Review: Vanishing Habitats by Robert Bateman

Hardcover: 48 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Canada/Madison Press (Oct 1 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0545986214

About the Book:

A stunning collection of paintings depicting the world’s most threatened habitats and the animals that live there. In the tradition of his other award-winning titles for children, Vanishing Habitats is the ultimate pairing of Robert Bateman’s role as artist and as passionate ecological advocate.

My guest reviewer for Vanishing Habitats is my nephew, Carson :-)
Carson is 3 1/2 years old and loves, loves, loves Lightning McQueen.

Carson and I sat down and flipped through this book, twice. For his age, he did very well, though was definitely more interested in the pictures than Bateman's messages accompanying the pics. He loved the lion but says the song about the lion in the jungle is a bit scary. Too cute! And fortunately for him, I didn't sing it; my singing voice would have only made it worse for him, lol.

From my point of view, I thought the artwork in this book was brilliant. Robert Bateman is well known (at least in my neck of the woods) for his detailed depiction of all things wildlife. What's nice about Vanishing Habitats is that it gives Bateman a voice, to go along with his paintings, that describes how tenous situations are in the animal kingdom. It allows us a good look at what's happening and what we can do to help. There are elements that reminded me of geography class, where Bateman discusses temporate zones and environments: the African savannah, the Boreal forest, oceans, wetlands, etc. But this is all looked at from the endangered plant and animal perspective.

While the reading aspect was out of reach for Carson, Vanishing Habitats is a good place to start talks with younger children with reference material for parents to pass along. It's visually stunning and a bit of an eye-opener.

Happy reading!
Jackie and Carson
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