'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Tuesday 9 November 2010

Review: Count Them While You Can…

I really love the format of this unusual book – essentially a fact file/information book on a selection of endangered animals, but presented in a picture book format.

And rightly so. The pictures, by the talented Anne Bowman, are truly beautiful. Realistic yet with a hint of cartoonish warmth that will delight kids, these watercolour paintings capture each animal in its natural environment, and always with its babies or extended family.

Each double page spread shows an exquisite painting, coupled with rhyming text that can be sung to the tune of ‘Over in the Meadow’. This spread also contains an information listing that showcases the animal’s habitat, size, young, food, threats and how many are left… and these numbers are sure to bring tears to your eyes.

The author hasn’t contained this collection of animals to Australia – it includes animals from all over the world, and at the back of the book, kids will find a reference to the precise endangerment of these animals – listing exactly how endangered they are. The Kakapo bird of New Zealand, for example, is critically endangered and the Guam Micronesian Kingfisher is actually extinct in the wild (113 captive, 2009).

Moving, beautiful, important.

Title: Count Them While You Can…
Author/Illustrator: Anne Bowman
Publisher: Little Hare, A$24.99RRP
Publication Date: June 2010
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781921541605
For ages: 6-10
Type: Picture Book/Information Book