cover image Don’t Let Them Disappear

Don’t Let Them Disappear

Chelsea Clinton, illus. by Gianna Marino. Philomel, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-525-51432-9

Writing in clear, compassionate prose, Clinton (She Persisted) introduces readers to 12 endangered species: blue whales, elephants, giant pandas, giraffes, gorillas, lions, orangutans, polar bears, rhinoceroses, sea otters, tigers, and whale sharks. Short fact lists identify each animal’s endangered status, from “nearly vulnerable” to “critically endangered,” and further differentiate between subspecies (Asiatic lions are endangered; African lions, vulnerable). For each spread, Clinton makes a call to readers—“Don’t let them disappear!”—and recounts threats facing the animals, including habitat destruction, climate change, and hunting by humans. Passages focus on the animals’ unique attributes (“Whale sharks are the biggest fish in the world and may be one of the few animals who never sleep”) alongside gentle art by Marino (How Do You Do?) that is more expressive than naturalistic—in one spread, three otters cuddle up among kelp fronds, smiling and content. Clinton concludes with simple suggestions for readers to help endangered animals themselves: “Tell your family they shouldn’t buy jewelry, trophies or anything else made from endangered animals.” It’s an inviting, rather than insistent, appeal to care for the planet and its most vulnerable creatures. Ages 4–8. [em]Author’s agent: Tara Kole, Gang, Tyre, Ramer & Brown. Illustrator’s agent: Deborah Warren, East West Literary. (Apr.) [/em]