Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Gone Wild: An Endangered Animal Alphabet

Gone Wild: An Endangered Animal Alphabet

David McLimans
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 4 to 6
Walker, 2006   ISBN: 978-0802795632

In this unique picture book we are going to take a look at twenty six endangered animals. Some of these animals, including the Chinese Alligator, as so ?critically endangered? that they will probably become extinct if something is not done very soon to protect them. Others, like the Andean Flamingo are categorized as being ?vulnerable? and their situation is not as dire though that does not mean that we can become complacent about protecting them.

For each of the twenty six animals the author tells us which family of animals it belongs to, what kind of habitat it prefers, what country or countries it lives in, what is threatening it, and what its status is. He also includes a monochromatic drawing of the animal to go with this information. Then, in the center of the page, and taking front stage as it were, is a letter of the alphabet which is formed using a pictogram representation of the endangered animal described. Thus the letter I is represented by the Crested Ibis and the letter P is represented by the Piping Plover.

This is a very special alphabet book for not only does it present the alphabet in a visually stunning way, but it also provides readers with a great deal of information about endangered animals and it conveys the message that time is truly running out for these remarkable and precious creatures. An introduction at the beginning of the book explains the concept of endangered species and explains how pictograms are used in the book. At the back of the book readers will find further information about the twenty-six animals described in the book.