cover image Pangolina


Jane Goodall, illus. by Daishu Ma. Minedition, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-66265-040-6

Primatologist Goodall (The Eagle & the Wren) protests the endangered species trade with the story of Pangolina, a wide-eyed, thoughtful pangolin, who describes her mother’s care (“Every night she went out to get food, always returning so I could drink her rich, warm, delicious milk”), wild animal friends, and the tan-skinned human girl she encounters in the forest (“She seemed excited and her eyes were kind”). Then tragedy hits: Pangolina and her friends are captured and brought to a market by a man who “thinks we are just things that have no feelings.” The next day “there were screams of pain, and there was blood, and the smell of fear was all around me,” but Pangolina is saved by the girl she met earlier, whose empathy gives her the courage to do what’s right for the pangolin and results in telling “more and more children about the animals of China.” Illustrator Ma (Leaf, for adults) creates simple, engaging creatures with huge eyes that are full of feeling. Passages that describe Pangolina’s capture are both sudden and graphic in a telling from the animal’s point of view that leaves no doubt about the harm caused. Though extensive back matter at times elides cultural context, it includes information about this endangered species and steps to fight the trade. Ages 4–8. [em](June) [/em]