100 Endangered Species (Rachel Hudson)

Hello, friends! Our book today is 100 Endangered Species by Rachel Hudson, an awesome compendium of creatures from around the world who are in need of protection.

Perhaps you’ve heard of the orangutan, but have you ever heard of a Moscardón? Did you know whooping cranes mated for life? Or that there are only 200 to 300 Cross River gorillas left in the wild? Each page of this wildly comprehensive book features an animal on the IUCN Red List, ranging from low risk to critically endangered, and is classified as a “conservation priority”. In addition to information about their habitats, locations, and threats to the species, each animal is accompanied by a colorful and charming illustration to bring them to life. Readers can learn about animals they know, ones they may not have known of before, and what they can do to help these unique creatures thrive.

Fascinating! Hutton does a fantastic job of condensing information about each animal in two or three paragraphs, giving young bookworms just enough information to engage, not overwhelm. The animals themselves are a great mix of the familiar (African elephants, giant pandas, polar bears, etc.) and the more esoteric (purple-faced langurs, Danube clouded yellows, hirolas, and many more). Backmatter includes a glossary and a thorough list of conservation organizations, and the illustrated table of contents provides a clever visual treat. Overall, this is an interesting little book that provides a great deal of educational material for older elementary to middle-grade bookworms. It was obviously a little dense for JJ to get through in one sitting, but she loved the animal artwork. A wonderful way to get little ones invested in wildlife conservation, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

Hello Hello (Brendan Wenzel)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Hello Hello by Brendan Wenzel, a delightful look at wild animals, and all that our furry, finned, and feathered friends have in common.

Using a tremendously clever visual device in which each animal shares something in common with the one on either side of it, we are taken through a wild tour of the animal kingdom and the many unique creatures that are found within it. It could be something small – a similarly-shaped yet distinctive nose, a shared pattern, or a familiar physical frame – but with each of these little details we can see how a giant whale shark can be connected to a tiny chameleon, and everything in between. And at the end, it’s shown that we’re part of this chain, too, and we should do our best to protect the wonderful diversity of life we are connected to.

We adored Wenzel previous book, They All Saw A Cat, because it encouraged readers to consider things from perspectives different from our own, and that sentiment dovetails beautifully into the theme here: looking at the similarities that seemingly disparate creatures can have that connect them. It’s a great theme in nature and in life, and folds in nicely to Wenzel’s personal message of conservation in the afterword. The text is minimal yet effective, and fun to read aloud, but the art is the star of the show, with each of the dozens of animals given a distinct look and character through design and expression. And animal-loving JJ went BONKERS for this one, asking to read through it several times after the first go. A fantastic glossary is included in the back to learn each of the animals’ species, the length is great, and we had a blast with it. The perfect read for any aspiring zoologist, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!