Jenkins, Steve. (2006). Almost Gone: The World’s Rarest Animals. New York: HarperCollinsPublishers.
Literary Genre: Informational (Picture Book)
Jenkins teams with the long-time running “Let’s-Read-And-Find-Out Science series” to introduce young readers to 28 endangered animals…before they’re gone. Each animal is introduced with its species name, location, and the number of animals left; followed by a paragraph sharing where it used to be found, facts about its size and appearance, what it eats, and reasons for the animal’s endangerment. A section of the book is dedicated to the Moa, Steller’s Sea Cow, Tasmanian Wolf, and the Guam Flying Fox because these animals are gone forever. Jenkins ends his book by sharing that not all endangered animals become extinct, with hard work they can come back, just like the Whooping Crane and Alpine Inex. Jenkins famous colorful, cut-paper collages depict all 28 of these marvelous creatures.
I was delighted when I came across this book at the library. I read Jenkins’ books, Actual Size and Bigger, Stronger, Fastest a few years ago and they are favorites at our house. Steve Jenkins’ works are well known and can be trusted to be accurate and authentic, this paired with his structured organization, and appealing illustrations qualify this book to be deemed quality children’s informational literature. My son loves animals. His favorite bird is the California Condor, so it was fun reading that page with him. I was born in San Diego and have early memories of going to the zoo, so animals are also an interest of mine. I feel that it is important to share books (such as this) about endangered animals with young readers because it helps them to make the connection between our lifestyle and the effects it has the environment and animals living in the environment.