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Don't Let Them Disappear: 12 Endangered Species Across the Globe

Book review by
Regan McMahon, Common Sense Media
Don't Let Them Disappear: 12 Endangered Species Across the Globe Book Poster Image
Loads of lively animal info and a call to action for kids.

Parents say

age 18+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

For each of the 12 animals in the book, there's has an informative paragraph describing their characteristics, behavior, diet, and habitat. And below that, notes on the geographical range of where it lives, its endangered status -- endangered, critically endangered, vulnerable -- and why it's endangered (for example, habitat loss, poaching, pollution, climate change, fishing nets, war). The book introduces sophisticated vocabulary, including extinction, Sub-Saharan, prey, predatory, mammals, species, cartilage, conservationists. A map shows where the animals are found in the world. 

Positive Messages

"Every animal species is unique and important to life on Earth. Some are almost gone and could become extinct if we don't act now to save them." "Let's make a pledge as fellow inhabitants of Planet Earth, that we won't let any of these species disappear." People have been able to bring some animals back from the brink of extinction. The main reasons animals are endangered can be changed, and "if we all work together to make those changes, eventually these animals won't be endangered anymore." A list a the back of the book notes things you and your family can do to help, including recycle, never throw trash in the ocean, and help plant trees in your community to fight climate change. (Some may object to the call to "support zoos.") 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Scientists and conservationists work hard to understand, protect, and save animals. Mention that people have been able to bring some animals back from the brink of extinction. For example, whalers hunted blue whales "almost to extinction fifty years ago," but now with that hunting outlawed, the blue whales' numbers are growing. 

Violence & Scariness
Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Chelsea Clinton's Don't Let Them Disappear: 12 Endangered Species Across the Globe is a nonfiction picture book that teaches kids about endangered animals -- where the live, why they're endangered, and what kids and families can do to help. Filled with fun facts ("Blue whales communicate with one another up to a thousand miles away") and charming watercolor art, Don't Let Them Disappear may appeal to preschoolers, but the level of scientific and environmental information and sophisticated vocabulary make it best for elementary school readers. It's great for read-aloud and thought-provoking discussion. 

User Reviews

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Adult Written byAllyhondrowGonzalez April 23, 2019

Here’s what I think

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What's the story?

DON'T LET THEM DISAPPEAR: 12 ENDANGERED SPECIES ACROSS THE GLOBE profiles each animal species, including giraffes, tigers, polar bears, giant pandas, sea otters, blue whales, whale sharks, lions, rhinoceroses, gorillas, orangutans, and elephants. Each spread describes the animal and what it eats, where it lives, its endangered status (vulnerable, endangered, critically endangered), and why it's endangered or vulnerable (causes such as habitat loss, climate change, poaching, pollution). Back matter includes more explanation of why they're endangered, a list of "What You Can Do" to help protect them, and a list of special days honoring 11 of the animals profiled as well as May 18, Endangered Species Day.

Is it any good?

This information-packed, beautifully illustrated picture book is both a celebration of the uniqueness of familiar animals and a call to help protect them to avoid extinction. Don't Let Them Disappear: 12 Endangered Species Across the Globe is written in a lively, engaging style and illustrated with charming watercolor portraits of animals in their habitats with subtly emotional touches, like seeing a tiger cub nuzzle a tiger parent's nose or two young elephants locking trunks. Each description of the animal species ends with the phrase: "Don't let them disappear!" -- driving home the point that we must keep these animals in our world and not let them die off due to inaction on things we have the power to change, like keeping land and water free of pollution, stopping poachers, addressing climate change. Author Chelsea Clinton's passionate call to action mostly maintains a tone that's encouraging and hopeful rather than preachy. But in the "What You Can Do" section, she sounds pushy when she urges: “Tell your family they shouldn’t buy jewelry, trophies or anything else made from endangered animals.”

The sophisticated vocabulary and level of scientific information make it best for elementary school kids, but the fun facts and accessible art will appeal to preschoolers.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the endangered animals shown in Don't Let Them Disappear: 12 Endangered Species Across the Globe. Did you know these animal species were in danger of not surviving? Which ones have you seen in zoos? Have you seen any in the wild? 

  • What did you learn from this book that your didn't know before? What can you do as a kid to help protect wild animals on land and in the sea?

  • Which of the animals here are your favorites? Try drawing a picture of your favorite animal. 

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