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

Tuesday 15 May 2018

Review: Red Alert!

The International Union for Conservation of Nature(IUCN) Red List has been compiled by scientists from around the globe that have collected data and information on animals, plants and fungi. 80 000 species are on their endangered list. 

The story of the IUCN Red List, which is supported by Sir David Attenborough, can be found at the end of this book.

It is from this list that 15 endangered animals from six habitats are chosen and brought to children’s attention in an interactive way. Red Alert! serves to awaken awareness about conservation and what it means, while offering choices to children on the Help Us! page, on ways to preserve the remaining endangered species. 

A map depicting the areas where these endangered animals are found, can be seen on the front end pages, while the back ones are covered in new animals to discover and name.

Red Alert! is a form of choose-your-own-story. The reader is invited to pick a place. Options are deserts, forests, mountains, rivers, oceans and grasslands. Turning the page, you select one of the creatures that live in the chosen habitat.  Each creature is numbered with the page where it can be found.

Double spreads introduce the creatures by their  common and scientific name. Their story describes their  habitat, habits, and dangers they face and from what. Then it directs readers to the Help Us! page.

Some of the creatures featured are hunted by smugglers. Their various parts are sold and used for traditional medicines. They are also endangered due to their habitats being destroyed by humans moving into their territory. Others are farmed for food, for their skins, and are illegally sold as pets. Some are disappearing due to climate change and marine pollution that destroys the oceans such as the Staghorn Coral. The selection closes with a ‘good news story’ on the Giant Panda.

The carefully considered layout maximizes the visual impact. The text, full of facts, flows around the image and about the page in decorative waves and curves.

Beautifully illustrated in full-page colour, with a striking cover, this extraordinary book will educate and bring to life, disappearing animals and species whose role in the natural world is interrupted mostly, by Man’s ignorance and greed.

Title: Red Alert!
Author: Catherine Barr
Illustrator: Anne Wilson
Publisher: Otter-Barry Books
Publication Date: March 2018, $24.99
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 978191095996
For ages: 5+
Type: Non Fiction