascinating information about feeding habits, behavior, physical traits, maps of habitation and the problems of survival, provide a comprehensive look at these amazing creatures. Links to related websites are also included to explore habitats as well as internet sites of organizations working to save the world’s endangered species.

Introducing each section by habitat, the book describes the ways they are being destroyed and then examines some of the endangered animals that live there:
Forest: orangutan, kakapo, Verreaux’s sifaka, koala and tiger;
Desert: African elephant, Bactrian camel, Arabian oryx, Gila monster and Indian wild ass;
Ocean: humpback whale, sea otter, marine iguana, West Indian manatee and green turtle;
Grassland: cheetah, black rhinoceros, hyacinth macaw, Grevy’s zebra and giant anteater; and lastly,
Mountain: panda, Ethiopian wolf, mountain gorilla, snow leopard and spectacled bear.

Visit the ARKive website to find a wealth of information in the digital library of animals and plants listed as endangered by the World Conservation Union, including audio and video "portraits" through films and photographs at: www.arkive.org

      Grades: 3rd to 6th

  Antonio's Rain Forest

by Anna Lewington

PAPERBACK
Habitats & Ecosystems
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Venturing deep into the Amazon Rain Forest of western Brazil to the Alto Jurua Extractive Reserve, "Antonio's Rain Forest" presents the life of a local family working as rubber tappers, or seringueiros, and their role in protecting the endangered rain forest. Through the first person narrative of eight-year old Antonio, readers explore the daily life of his family, the local inhabitants and the environment of the rain forest. Complemented by vivid photographs, the narrative also follows Antonio with his relatives along the forest trail where they collect the sap from wild rubber trees and later prepare the latex. Regional maps and insets describe the history of rubber use over the years, the modifications of natural rubber such as vulcanization and the repercussions of the expansion of rubber manufacture abroad. This book also touches upon the social and economic factors that have influenced the survival of the seringueiros -- the formation of a government protected "extractive reserve" and the organization of a cooperative by local workers, both serving to protect the people from exploitation and also helping to preserve the endangered rainforests.

      Grades: 3rd to 6th

  Baby Whale's Journey

by Jonathan London

HARDCOVER
Animals : Mammals
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Poetic text and expansive illustrations capture the life of a baby sperm whale from its first breath as it is born off the Pacific coast of Mexico, then as it journeys at the side of its mother through the sea where they feed, communicate with other members of the pod and encounter orcas and giant squids. An afterword supplements information about this magnificent endangered species and the Reader's Guide provides parents and educators ideas for discussions and activities expanding the knowledge of these mammals.

      Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Brother Eagle, Sister Sky

by Chief Seattle

HARDCOVER
Multicultural
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

"A message from a Native American chief who explains how the earth and all the creatures who dwell upon it are sacred. His words, together with Jeffers's images, convey how all aspects of the natural environment are interconnected, and how Native American people approach nature with an attitude of humility and respect. Spirited pictures depict the contrast between a reciprocal relationship with the land and the current state of environmental crisis." From Bringing the World Alive: A Bibliography of Nature Stories for Children, published by The Orion Society.

Recommended in Nature's Course (November/December 1996) published by CCEL.

        Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Can We Save Them?

by David Dobson

PAPERBACK
Animals : Various Classes
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

This book provides information about eleven species of endangered North American animals presented with descriptions of their physical characteristics, habitats, behavior and the causes for their endangered status. At the end of each double-page description and colorful illustration of the endangered species the author provides hope for its future and includes suggestions to promote its recovery. Species of endangered wildflowers are also discussed with mention of the importance of plants as sources of food and valuable medicines. The author concludes the book calling upon readers to help conserve endangered species and prevent their extinction.

Endangered species, primarily animals, discussed in the book include: Florida panthers, Oahu tree snails, gray bats, American burying beetles, peregrine falcons, eastern indigo snakes, cui-ui (fish species), Peary caribou, a variety of wildflowers, eastern timber wolves, Kirtland's warblers and Puerto Rican parrots. An annotated map of North America showing the distribution of the endangered species follows the text.

See also: Alexandra Wright's Will We Miss Them? Endangered Species, and
David McLimans' Gone Wild: An Endangered Animal Alphabet

        Grades: 1st to 5th

  Come Back, Salmon

by Molly Cone

PAPERBACK
Animals : Fish
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

The engrossing, true story of the relentless determination of the school children at Jackson Elementary in Everett, Washington to reclaim the polluted stream of Pigeon Creek as a salmon spawning ground is presented through interviews and full-color photographs of the children and teachers working at their project. Supplementary scientific information about the life cycle of salmon is included in panels beside the main text.

Reviewed in Nature's Course (September/October 1993) published by CCEL.

        Grades: 2nd to 6th

  Common Ground

by Molly Bang

HARDCOVER
Environmental Themes : Extinction & Conservation
Environmental Themes  : Pollution & Sustainability

A parable depicting the consequences of the overgrazing of a village field by sheep serves as the basis for analogies to the overuse and depletion of our planet’s natural resources – the seas, forests, water, air and fossil fuels. Though the primitive style paintings and text are simple and direct, the profound message of author and illustrator Molly Bang’s picture book inspires reflection about the eventual consequences of short-sighted actions and the responsible stewardship of the water, earth and air that we share and which sustain our lives on our “common ground,” the Earth.

      Grades: 3rd to 7th

  Condor's Egg

by Jonathan London

PAPERBACK
Animals : Birds
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

This dramatic picture book with panoramic and close-up watercolor views of California condors portrays the flight, nesting and hatching of these birds, an endangered species. The flight of a condor above the mountains and valleys leads to a cliffside cave where its mate guards a single egg. Through the long night of a thunderous storm, while rocks fall from above, the two birds care for the egg. With the sunlit beginning of the day, the birth of a new condor takes place. Following the story, "More About Condors" provides a historical and factual perspective about the condor, the rarest and largest North American bird, the causes of its endangered status and a listing of organizations that provide information about condors and their recovery program.

        Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Cool Woods: A Trip Around the World's Boreal Forest

by Jane Drake & Ann Love

HARDCOVER
Habitats & Ecosystems
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Cool Woods circles around the globe exploring the boreal forests of the subarctic world from the wetlands and mountains of Canada to Alaska, across the Siberian Taiga and over to the forests of Northern Scandinavia and Scotland. Detailed realistic paintings and black and white drawings complement the descriptions of habitat, wildlife, indigenous peoples, myths and folklore of the boreal as well as the environmental threats posed to the largest remaining forest in the world.

      Grades: 5th to 8th

  Dear Children of the Earth

by Schim Schimmel

HARDCOVER
Environmental Themes : Extinction & Conservation

"In this beautiful letter, Mother Earth asks the world's children to appreciate, love and help her. . . . The poetry of the text and the exquisite illustrations will emotionally move children and adults alike to take a stand and save the natural places that remain." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (Winter 1997-1998) published by CCEL.

See also: Schim Schimmel's The Family of Earth

      Grades: Kindergarten to 5th

  The Dragon and the Unicorn

by Lynne Cherry

HARDCOVER
Environmental Themes : Extinction & Conservation

Children will be enthralled by this enchanting tale which takes place in a fantastic, beautifully illustrated medieval setting about a unicorn and dragon who befriend a king's daughter and plead that their forest be conserved.

"Lynne Cherry's inspiring use of the mythical dragon and unicorn, symbols of antiquity, help give young readers a perspective of the age of these old-growth forests. . . . When reading this magical book, the reader can't help but notice the author's use of borders to enhance and enrich the story. These intricate and detailed paintings provide portraits of the many creatures and plants that rely on the forests for their sustenance. . . . The Dragon and the Unicorn is in the grandest tradition of fairy and folklore." Excerpt of review in Nature's Course (March/April 1996) published by CCEL.

        Grades: 1st to 5th

  Earth Day

by Linda Lowery

HARDCOVER
Environmental Themes : Extinction & Conservation
Environmental Themes  : Pollution & Sustainability

Introduced with a foreword by Gaylord Nelson, this book briefly traces the reasons for the founding of Earth Day in 1970 and its celebration twenty years later. Former Senator Gaylord Nelson's concern about pollution and the joint efforts of Denis Hayes to draw public and government attention to environmental problems led to the formation of Earth Day 1970. Following a period of legislative reform, the establishment of the EPA and increased citizen involvement, the widespread global environmental deterioration that pervaded the Earth twenty years later sparked the celebration of Earth Day 1990 in over 140 countries. This book places the meaning of Earth Day in a basic, historical context and also provides children suggestions of ways for them to improve the environment in "How You Can Make Every Day An EARTH DAY".

        Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Earth Matters: An Encyclopedia of Ecology

by David de Rothschild

HARDCOVER
The Living Earth
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

From the deserts to the oceans, from the polar regions to the jungles, Earth Matters is a visual exploration of the wonders of our fragile planet, an encyclopedia of ecology with spectacular color photography and a wealth of information about the biosphere. Starting with the “Big Bang” of the universe through the evolution of life in unique conditions on the "Goldilocks planet", readers can delve into the eight biomes or major life zones of the planet – polar regions, temperate forest, deserts, grasslands, tropical forest, mountains, freshwater and oceans. While investigating the ecosystems and the amazing biodiversity of these regions through photos, maps, charts and diagrams, at the same time, the fragility of the biosphere is emphasized by showing the human impacts of the overexploitation of resources, desertification, pollution and climate change. This is a celebration of the wonders of the unique Earth ecosystem that also points to practical ways of making a difference in our daily lives since "how we live in our small patch of the planet affects everything, everywhere."

This is a DK book "Made with Care"

See also:
Laurie David’s and Cambria Gordon’s, Down-To-Earth Guide to Global Warming
Marybeth Lorbiecki’s, Planet Patrol


In the Foreword to Earth Matters, David de Rothschild mentions his plans to publicize the problems facing the planet in the Plastiki Adventure when he sails in a boat made entirely out of recycled plastic bottles via the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Read more about the expedition in National Geographic's Adventure : Voyage of the Plastiki

To learn more about the East Garbage Patch of the Pacific Ocean, see:
Loree Griffin Burns’s, Tracking Trash


      Grades: 4th & up

  Earthsong

by Sally Rogers

HARDCOVER
Animals : Various Classes
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Based upon the author's song "Over in the Endangered Meadow" which was inspired by the traditional song "Over in the Meadow", this picture counting book introduces young children to eleven endangered animals throughout the world -- from the howling wolf pups in the Arctic tundra and the blowing, spouting right whale calf in the North Atlantic to the panda cubs chewing bamboo in China and the pouncing Bengal tiger cubs of the Bangladeshi jungles. Each page is resplendent with vibrant paintings of ocean, forest, jungle or desert landscapes that show the endangered animals in their habitats. "Notes on the Animals" which follows the text presents a brief write-up about each animal explaining the causes of their endangered status.

      Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Everglades

by Jean Craighead George

PAPERBACK
Habitats & Ecosystems
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

"Prosaic text and stunning paintings show us five children in a dugout canoe in the Florida Everglades as a Seminole storyteller tells the story of the Everglades. He tells how it was formed over millions of years and of the creatures and plants that have lived there for centuries. . . . The storyteller also tells the human history of the Everglades -- of the first people, the Calusas, of the Spanish conquistadors, and the Seminoles -- of the hunters, the engineers, the farmers and developers." Excerpt of review in Nature's Course (January/February 1996) published by CCEL.



See also:
Trish Marx's Everglades Forever: Restoring America's Great Wetland
Jane Yolen's Welcome to the River of Grass
Madeleine Dunphy's Here Is the Wetland

        Grades: 1st to 4th

  The Extinct Alphabet Book

by Jerry Pallotta

PAPERBACK
Animals : Various Classes
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Twenty-six animals that once inhabited the Earth are presented by an informative text and bold illustrations. Excluding the more popular dinosaurs, Pallotta has instead chosen some unusual, extraordinary creatures, such as the five-eyed Opabinia, that will captivate readers of all ages. Fossilization and the mention of the causes of more recent extinctions are included.

Recommended in Nature's Course (November/December 1994) published by CCEL.

        Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  The Eyes of Gray Wolf

by Jonathan London

HARDCOVER
Animals : Mammals
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Having lost his mate to a man's steel trap, Gray Wolf ventures through a snowy, moonlit landscape where scents, sights and sounds lead him to the trail of a snowshoe hare and eventually to a pack of wolves where he finds a new mate.

"The poetic prose written for lower elementary audience and magnificent drawings vividly depict the great beauty of the wolf. At the end of the book, the author lists many preservation groups and shows a map of the wolf's range in North America in the 1700's versus its range today." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (January/February 1999) published by CCEL.

        Grades: Kindergarten to 5th

  Falcons Nest on Skyscrapers

by Priscilla Belz Jenkins

PAPERBACK
Animals : Birds
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

The conservation story of the comeback of peregrine falcons is recounted centering on Scarlett and her mate, Beauregard, whose nest on a Baltimore skyscraper contained the first wild peregrine eggs laid in the eastern United States in thirty years after the near extinction of these birds due to DDT. Simple, direct prose also describes the tremendous flight maneuvers of these birds of prey, their hunting skills as well as the work of the ornithologists at The Hawk Barn in saving the peregrine falcon.

        Grades: Kindergarten to 4th

  Farewell to Shady Glade

by Bill Peet

PAPERBACK
Environmental Themes : Extinction & Conservation

The rumbling bulldozers which cut down the surrounding landscape of Shady Glade force a raccoon with his friends -- a skunk, possums, frogs and rabbits -- to leave their peaceful home and undertake an adventurous train ride in pursuit of a new tranquil existence. Peet's animated illustrations of the animal friends as they deliberate their fate and pursue their travels will delight readers of all ages.

Recommended in Nature's Course (Winter 1997-1998) published by CCEL.

        Grades: Kindergarten to 3rd

  Fernando's Gift

by Douglas Keister

HARDCOVER
Habitats & Ecosystems
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Presented in a bilingual format of English and Spanish text alongside numerous color photos, Fernando’s Gift explores the daily life of a family living in the tropical rain forest of central Costa Rica. Fernando Vanegas lives with his family in a tin-roofed house deep in an old-growth rain forest where at night the sound of the rain on the roof sings him to sleep. Everyday he experiences the treasures of the rain forest -- he can pick bananas from the trees, search for parrots and squirrel monkeys, listen to howler monkeys, fish for trout, swim in the nearby river and with his school friend Carmina climb trees. After Fernando and Carmina discover that someone has cut down Carmina’s favorite tree, a cristobal, Fernando’s father, who works to preserve the rain forest, explains that not all people value the treasures of the forest. Together the children plant another cristobal tree in a safe, secret spot near a waterfall to watch it grow tall and strong.

See also: Sneed B. Collard III's, The Forest in the Clouds, that presents the unique fauna and flora of a cloud forest in the mountains of Costa Rica.

      Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Flute's Journey

by Lynne Cherry

HARDCOVER
Animals : Birds
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

"Open this book and follow Flute the wood thrush from the day he emerges from his turquoise egg until he becomes a mature adult bird. Travel south with Flute across North America, to High Island in Texas, then across the Gulf of Mexico to the Yucatan Peninsula and his winter home in Costa Rica. Then follow him back to Maryland in the spring. Guided by Ms. Cherry's skillful text and lush, detailed paintings, youngsters will experience first hand a wood thrush's life -- what foods they eat, how they defend their territory, how they raise their young, their miraculous migration, and the hazards they face, such as hawks, cats, toxic chemicals and habitat loss." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (January/February 1997) published by CCEL.


See also:
Melissa Stewart's A Place for Birds
Nancy Carol Willis' Red Knot: A Shorebird's Incredible Journey
Carol Lerner's On the Wing: American Birds in Migration
Mary Lyn Ray's Welcome, Brown Bird

To learn more, visit:
The Smithsonian National Zoo's Migratory Bird Center
Journey North's Global Study of Wildlife Migration and Seasonal Change

To learn about how kids helped save Belt Woods, visit Lynne Cherry's website.

      Grades: 1st to 5th

  Garden of the Spirit Bear

by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent

HARDCOVER
Habitats & Ecosystems
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

The Great Bear Rainforest, an area of temperate rain forest located in the Canadian Pacific Northwest, provides the habitat for a unique type of black bear found exclusively in this region known as the Kermode or Spirit Bear. This old-growth forest is also home to other rare and endangered species. Writer and scientist, Dorothy Hinshaw Patent, explores the delicate ecosystem of this old-growth forest, its flora and fauna from the canopy to the forest floor, the unique traits of the Kermode, the importance of the old trees of this region, the key role of salmon as well as the Native peoples' relationship to the Spirit Bear. Hinshaw also points out the negative effects of the clear-cutting of forests and threats posed by logging to the remaining old-growth forests. Stunning, detailed watercolors by Deborah Milton illustrate the beauty of this fragile ecosystem, the magnificent and vanishing habitat of the Spirit Bear.

For more information, visit: Raincoast Conservation Foundation and Pacific Wild

      Grades: 3rd to 5th

  Gone Forever!

by Sandra and William Markle

HARDCOVER
Animals : Various Classes
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

As an alphabet of extinct animals, this engrossing and thought-provoking book describes the complex issue of the extinction of various species -- extinction due to natural causes, but primarily in relation to human intervention and factors. This picture book includes descriptions of the behavior and habitat of extinct species once found in various regions of the world, most of which disappeared just during the last few centuries.

Vivid detailed illustrations and lively informative text describe extinct species of every letter of the alphabet: auroch, Atlas Bear, cisco, dodo bird, elephant bird, Palestinian painted frog, great auk, heath hen, Portuguese ibex, Arizona jaguar, Norfolk Island kaka, Barbary lion, moa, Oahu Nukupu'u, Syrian onager, passenger pigeon, quagga, Captain Maclear's rat, Steller's sea cow, Rodriguez greater tortoise, Utah Lake sculpin, Gull Island vole, Tasmanian wolf, xerces blue butterfly, Cuban yellow bat and Burchell's zebra.

      Grades: 3rd to 6th

  The Great Kapok Tree

by Lynne Cherry

HARDCOVER
Flora : Trees & Forests
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

"The animals who inhabit a certain rainforest tree beg a man with an ax to leave their tree standing. They take turns explaining how the tree provides for some aspect of their respective livelihoods. Eventually, the man begins to notice the beauty of the rainforest and its creatures, so he is persuaded to spare the tree. Brilliant watercolors depict the rainforest landscape and the animals who are affected by its desecration." From Bringing the World Alive: A Bibliography of Nature Stories for Children, published by The Orion Society.

Reviewed in Nature's Course (November/December 1993 & Winter 1997-1998 issues) published by CCEL.

        Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Horseshoe Crabs and Shorebirds

by Victoria Crenson

HARDCOVER
Animals : Spineless Creatures
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

For many years, hundreds of thousands of horseshoe crabs have made a journey each spring, crawling from the depths of Delaware Bay to the sandy shores to lay their eggs. The millions of green, pearly eggs on the beaches, fed upon by scavengers, are an especially important source of nourishment for starving migrating shorebirds traveling thousands of miles north from the tip of South America to their nesting grounds in the Arctic. This picture book explores an intricate food web as well as the life cycle of creatures that have been on the Earth even before the dinosaurs and whose eggs play a unique, key role in the survival of migrating shorebirds.

See also:
Ruth Horowitz's Crab Moon
Nancy Carol Willis' Red Knot: A Shorebird's Incredible Journey

To learn more about efforts to save horseshoe crabs and shorebirds, visit:

ERDG's Horseshoe Crab Conservation Network
Delaware Audubon's Horseshoe Crab Sanctuary

        Grades: 2nd to 4th

  The Hunter

by Paul Geraghty

PAPERBACK
Animals : Mammals
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

"Discovering a young elephant by the side of its dead mother, Jamina sees something of the sorrow a hunter can cause. As she tries to help the baby elephant, we travel with her. From the details of a yellow and black dragonfly perched on a wet fern to the expanses of African plains silhouetted against orange sky, these dramatic illustrations focus on the small details as well as the great open spaces where large elephant herds once roamed. The Hunter helps us to see each elephant as an individual and, hence, better empathize with its plight." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (November/December 1994) published by CCEL.

        Grades: Kindergarten to 3rd

  Isabel's House of Butterflies

by Tony Johnston

HARDCOVER
Habitats & Ecosystems
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Eight year old Isabel lives in Michoacan, a mountainous area of Mexico where 300 square miles form a natural sanctuary for monarch butterflies. Every autumn thousands and thousands of monarch butterflies migrating from the North flock to winter in the oyamel tree outside of Isabel’s window in La Casa de las mariposas -- The House of Butterflies. Isabel and her family, the neighbors and tourists marvel at the miracle of migration and the beauty of these fluttering visitors as the sky becomes orange with wings and the dusty paths change transform into orange rivers. Over the years, Isabel’s family has managed to find subsistence, but a continuing drought over the summer and autumn brings a meager harvest of corn and beans. Due to logging, many of the oyamel trees of the surrounding area are already disappearing from the forests. To Isabel’s dismay her father reluctantly considers chopping their tree to support the family. With hope and determination Isabel manages to find a solution to save and share the beauty of La Casa de las mariposas. The framed, colorful, textured paintings of this Sierra Club picture book depicting the daily life of the family, the wondrous beauty of the overwintering monarchs and the surrounding natural landscape offer a brief glimpse into the life of a young girl in rural Mexico and the complex issues of poverty, sustainability and conservation.

See also:

Kathryn Lasky’s Monarchs
Laurence Pringle's An Extraordinary Life: The Story of a Monarch Butterfly
Bruce Coville's The Prince of Butterflies
Connie Muther’s My Monarch Journal -- an outstanding guide to raising monarchs that also includes a section for parents and teachers.

For more information, visit:
Journey North – a global study of wildlife migration and seasonal change, including monarch butterflies.
Monarch Watch of the University of Kansas
The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation
Monarch Lab for monarchs in the classroom.

        Grades: Kindergarten to 3rd

  It's Earth Day

by Mercer Mayer

PAPERBACK
Environmental Themes : Recycling & Composting
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

After learning at school about Earth Day and how the changing climate is affecting polar bears, Little Critter looks for ways to stop the ice from melting. Readers can follow Little Critter at home and at school as he discovers ways to recycle and save energy and water and finds out why he should plant trees. Searching for ways to help the polar bears, he even attempts to make a "Climate Control Machine" to cool down the Earth.

Printed on recycled content.

See also: Jen Green's
Why Should I Protect Nature?
Why Should I Recycle?
Why Should I Save Energy?
Why Should I Save Water?

      Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Journey Through the Northern Rain Forest

by Karen Pandell

HARDCOVER
Habitats & Ecosystems
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Through the eyes of a bald eagle, the reader explores the disappearing world of the North American coastal temperate rainforests of the Pacific Northwest. Stunning photographs show the rich diversity of life that abounds in the few remaining areas of this pristine cathedral-like habitat and the intricate interdependence of the web of life in this ecosystem -- the hanging gardens of moss and lichens, the spawning salmon in its streams, and the diverse flora and fauna that abound in the old-growth trees and snags as well as in the moss carpet of the forest floor. Rainfall and weather patterns as well as natural water management are also clearly explained as they relate to this unique ecosystem. Small insets to the photographs present the bald eagle's perspective of the illustrated scenarios, pointing out the interrelatedness of life to this habitat. Dedicating this book to the preservation of the vanishing rainforests, Pandell also describes the ravages inflicted on this intricate habitat as a result of clear-cut logging.

      Grades: 3rd to 6th

  The Lorax

by Dr. Seuss

HARDCOVER
Environmental Themes : Extinction & Conservation

"The Once-ler is not well versed in sustainable industry, for he chops down all of the Truffala Tress to make garments call Thneeds which everyone needs. But the Lorax tries with all his might to convince the Once-ler that his methods aren't right. As the trees become thinner and soon disappear, the creatures take leave; but the Lorax stays near until the last tree is gone. Then he leaves in defeat. Just the Once-ler remains, though the landscape is beat. He'll tell you his tale, he may give you a seed, if you promise to give it whatever it needs. Then perhaps one day the land will be mended, along with the creatures the Once-ler offended. This is a timeless ecological classic!" From Bringing the World Alive: A Bibliography of Nature Stories for Children, published by The Orion Society.

"The Lorax is a classic about greed, need and the destruction of a unique environment." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (Winter 1997-1998) published by Also, reviewed in Nature's Course in the March/April 1995 issue. CCEL.

      Grades: 2nd to 3rd

  The Man Who Planted Trees

by Jean Giono

HARDCOVER
Flora : Trees & Forests
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

This poetic, moving tale set in southern France describes a man who daily planted acorns in a desolate area of Provence and over time transformed the land into a magnificent oak forest. Taking place before and after the two world wars, this sublime tale of reforestation, complemented by beautiful woodcut engravings, will inspire both children and adults.

Recommended in Nature's Course (March/April 1993) published by CCEL.

      Grades: 6th and up

  Monarchs

by Kathryn Lasky

PAPERBACK
Animals : Spineless Creatures
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

"On the leaf of a milkweed plant in Maine, a monarch butterfly lays a miniscule egg. Soon a caterpillar hatches, and before long a new butterfly flutters in the breeze. Within its lifetime this tiny monarch will fly more than two thousand miles on a mysterious migration south. On the way it will join millions of other migrating monarchs. At the end of their journey these monarchs will be greeted by people whose lives have been changed by their beauty and mystery. Every year in Pacific Grove, California, the townspeople hold a parade to welcome the butterflies after their arduous flight. And in a small village in Michoacan, Mexico, where millions of wintering butterflies hang from trees, the villagers are replacing logging with tourism to preserve the monarch's fragile habitat. Photographs by Christopher Knight offer a unique view of the life cycle of this fascinating butterfly and into the lives of people touches by its magic." Review in Nature's Course (November/December 1995) published by CCEL.

See also:

Tony Johnston’s Isabel's House of Butterflies
Laurence Pringle's An Extraordinary Life: The Story of a Monarch Butterfly
Bruce Coville's The Prince of Butterflies
Connie Muther’s My Monarch Journal -- an outstanding guide to raising monarchs that also includes a section for parents and teachers.

For more information, visit:
Journey North – a global study of wildlife migration and seasonal change, including monarch butterflies.
Monarch Watch of the University of Kansas
The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation
Monarch Lab for monarchs in the classroom.

      Grades: 3rd to 7th

  My Life with the Chimpanzees

by Jane Goodall

PAPERBACK
Naturalists & Their Work
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

This book is a fascinating autobiographical account by the famous ethologist, a scientist who studies animal behavior, of her childhood fascination with animals that developed later into her renown research of chimpanzees. In engrossing, lucid and direct prose, Goodall describes her association with anthropologist Louis Leakey, the events leading to her journey to Africa, her encounters in the forests of Tanzania with African wildlife and her field observations of chimpanzees in Gombe National Park, noting their behavior, social structure, intelligence and close link to the human species. Expressing her views on a wide range of environmental and conservation issues, Goodall addresses the book directly to young people hopefully encouraging and challenging them to make this a better world for both human and non-human animals.

For more information, visit www.janegoodall.org

      Grades: 3rd to 7th

  Nature's Green Umbrella: Tropical Rain Forests

by Gail Gibbons

PAPERBACK
Habitats & Ecosystems
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

This lucid, factual introduction for young children to the rain forest ecosystem includes labeled illustrations of the flora and fauna of the various layers as well as a discussion of the importance of the preservation of these habitats.

        Grades: 2nd & Up

  On the Brink of Extinction: The California Condor

by Caroline Arnold

HARDCOVER
Animals : Birds
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

"This information-packed text tells the dramatic story of the struggle to save one endangered species. Because of habitat loss, shooting, and poisoning by DDT, California Condor populations dwindled, despite everything scientists could learn or do to help birds in the wild. Captive breeding seemed to be the last hope. Color photographs reveal the fascinating but difficult steps required to raise an adult bird from one small, vulnerable egg. The ultimate message is hopeful, with pictures of soaring condors making clear the ultimate goal: reestablishing the birds in the wild." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (November/December 1994) published by CCEL.

      Grades: 3rd to 7th

  Once a Wolf

by Stephen R. Swinburne

HARDCOVER
Naturalists & Their Work
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

" 'Hatred of wolves goes far back in history. As soon as people began raising livestock, wolves became the enemy and the symbol of savagery. In 5,000 B.C., the earliest farmers of Asia killed wolves to protect cattle, sheep and other domestic animals. Aesop, a slave living in Greece around 600 B.C. wrote many stories that painted the wolf as a cunning and greedy beast.' So begins this amazingly comprehensive, thoroughly researched, and compelling book for older elementary children. It is beautifully illustrated with photographs by Jim Brandenburg, one of the world's finest wildlife photographers. ... Brandenburg sets up camp near the wolves until they go about their lives virtually ignoring him and providing us with remarkable and candid views of a wolf's everyday life." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (Winter 1999) published by CCEL.

Swinburne eloquently presents the wolf of legend and the wolf of fact, tracing the myths that have almost destroyed a species and describing the studies and efforts raised since the 1930's to save the wolf from extinction. Numerous images -- photographs as well as illustrations, some from archives of history -- complement the text bringing to light the preponderant attitudes of humans worldwide towards the wolf as a "beast of waste and desolation" and contrasting the more recent work of conservationists and scientists who have studied the important role of the wolf in the web of life as well as who strive to restore this mammal to its habitat. As part of the "Scientist in the Field" Series, this book also affords an informative perspective for children of the research and field study of scientists involved in restoring the wolf to Yellowstone Park.

        Grades: 5th to 8th

  One Less Fish

by Kim Michelle Toft & Allan Sheather

PAPERBACK
Habitats & Ecosystems
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Counting down from 12 to 0 in rhymed couplets, children learn about the fascinating varieties of tropical fish found in Australia's Great Barrier Reef as well as the threats posed to their continued existence. Although the Great Barrier Reef has been protected by law, this book was written as a cautionary tale to show the dangers posed to the fragile ecosystem of coral reefs that are unprotected -- where fish disappear, one by one. Accompanying paragraphs to the couplets describe in greater detail for older readers various threats to the survival of a coral reef, such as oil spills, pesticides & overfishing. Toft's vibrant illustrations, executed in ink and dyes on silk, mirror the beauty, color and diversity of the reef habitat The text is followed by detailed information about the various species of fish illustrated as well as a glossary.

        Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Our Ocean Home

by Robert Lyn Nelson

HARDCOVER
Habitats & Ecosystems
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Honu, a green sea turtle, takes children into the brilliant underwater world of the oceans to present the wondrous diversity and fragility of sea life and to emphasize the importance of conserving the oceans of the world. Nelson’s vivid artwork details the wonders and beauty of the ocean habitat around the globe.

      Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  A Place for Birds

by Melissa Stewart

HARDCOVER
Animals : Birds
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

A Place for birds is more than just an introduction to birds – it examines a variety of environmental issues that have affected bird populations and describes ways people have joined together to help birds. Twelve different species of North American birds are pictured in vivid, colorful, double-page paintings, depicted in natural habitats, rural landscapes and cityscapes. Maps have also been included to show the range of each species. The author Stewart notes, " sometimes people do things that make it hard for birds to live and grow. " Common murres were harmed by oil spills and the bald eagle by pesticides; populations of the spotted owl have declined due to logging of the old-growth forests; and, native habitats of the crested honeycreepers of Hawaii were destroyed by pigs and goats that escaped from farms. Every year many songbirds, including Northern cardinals, are harmed by cats. People of different ages and backgrounds have joined together to protect birds: by providing nesting boxes for the Eastern bluebird, by protecting grasslands of an air reserve base for nesting grasshopper sparrows, by fencing off the beach nesting sites of piping plovers, by dimming the lights of buildings in Chicago during the hermit thrush migration and by restoring native habitat for the Kirtland’s Warbler. Children in a Florida elementary school spent five years to raise money to purchase twenty acres of scrubland habitat for the Florida Scrub Jay. Since animals rely on birds as a food source and plants depend on birds to spread their seeds, people can help nature by planting gardens that protect birds.

See also:
Melissa Stewart's A Place for Butterflies

To learn about creating a wildlife habitat, visit: The National Wildlife Federation

To learn more about birds, see also:
Pete Salmansohn and Stephen W. Kress' Saving Birds: Heroes Around the World
Mel Boring's Birds, Nests & Eggs
Roger Tory Peterson's Peterson First Guide to Birds of North America

      Grades: 2nd to 5th

  Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai

by Claire A. Nivola

HARDCOVER
Naturalists & Their Work
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

This is an inspiring picture-book biography of a remarkable woman, Wangari Maathai, who is the founder of the Green Belt Movement and 2004 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. In her native Kenya and throughout the world she has taught many people to plant trees and care for the Earth. The lyrical prose and watercolor illustrations follow Maathai from her childhood when she observed the bountiful landscape of Kenya, through her college years in Kansas where she studied biology, to her return to a transformed homeland where she found the people malnourished and the land cleared of trees, ruined by commercial farming and threatened by desertification. Maathai's relentless courage and determination led to the planting of millions of tress, the restoration and renewal of the land and its people as well as the flourishing of small farms in her native Kenya.

Printed on Recycled Paper.

To learn more, visit: The Green Belt Movement

Join Wangari Maathai in Plant for the Planet Campaign to plant at least one billion trees worldwide each year.

See also:
Jeanette Winter's Wangari's Trees of Peace: A True Story from Africa to learn more about Wangari Maathai and the African women who helped her plant trees.

      Grades: 1st to 4th

  The Prairie Builders

by Sneed B. Collard III

HARDCOVER
Habitats & Ecosystems
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

The Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge in Iowa is the site of a project begun in 1992 to rebuild the native tallgrass prairie, the regional ecosystem that once was the dominant natural habitat for an abundance of plant and animal species in the Midwest stretching from Ohio to North Dakota and Minnesota to Texas. The author notes, "Grasses up to twelve feet tall fed elk, deer, pronghorn, and between 30 and 75 million bison, or buffalo." By collecting native seeds, using controlled burn to stimulate growth of new prairie plants and reintroducing native species of buffalo, elk as well as the elusive Regal Fritillary butterfly, a dedicated group of scientists and volunteers worked over several years to reestablish a destroyed regional ecosystem and gradually witnessed its rebirth as the site of the largest national prairie reconstruction. Collard chronicles their efforts providing an insightful overview complemented by color photographs into the complexities of the process in bringing back the tallgrass prairie that had almost completely vanished from the North American landscape.

For more information, visit Friends of the Prairie Learning Center, Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge at: www.tallgrass.org

See also: Jim Brandenburg's An American Safari
Dorothy Hinshaw Patent's, Fire: Friend or Foe, and
Sneed Collard III's Butterfly Count

        Grades: 4th to 8th

  Reading the Earth

by David R. Brower

HARDCOVER
The Living Earth
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Written by the late David Brower, this "Story of Wildness" takes children on a voyage through time -- from the Earth's origins through its amazing physical and biological transformations up to the recent appearance of humans. Narrating the story to three children, Brower notes the tremendous impact humans have made on the planet in recent history, but also instills the sense of wonder of the amazing design of life itself. He calls on the children to understand and help preserve the "wildness" of the Earth that sustains all life. The full-page illustrations show the four characters on their engrossing voyage through time and place, whereas "More About the Earth's Wildness" that follows the story offers deeper insight into related topics for older readers.

      Grades: Preschool & up

  Red Knot

by Nancy Carol Willis

HARDCOVER
Animals : Birds
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Follow the amazing annual migration of a red knot shorebird as it makes a 20,000 mile round-trip voyage from Tierra del Fuego, at the tip of South America, past the Brazilian Amazon to the Arctic tundra where it nests and raises its young. During the hemisphere-long journey, this bird stops at several shores to replenish its energy by feeding on mussels, worms and clams alongside other shorebirds. The timing of its arrival in Delaware Bay coincides with the annual spawning of horseshoe crabs whose eggs are a valuable source of food to these migratory birds. Besides information about the banding of birds, other sandpipers and shorebird species, a glossary, chronological presentation and range map, this illustrated picture book also includes information about the importance of Delaware Bay to the survival of this species as well as the conservation efforts to protect the plummeting numbers of the red knot. As a result of the effects of food shortages, loss of habitat, predation and bad weather, the red knot population has fallen from 100,000 in 1994 to 13,500 in 2005.

See also:
Victoria Crenson's Horseshoe Crabs and Shorebirds: The Story of a Food Web

To learn more about red knots, visit:
Cornell Lab of Ornithology's All About Birds

To learn more about the efforts to save red knots, horseshoe crabs and other shorebirds, visit:
BirdLife International
American Bird Conservacy
Endangered Species Coalition
ShorebirdWorld
The Shorebird Project
ERDG's Horseshoe Crab Conservation Network
Friends of the Red Knot

        Grades: 1st to 4th

  Red Wolf Country

by Jonathan London

HARDCOVER
Animals : Mammals
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

"She-Wolf has a secret. She and her mate are on the move, traveling through wetlands and snow covered forests. The earth stands still to listen to their song as they howl beneath the moonlit sky. They hunt together preying upon rabbits or swamp crabs. They are in search of a den. As they near a farmhouse a farmer shoots at them and they lunge into a cold icy river to escape. Struggling to survive, they search for higher and more distant lands far from humans. In spring their pups are born and we are left hoping that humans will allow them to live in their world.

Jonathan London magnificently captures the spirit of these great creatures while Daniel San Souci's illustrations reflect the true beauty of the endangered red wolf. In 1987, red wolves were released into wilderness areas. Now over one hundred inhabit the lands of 'Red Wolf Country': Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, Bull Island, Horn Island, St. Vincent Island and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Roland Smith, the former red wolf species coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service writes in an afterword an informative history about the red wolf." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (Winter 1999) published by CCEL.

        Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Rising Sun

by Tricia Garwood & Frank Hajcak

PAPERBACK
Experience of Nature
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

The experiential and spiritual journey of a Native American youth is presented in this picture book through evocative lyrical prose and beautiful paper cut-out illustrations that bring children the message of their connection with the rest of nature. Rising Sun leaves his home to pursue a quest for wisdom and to understand what one must know to live a worthy life. His journey unfolds the beauty of the world and instills in him a love of nature and the knowledge of the importance of protecting the chain of life to which all belong. Having learned these valuable lessons, he returns to teach his wisdom and understanding to his people. This eloquent book will appeal not only to preschoolers but also through its poetic and fundamental message to readers of all ages. (Printed in USA on recycled paper.)

      Grades: Preschool & up

  A River Ran Wild : An Environmental History

by Lynne Cherry

HARDCOVER
Environmental Themes : Extinction & Conservation

"The Native American Indians settle on the Nashua River, named for its crystal clear water. Years later, the European settlers begin the industrialization that eventually renders the river polluted, until the committed efforts of a few individuals restore the river to a healthy state. Large, detailed illustrations serve as a beautiful companion to this compelling story. Smaller pictures surrounding the text of each page offer images of people, places, objects, and events associated with each period of the river's history." From Bringing the World Alive: A Bibliography of Nature Stories for Children, published by The Orion Society.

"A River Ran Wild is an environmental history of the Nashua River (in North-Central Massachusetts) from the time that the first human beings settled there to the present. It explores the history of ideas, of culture, of technology and of human action." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (September/October 1993) published by CCEL.

        Grades: 1st to 5th

  Salmon Creek

by Annette LeBox & Karen Reczuch

HARDCOVER
Animals : Fish
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Lyrical text and full-page illustrations follow the life cycle of Sumi, a Coho salmon, in this moving picture book. The voyage takes readers from Sumi's birth in a creek of the Pacific Northwest and her trip down a river to her new home in the ocean which she inhabits until her determined journey several years later back to her birthplace where she spawns and dies. "Home is the scent of cedar and creek. Home is the journey's end." -- words she heard at the beginning of her life which she sings later to her own eggs. Factual life cycle follows the text and a description of the environmental threats facing Pacific salmon.

        Grades: 1st & up

  A Salmon for Simon

by Betty Waterton & Ann Blades

PAPERBACK
Animals : Fish
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Simon, a Pacific Northwest Native American boy, had been fishing all summer for salmon and had no luck catching a "Sukai". When an eagle accidentally drops a salmon into a clam hole pool, Simon discovers that instead he wants to try to save the big beautiful fish find its way back to the open sea. This is a simple touching story, richly illustrated, with a conservation theme for young children.

        Grades: Pre-School to 2nd

  Saving Birds: Heroes Around the World

by Pete Salmansohn and Stephen W. Kress

PAPERBACK
Animals : Birds
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Efforts to save six different species of birds threatened with extinction were undertaken by people throughout the world -- scientists, entertainers, farmers, indigenous peoples and children -- in cloud forests, islands, wetlands, cities and jungles. Salmansohn and Kress of the Audubon Society take readers around the globe to witness the work of these heroes: to China, where winter wetland feeding grounds for black-necked cranes are restored by the joint endeavors of impoverished villagers and farmers working with a nature refuge; to Israel, where children provide nesting boxes for lesser kestrels; to New Zealand, where scientists save one of the rarest songbirds, the black robin, from the brink of extinction; to Mexico, where entertainers educate and inspire local peoples to save the quetzal that is of cultural significance; to Malaysia where feathers for Sarawak native costumes using the rhinoceros hornbill are replaced by turkey feathers; and, to California, where common murres, of which a colony was killed by an oil spill, are aided by decoys to establish a new breeding colony on the cliffs of Devil’s Slide Rock. The photographic accounts examine the various causes of the decline of the birds – habitat destruction, deforestation, oil spills, chemicals poaching and hunting. The strategies described to save a species can at times involve creative approaches such as puppet shows, may require enduring patience over years of work to obtain successful results, and may also pose dangers such as risky maneuvers on and around steep cliffs. The dedication and hard work of these caring individuals throughout the world can serve as an inspiration to readers to help protect threatened bird species around the globe.

See also:
Pete Salmansohn and Stephen W. Kress' Project Puffin: How We Brought Puffins Back to Egg Rock
Pete Salmansohn and Stephen W. Kress' Giving Back to the Earth: A Teacher's Guide to Project Puffin and Other Seabird Studies Around the World
Linda Kenyon's Rainforest Bird Rescue
Pamela Hickman's Birds of Prey Rescue
Melissa Stewart's A Place for Birds
Bruce McMillan's A Beach for the Birds about Least Terns in Maine

To learn more about birds, visit:
Cornell Lab of Ornithology's All About Birds and Bird Sleuth
The National Audubon Society
The Audubon Seabird Restoration Program
BirdLife International

To learn more about the following birds, visit these websites:
Black Robins -- New Zealand's Department of Conservation
Cranes -- International Crane Foundation
Common Murres -- Common Murre Restoration Project
Hornbills -- San Diego Zoo's Animal Bytes
Lesser Kestrels -- Arkive
Quetzals -- El Triunfo Biosphere Reserve, Encyclopedia of Life, and Arkive

      Grades: 4th to 8th

  Sawgrass Poems: A View of the Everglades

by Frank Asch

HARDCOVER
Habitats & Ecosystems
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

"Through evocative poetry and photographs, Sawgrass Poems captures the magic and mystery of one of the most unique ecosystems in the United States -- an immense wetland wilderness where plants and animals of the temperate zone and the tropics mingle. . . . In the appendix, a note about each photo provides additional information which makes this book an excellent teaching tool. But the book is also inspirational." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (January/February 1996) published by CCEL.

Twenty evocative poems about the flora, fauna and physical conditions of the Everglades include: "Alligator Hotel", "If I Had a Vulture", "Some Rivers", "Water Moccasin", "Old Man Mangrove", "A Panther's Life", "My Little Mosquito", "Hey You, Manatee!", " Who Cuts the Sawgrass", "Hurricane Song" and "Stillness".

See also:
Trish Marx's Everglades Forever: Restoring America's Great Wetland
Jane Yolen's Welcome to the River of Grass
Madeleine Dunphy's Here Is the Wetland

      Grades: Kindergarten and up

  The Sea, the Storm, and the Mangrove Tangle

by Lynne Cherry

HARDCOVER
Habitats & Ecosystems
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Following the development of a mangrove tangle from a sprouting seed into a spreading mangrove island as it gradually grows into a nesting place for birds and a nursery for fish and shellfish, this is a story about the community of life in the Caribbean Sea that depends upon a mangrove tangle for food and shelter. The beautiful artwork and engaging narrative depict the diversity and interdependence of life found in these habitats -- pelicans, herons, shrimp, crabs, lizards, seahorses, dolphins, sea turtles and manatees. In the "Author’s Note", Cherry describes the importance of mangroves not only as barriers for coastal areas from storms, but also as filters that clean out run off pollutants in the water. Many of these important mangrove habitats have been cleared in recent years to create commercial developments and shrimp farms. Maps on the endpapers show the location of these threatened ecosystems and include bordering illustrations of the numerous species of these unique and endangered communities.

For more information visit:
Mangrove Action Project, a project of Earth Island Institute.
The Mangrove Bio-complexity Project of the Smithsonian Environment Research Center.

      Grades: Kindergarten to 3rd

  The Shaman's Apprentice

by Lynne Cherry

HARDCOVER
Flora : Trees & Forests
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

When the faith of the indigenous people in the shaman's wisdom is destroyed, Kamanya, a Tirio Indian boy of the Amazon rain forest, continues to emulate Nahtahla, the medicine man to whom he serves as an apprentice to learn the secrets of the healing properties of native plants. The arrival of a foreign researcher, who explains the native source of quinine to cure malaria, restores the local people's faith in the traditional shaman's wisdom.

"The story is based upon real events and people in the Amazon rain forest and is lovingly told from Kamanya's point of view. His sense of gratitude, dismay and finally pride for the knowledge of his people shine through in the quietly circumspect prose of Cherry and Plotkin. Cherry's rich, deep paintings bring the lushness of the Suriname rain forest to life. The endpapers are a wonderful learning tool -- illustrations of indigenous plants, their Tirio and English names and their uses." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (Spring 1998) published by CCEL.

      Grades: 1st to 5th

  Someday a Tree

by Eve Bunting

PAPERBACK
Experience of Nature
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

"Over the years Alice has developed a strong affection for the oak tree near the highway at the edge of her family's farm. So when the tree becomes sick, Alice is devastated. Many people are engaged in efforts to save the tree, but nothing helps -- until Alice remembers the jar of acorns on her windowsill. Even though the tree cannot be saved, Alice realizes that she can plant an acorn, and maybe, someday, there will again be a healthy tree growing there. The soft, sensitive illustrations provide a delightful companion to this moving story." From Bringing the World Alive: A Bibliography of Nature Stories for Children, published by The Orion Society.

        Grades: Kindergarten to 3rd

  Song for the Ancient Forest

by Nancy Luenn

HARDCOVER
Flora : Trees & Forests
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Written in the style of Native American legends, Luenn's fictional narrative conveys the importance of preserving the ancient old growth forests. When Raven the Trickster sings his song warning of the destruction of these forests to the people who live there, he is not believed by the Native Americans and later not understood by the settlers. As more trees are felled and the forests disappear, Raven watches till one day his song is finally heard by a young girl who then conveys the importance of the conservation of these forests to her father, a logger. The lyrical oil paintings capture the beauty and mood of ancient old growth forests of the Pacific Northwest as well as illustrate scenes of the human inhabitants in this region and the effects of logging.

      Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Swan Song: Poems of Extinction

by J. Patrick Lewis

HARDCOVER
Animals : Various Classes
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Through poetry Lewis pays homage to 22 species that have gone extinct due to human intervention over the last 400 years. These tributes are complemented by black and white wood engravings and endnotes that further elucidate the causes of the species’ extinction.

The animals cited in these "few small epitaphs in verse to mark their passing" include: Aurochs, Dodo, Chatham Island Swan, Elephant Bird, Steller’s Sea Cow, Blue Buck, Rodriguez Greater Saddleback Tortoise, Painted Vulture, Great Auk, Eastern Elk or Wapiti, Quagga, Laughing Owl, Arizona Jaguar, Passenger Pigeon, Carolina Parakeet, Barbary Lion, Badlands (Audubon’s) Bighorn Sheep, Tasmanian Pouched Wolf, Hawaiian O-O, Bali Tiger, Deepwater Cisco, Miss Waldron’s Red Colobus Monkey.

To learn more about biodiversity visit:
Conservation International
The Convention on Biological Diversity

To learn more about endangered species visit:
Defenders of Wildlife's Kids' Planet
World Wildlife Fund’s Endangered Species

See also: Sandra and William Markle's Gone Forever!,
Margaret Facklam's And Then There Was One,
Alexandra Wright's Will We Miss Them? Endangered Species,
David McLimans' Gone Wild: An Endangered Animal Alphabet
David Dobson's Can We Save Them?
Steve Jenkins' Almost Gone: The World’s Rarest Animals
Melvin and Gilda Berger's Where Have All the Pandas Gone?


      Grades: 5th to 8th

  Swift as the Wind: The Cheetah

by Barbara Juster Esbensen

HARDCOVER
Animals : Mammals
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

"Swift as the Wind offers children a glimpse of life on the African savannah and the family life of the cheetah and some reasons it is endangered today. . . . This beautifully illustrated book presents facts in a straight-forward way that children can understand. It describes the relationship between predator and prey and stresses the role of each in the survival of the species. The author offers her readers a role in the preservation of habitat and species on the African savannah. She explains how scientists can help 'these unique and spectacular animals outrun the shadows of extinction that may be closing in on them'." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (Fall 1998) published by CCEL.

      Grades: 1st to 4th

  The Symphony of Whales

by Steve Schuch

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Inspired by an actual event of the rescue of whales in the 1980's by the inhabitants of the Chukchi Peninsula of northeast Siberia, the lyrical prose and dreamlike oil paintings of this book evoke the bleak arctic setting of this powerful story and the ephemeral musical bond between humans and cetaceans. Focusing on Glashka and her unique gift to hear the sound of a whale that leads to the discovery of thousands of stranded belugas in an inlet, the book describes Glashka's sense of her responsibility and the compassion, determination and courage of the aboriginal people in working together to save the trapped whales and lead them back to the ocean.

      Grades: 1st to 5th

  Taking Care of the Earth: Kids in Action

by Laurence Pringle

PAPERBACK
Environmental Themes : Extinction & Conservation

"Laurence Pringle has written a book with inspirational stories about real kids and real schools that have done remarkable work. In the chapter Wild Places and Wildlife, Pringle writes about how Deep Springs Elementary School students raised money to help buy a section of wildland in a special area called the Thompson Creek Glades. Reading this book (for fifth grade and up) is an excellent first step in launching your own drive to save a piece of land in your community." Review from Nature's Course (Winter 1997-1998) published by CCEL.

      Grades: 5th & up

  There's Still Time

by Mark Galan and Bruce Babbitt

HARDCOVER
Environmental Themes : Extinction & Conservation

Introduced with an inspiring foreword by Bruce Babbitt, this stunning photo-essay describes the successes of the Endangered Species Act. Galan presents eighteen species, primarily birds and mammals, describing the causes of the near extinction of each species and its recent comeback due, in large part, to the recovery efforts brought about by the Endangered Species Act. Detailed, full-color photographs accompany the inset information about each species of plant or animal, that include: buffalo (American bison), bald eagle, California condor, red wolf, brown pelican, whooping crane, alligator, Peregrine falcon, MacFarlane's four-o-clock, Loch Lomond coyote thistle, snail darter, greenback cutthroat trout, Aleutian Canada goose, gray wolf, Louisiana pearlshell mussel, small whorled pogonia, black-footed ferret and the gray whale. The author ends the book noting that despite the recovery successes there are still many species that remain on the brink of extinction and, moreover, numerous species which still await discovery before they too are lost to extinction.

      Grades: 3rd and up

  The Tree

by Dana Lyons

HARDCOVER
Habitats & Ecosystems
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Exquisite paintings by Danioth bring to life the moving words of Lyons’ song, a call to preserve our fragile environment presented from the perspective of an 800 year old Douglas fir. After years of witnessing the melting of glaciers, the call of wolves, the return of salmon and the flight of owls, the tree hears the coming of bulldozers and ponders what will provide shelter and preserve the soil if it is to be no more. As a message of hope, smiling people come to encircle and protect this splendid giant whose beauty is mirrored through the artwork of the book. Closer examination of the illustrations reveal threatened species that depend upon the Pacific Rain Forrest. Forewords by Julia Hill Butterfly and Pete Seeger, as well as endnotes with information about the Pacific Rain Forest, underline the importance of preserving old growth forests. (This picture book was printed on recycled paper.)

      Grades: Preschool to 2nd

  A Walk in the Rainforest

by Kristin Joy Pratt

HARDCOVER
Habitats & Ecosystems
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

The biodiversity and interdependence of the exotic animals and vegetation of the rainforest are presented in a concise alphabet format through the travels of the ant, XYZ. Each page abounds in color and facts about the lifestyle and habitat of a plant or animal. The threat of extinction and conservation themes are also discussed.

See also the accompanying book A Teacher's Guide to a Walk in the Rainforest

        Grades: Preschool to 7th

  A Walk Through a Rain Forest: Life in the Ituri Forest of Zaire

by David Jenike & Mark Jenike

HARDCOVER
Habitats & Ecosystems
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Since "A Walk Through a Rain Forest: Life in the Ituri Forest of Zaire" was written in 1994, Zaire has become the Democratic Republic of the Congo. After Brazil, the Democratic Republic of the Congo has the largest surface of tropical forests in the world, containing more than half of Africa's tropical forests. This book takes readers deep into the Ituri Rain Forest to explore this unique ecosystem and present the life styles of two groups of indigenous people, the Lese farmers and the Efe foragers, who have lived together in this rain forest for thousands of years. Traveling with a young Lese boy and his grandparents from their small village to an outlying fishing camp, readers explore the habitat and the daily life of these indigenous people sharing the forest's resources, as well as the rich diversity of flora and fauna of the Ituri Forest. Numerous insets with color photographs describe the fascinating wildlife of this region, including bongos, okapis, pottos and duikers. Contrasting the traditional life styles of the indigenous peoples with more recent factors threatening the rainforest ecosystem, such as overhunting, poaching and the demand for bush meat, the author notes the importance of protecting the unique and vast diversity of the African rain forest.

        Grades: 3rd to 6th

  The Water Hole

by Graeme Base

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

This amusing puzzle and counting book carrying an ecological theme artfully depicts the diversity of animals of different habitats from around the world -- each group looking onto a water hole that grows smaller and smaller at each successive image. As more and more animals at each habitat crowd around the dwindling water hole, one-by-one the frogs disappear . . . until the rainstorm when all the animals are reunited around the plentiful water hole. Graeme Base, who both wrote and illustrated the book, was inspired by a safari in Kenya and Tanzania to create a book about the cycle of seasons on the African plains, which was eventually expanded to include other habitats and their wildlife -- rhinos, tigers, toucans, snow leopards, moose, catfish, pandas, ladybugs, tortoises and kangaroos -- from India, South America, the Himalayas, North America, China, Europe, the Galapagos and Australia.

      Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  We Planted a Tree

by Diane Muldrow

HARDCOVER
Flora : Trees & Forests
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Two families at different parts of the globe plant one tree and in so doing "helped heal the earth". As the children and trees grow, more families plant trees to make the Earth healthier. As time passes and the trees grow, fruits and sap are made; the air becomes cleaner and the soil is healthier so crops may be planted; birds and other animals appear to live with the trees. Staake’s evocative artwork depicts scenes where trees grow around the globe -- the backyards of New York City, the plains of Africa, the woods of New England, the streets of Paris and the gardens of Japan. This lyrical book notes the words of Wangari Maathai of the Green Belt Movement, "When we plant trees, we plant the seeds of peace and seeds of hope."

To learn more about tree planting programs, visit:
Wangari Maathai's The Green Belt Movement
UNEP's Billion Tree Campaign
The Arbor Day Foundation

See also:
Vera Rosenberry's The Growing-up Tree
Claire A. Nivola's Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai
Jeanette Winter's Wangari's Trees of Peace: A True Story from Africa
Donna Jo Napoli's Mama Miti: Wangari Maathai and the Trees of Kenya

      Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Whale Rescue

by Erich Hoyt

HARDCOVER
Animals : Mammals
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Whale Rescue explores the plight of many species of whales around the world that over nine centuries have been hunted to near extinction and provides an insight into the work of conservationists worldwide dedicated to protecting the remaining whales. The book includes numerous photos of close-ups of whales as well as historical images of commercial whaling. Besides the threats from commercial whaling, the remaining populations of these magnificent animals, some of which were 90% decimated through hunting, now also face declining numbers from pollution, overfishing and entanglements in fishing equipment. Author Erich Hoyt, who is a researcher with the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, also offers an insight into the traits and behaviors of different whale species – migrations, songs, social structures and reproduction -- besides describing the efforts of scientists, conservationists and several governments to save these spectacular mammals from an uncertain future.

        Grades: 4th to 8th

  When the Wolves Return

by Ron Hirschi

HARDCOVER
Animals : Mammals
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

"Imagine a world where the wolves have returned. This book is a plea to the younger generation to help bring them back. It describes why the wolves disappeared and what the world would look like if their song once again filled the night. Now, because of a change in attitudes, the sound of the wolf is returning to the land." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (January/February 1999) published by CCEL.

Mangelsen's magnificent photographs complement the text which lucidly, yet poetically places in perspective the role of the wolf in maintaining the delicate balance of nature. Beautiful photographic images of bears, elk, moose, geese, owls, caribou, hares, fox and coyotes -- the hunters and the hunted -- show the creatures that share the wolf's wild habitat. Citing Iroquois and Pacific Northwest Coast Indian legends and attitudes toward their world, the author describes how the Native Americans lived in harmony with the earth, in particular with the wolves.

      Grades: 4th and up

  Where Have All the Pandas Gone?

by Melvin and Gilda Berger

PAPERBACK
Animals : Various Classes
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Children can learn about endangered species throughout the world, explore the reasons why different animals have become endangered, primarily due to habitat loss, overhunting and pollution, and find out about ways people have attempted to save endangered species. Presented in a question and answer format, this informative book, illustrated showing each of the animals in their respective habitats, describes endangered land animals (pandas, mountain gorillas, golden lion tamarins, Indian tigers, rhinoceroses and Arabian oryx), birds that have neared extinction (bald eagles, California condors, brown pelicans, whooping cranes, Everglade snail kites, Seychelles warblers and piping plovers) as well as endangered water animals (whales, manatees, sea otters, sea turtles, alligators and crocodiles). The success story of the comeback of the peregrine falcon from near extinction is examined and several suggestions are offered how readers can help save endangered animals.

      Grades: 2nd to 4th

  Where Once There Was a Wood

by Denise Fleming

HARDCOVER
Habitats & Ecosystems
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

A wood, meadow and creek were once home for a variety of animals and plants that were displaced by development. The lyrical, rhythmic verse of this one-sentence story, picturing the various inhabitants of the landscape in vivid, beautiful settings created by colorful, handmade paper illustrations, brings the basic ecological message of habitat loss to young readers. "Welcoming Wildlife to Your Backyard Habitat" following the story offers older children and adults information and resources for creating wildlife habitats in one's community, making note of the basic needs of space, shelter, water and food of wild creatures. This four-page section also includes listings of trees and shrubs to provide food and shelter, flowers to attract butterflies and hummingbirds as well as books and organizations to obtain more information about creating wildlife habitats.

        Grades: Kindergarten to 5th

  Who Eats What?: Food Chains and Food Webs

by Patricia Lauber

PAPERBACK
Habitats & Ecosystems
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Interrelationships in food webs and the role of green plants as the basic source of energy in food chains are lucidly explained to young readers along with clearly labeled ink-and-watercolor drawings of life both on land and in the sea. The repercussions of the near extinction of Western sea otters is explained to show the interdependence of living creatures and the impact of human actions on ecosystems. Children are encouraged to explore the intricacies of food webs and their own ecological link by creating drawings based on their diets and direct observations of the world.

        Grades: Kindergarten to 4th

  The Wolves

by Brian J. Heinz

HARDCOVER
Animals : Mammals
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Dramatically illustrated with ephemeral paintings, this book realistically and powerfully portrays a clan of wolves as they search for food during the cold of winter. Although the wolves track and hunt down an elderly, sick elk, the portrayal is not graphically violent gore, but realistically direct in showing the struggle for survival and in providing a better understanding of pack behavior and the role of the alpha leader, Pahtoo, around whom this text centers. The preface by the author provides a brief historical perspective and explains the threat of extinction faced by these mammals.

      Grades: Kindergarten to 4th