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Saturday, August 20, 2016

Amazing Animal Journeys, written by Chris Packham and illustrated by Jason Cockcroft. Red Shed, Publishers Group Canada. 2016. ages 4 and up

"Not all animals migrate
massive distances or in huge
numbers, some only come
down from the mountains
to the seaside ...
... or move from the
countryside into towns.

But wherever you live
you will be able to see
migrating animals."

We are told that every year billions of animals migrate from one place on the planet to another. It wasn't long ago, in Jeannie Baker's masterful book Circle, that we learned about the bar-tailed godwit, an endangered bird from Australia and New Zealand, that migrates to Alaska and back every year. It is quite the story.

In this lovely new book we learn about barn swallows, Bewick's swans, blackcaps, blue whales, Christmas Island red crabs, eels, free-tailed bats, golden jellyfish, leatherback turtles, monarch butterflies, pied wagtails, red deer, sardines, harbour seals and wildebeest.


Sardines are small fish that travel in big numbers!
Shoals of billions swim up the coast of Africa,
but an awful lot end up in the stomachs of
hungry whales.

Fishermen catch sardines too, and because so many get
caught in their nets, these fish have begun to disappear.
This is bad news for the animals that eat them, especially
the poor whales!"

Clearly this book is meant for young readers, and it is an fitting introduction. The text is just right for the target audience: understandable in its simplicity while also informative. It's just the right amount of detail to keep little ones interested and eager to know more. The accompanying artwork is quite beautiful, serene and warm while helping to add detail to the words.

A world map shows where you might find the animals and their migratory routes. A back section titled Discover More adds expanded detail about each one.

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